Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Trip Start Jan 01, 2012
Trip End Jun 18, 2012

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Uptown Motel

Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, January 7, 2012

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I went to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston today.  With 300,000 square feet of exhibition space and over 63,000 pieces of art in their collection, it's one of the largest art museums in the country, has the most diverse collection in the Southwest and is consistently in the top ten most visited museums in the U.S. In addition to the exhibition space, there is the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, designed by Isamu Noguchi, housing more than
twenty-five works. 

One particular highlight of their collection is the Glassell Collection of African Gold, the largest assemblage of its kind in the world.  In addition to the African Gold, they also have fine collections of Indonesian and pre-Columbian gold.  Other highlights include their collections of French Impressionists, photography, Italian Renaissance painting, American art, post-1945 European and American painting and sculpture and American and European decorative arts, which are mostly housed in two other buildings at other locations so I didn't get to see them, .

There were a number of temporary exhibits on view today.  The largest was the Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs exhibit.  This exhibition has been traveling around for a number of years but this is the first opportunity I've had to see it.  I'm glad I finally did.

Another temporary exhibit was Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, which I saw at the LACMA last year.  I went through the exhibit fairly quickly. 

They also had a show called, New Formations: Czech Avant-Garde Art and Modern Glass from the Roy and Mary Cullen Collection.  This show included many collages, photomontages, photographs, paintings, drawings and books and periodicals.  I saw an exhibit with similar printed works at the Art Institute of Chicago last year. 

Another show was called, Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection.  I just missed this show at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco last year.  I didn't realize until I had left the museum that this was a temporary show.

Yet another temporary exhibit was, The Spirit of Modernism: The John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gift to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which had more Harry Bertoia pieces than I've seen in a single museum exhibit before although I see lots of his work at auctions.  There was also Highlights of the Peter Blum Edition Archive, which was a relatively small exhibition of prints.  And finally, there was also a show called, Visions of Saints, which was a small selection of prints and drawings from the 16th through the 18th centuries.

I enjoyed the museum but many of the pieces in the museum came from donations by people with large but very focused collections and, as a result, while they have some areas with a lot of depth, there are also areas where the collection is very thin. 

After I finished seeing the museum I headed toward Amarillo.  I stopped in Waco for the night.
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