Today I went with a dozen others on the CARE bus to Houston to visit the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH). We left at 9:00 and returned to CARE around 3:30. It was a wonderful experience.
The MFAH is one of the largest museums in the United States. The permanent collection spans more than 6,000 years of history with approximately 64,000 works from six continents. I especially enjoyed the ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman works and was amazed that some of them are in good condition, with only a few pieces broken off.
The Museum is the oldest art museum in Texas. In 1917, the museum site was dedicated by the Houston Public School Art League (later the Houston Art League) and the first museum building opened to the public in 1924. The museum's collections and programs are housed in seven facilities. The main buildings (Audrey Jones Beck and Caroline Wiess Law Buildings) have 130,000 square feet of exhibition space. We had only enough time to visit the Audrey Jones Beck building. One could easily spend a week just visiting these museums!
With more than 62,000 works of art, the MFAH has the largest and most diverse art collection in the Southwestern United States. Most of these are in the areas of Italian Renaissance painting, French Impressionism, photography, American and European decorative arts, African and pre-Columbian gold, American art, and post-1945 European and American painting and sculpture.
The museum’s collection of modern and contemporary decorative arts includes two very interesting exhibitions. One is Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age, which features furniture generated by algorithms to designs brought to life by a robot. The pieces are typically produced in very limited editions and include 3-D printing innovations. The chairs appeared to be actually comfortable to sit in.
Another exhibition, Digital Worlds: New Media from the Museum’s Collection, includes Jennifer Steinkamp’s Mike Kelley, 14 and Chiho Aoshima’s City Glow. I was especially intrigued by a digital tree that morphed through the four seasons and a digital aquarium with fish swimming among moving water plants.