The Menil Collection is considered one of the most important privately assembled art collections of the twentieth century and is a Houston highlight. Housed in a modernist building designed by Renzo Piano, it only displays a careful selection of highlights at any one time. Representative pieces span the ages, from Ice Age carvings, via Cycladic figures from 2800 BCE and Benin bronzes, to more recent works by Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Kara Walker.
Who owns the Menil Collection?
As the name suggests, the Menil Collection is rooted in the extraordinary array of art and archaeological artifacts amassed by Houstonians John and Dominique de Menil. The gallery was opened to the public in 1987 but it doesn't house the entire collection. The collection consists of over 17,000 works of art and pieces are curated and rotated regularly. A non-profit charitable foundation has managed the collection since the death of Dominique de Menil in 1997.
The single gallery in the Menil Drawing Institute, alongside, hosts changing exhibitions devoted to big-name artists. Be sure you also visit the Cy Twombly Gallery and the serene and meditative Rothko Chapel, annexes of the collection.
How much does it cost?
The collection is free to all, you just need to book an appointment online for a scheduled visit. The Menil Foundation has stated that the collection will always remain free of charge to the public.