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Best Museums in Houston, TX

What’s a city without a little culture? And if the arts are any indicator, Houston is brimming with cultural exploits.

Home to some of the finest museums in Houston, Texas and its arts scene features a wide array of offerings, everything from modern and contemporary art, to historical and alternative pieces.

Located on a 30-acre campus, the  Menil Collection features multiple collections and is home to many special exhibitions annually. With buildings dedicated to artists Cy Twombly and Dan Flavin, and Byzantine, medieval, and ancient artifacts on display, the museum was founded by John and Dominique de Menil in 1987.

Founded in 1948, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston opened in its present location in 1972, and its two gallery spaces feature eight to 10 exhibitions annually by a mix of emerging and established artists. Exhibits are accompanied by publications, designed to present exceptional international, national, and regional art.

An alternative gem, Houston’s Art Car Museum was opened in 1998 by James and Ann Harithas, an artist and long-time supporter of the art-car movement, which is designed to emphasize personal expression and a choice of imagery or subject matter selected from popular culture. Drawing from the traditions of fine, folk, and public art, the art-car movement reflects fundamental changes in popular consciousness; art cars are subversive and represent the transformation of the vehicle from a factory-made commodity into a personal statement or expression.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science features 16 permanent exhibitions, everything from a butterflies and African wildlife, to a gem vault and a hall of paleontology. Beyond the traditional exhibits, HMNS is also home to the George Observatory (open Saturdays).

Opened in 1996, the Holocaust Museum Houston features its permanent exhibition, “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers,” that focuses on Holocaust survivors in the Houston area. The museum features artifacts, photographs, and films, and is also home to an original 1942 World War II railcar and a Danish recue boat, used to save more than 7,000 Jews from concentration camps. Additionally, there is also an education center that includes two classrooms areas and a research library.

On a lighter note, the Children’s Museum of Houston is home to a number of interactive exhibitions designed to stimulate young minds. With an emphasis on science, technology and culture, CMH also offers educational programs for children, helping to foster local youth, along with an outdoor water works play area.

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