Walk Into Mankind’s History In America’s “Space City” With Top 4 Museums in Houston
Museums are our windows to history, and a peek into the future, and there is no shortage of such windows in Houston. Here you’ll find museum spaces dedicated to the World Wars, Natural history, cars, outer space (of course!), art, and religion. So, put on those walking shoes, grab a bottle of water and put that thinking cap on while you navigate the most famous museums in Houston.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) boasts of an educative and deeply satisfying artistic experience across different art forms, put up for public display in the form of exhibitions, installations, and virtual programs. One of the newest additions to MFAH is the “Nancy and Rich Kinder Building”, which is dedicated to international collections in modern and contemporary art. But there are several other venues, equally popular among art-lovers like the Beck Building and Bayou Bend Gardens – showcasing ancient European art, American art until the mid-20th century, and American decorative arts. Then there is the Brown Foundation Inc. Plaza right next to the Glassell School of Art, which is a vast, one-acre public greenspace dedicated to art expressions! MFAH is also the only US museum to feature the magnificent collection of late philanthropist Georges Bemberg, “Monet to Matisse: Impressionism to Modernism.” This display will find almost all the modern French masters – Morisot, Renoir, Cezzane, Bonnard, Degas, etc. Apart from the ticketed venues, MFAH also offers its patrons and art-lovers from across the city numerous ways to enjoy the facility for free. Right from the free general admission for MFAH members to family memberships. Children under 12 enjoy free access always. Moreover, all children, who are members of any public library throughout Texas, receive free admission over the weekends. On Thursdays, owing to the sponsorship by Shell Oil Company, general admission to the Museum is free for everybody.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) was founded in 1948 by 7 Houston citizens who wanted to give the city a space to come together and celebrate contemporary art forms. The Museum recently reopened to the public after being closed for COVID-19 a year ago. The Museum has emerged as the center point for showcasing the importance of contemporary artists through the decades. Through the months that it was closed to the public, the CAMH has quietly been going through extensive restoration, including renovating The Brown Foundation Gallery. Being a member of CAMH comes with its own set of privileges like access to unique art collections, artist studios, and art destinations across Houston. As a space where families are always welcome, CAMH offers several family-friendly art activities, which the Education Team of the Museum specially designs. The section is called “Museum From Home” is a bunch of activities in which families can participate from anywhere. With tours available in multiple languages, CAMH caters to a wide range of art lovers from different walks of life.
Holocaust Museum Houston
The Holocaust Museum Houston, the fourth-largest Holocaust museum in the country, will mark its 25th anniversary in 2021. To celebrate the silver jubilee of its existence, the Museum has decided to highlight 25 historical features of the Holocaust every month. The Museum is home to authentic film footage, artifacts, documents, and photographs that portray the cruelty of that period. The collection is titled “Bearing Witness – A Community Remembers Holocaust Gallery.” It includes a Danish rescue boat, a 1942 German WWII-era railcar, and personal artifacts from Holocaust survivors who made their home in Houston. The Museum doesn’t just display the horrors and pain of the past but also encourages visitors to engage with each other and start the issue of human rights for all. One of the most moving sections of the HMH is the “Rhona and Bruce Caress Gallery”, which showcases the stories of young people who chose to record their sufferings and the atmosphere of those years in their diaries. Besides Holocaust, the journals also belong to people who’ve lived or not lived through contemporary wars and genocides in Syria, Iraq, and Bosnia. Through these displays, HMH invites young minds to read the pages of history that are filled with mentions of unimaginable atrocities. At the same time, these exhibitions and interactions also instill in visitors the hope that any amount of cruelty and mayhem cannot dominate the human spirit. While throwing open the HMH on March 3, 1996, Holocaust survivor & driving force behind the Museum, Siegi Izakson, proclaimed, “This means the Holocaust story will not go away.” With six exhibition galleries, classrooms, a research library, 187-seat indoor theater, 175-seat outdoor arena, 50 screens, mini-theaters, and interactive spaces, the HMH is doing a great job of keeping the memories and lessons of the Holocaust alive!
The Space Center Houston
The Space Center Houston is one of the highlights of the non-profit “Manned Space Flight Education Foundation,” and it has emerged as a “leading science and space exploration learning center” for young Americans. Apart from being one of the top tourist attractions in Houston since its opening in 1992. The Center, spread over a sprawling 250,000 sq. ft. area, hosts more than a million visitors every year. The mission of SCH is to create an opportunity for youngsters to indulge in a fun and engaging way of educating themselves. The Center uses space exploration, which is every American child’s dream growing up, to light the fire of learning about science and math subjects. The Space Museum at the SCH boasts of the world’s most extensive and most eclectic collection of moon rocks and lunar samples for the public to gawk at. Watch the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Exhibit to learn how reusable space technology changes the human outlook of space every day, or go to the Starship Gallery, which displays artifacts from the multiple spacecraft sent on space missions. Some of these artifacts are considered national treasures too. The comprehensive collection of spacesuits worn over the decades by men and women explorers is displayed at the Astronaut Gallery. At the Independence Plaza, you’ll get to explore the only publicly showcased replica of the Shuttle Independence, the historic NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft.