The Top Five Museums in Texas: August 25, 2016

by Glasstire August 25, 2016

This week Rainey Knudson and Christina Rees count down the top five museums in Texas.


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Robert Pena Jr. August 25, 2016 - 11:36

1. Menil Collection – Even though Brett Gorvy doesn’t agree with me, I think this is one of the best museums in the country and its free!
2. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth – Why isn’t this in Houston?
3. MFA Houston – I Love/Hate this place.
4. Nasher Sculpture Center – Extremely nice collection.
5. Amarillo Museum of Art – Very nice staff. I wish this place was closer to Houston. They are very underrated.

Linda Carter August 26, 2016 - 18:17

Next time why not do top 5 large museums and top 5 small museums even if they don’t have a permanent collection. Just returned from the Beeville Art Museum for their annual Texas show. What a lovely space and Texas-centric local art. They feature exceptional Texas artists throughout the year.

Rainey Knudson August 26, 2016 - 21:57

Agreed that Beeville is wonderful, but we only considered institutions with permanent art collections for this list, so Beeville (along with other kunsthalles like the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Blaffer Art Museum, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, etc.) weren’t included as they don’t have any holdings — or they have very small collections that are not generally on view.

(It’s worth noting that not having a collection isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes those spaces have more flexibility in their programming and can generate more ambitious or adventuresome exhibitions.)

Buck Johnston August 25, 2016 - 13:04

Buck and Camp’s combined below. This was a great discussion for us.
1. Kimball Art Museum
2. Menil Collection
3. Chinati Foundation (we have to!)
4. Amon Carter
5. Fort Worth Modern

I wish they’d outlaw cameras in all museums. Sorry, Rainey!

Rainey Knudson August 26, 2016 - 21:43

Buck, agree to disagree on cameras. (The inexorable movement of the species towards using them everywhere will bear me out eventually. There’s no harm in it–relax into it!)

We excluded Chinati from consideration because, even though it owns artworks, you can argue that it’s not a traditional museum per se. I think Chinati is its own weird and wonderful beast.

Terry Mahaffey August 27, 2016 - 15:37

1. Menil Collection !!!
2. Ft. Worth Modern
3. Blanton
4. Chinati Foundation
5. Kimball

kollin baker August 28, 2016 - 08:44

I liked your list, I enjoyed all mention able ones too …
Henry Random Center is truly a worthy mention.
Their collection and programming is mind melting.

Cindee Klement August 28, 2016 - 09:17

I would like to suggest that MFAH has to be number when you consider the out reach of the museum to the Houston community through the Glassell Studio School and the children’s school. Glassell not only provides a second income for the many local professional artist that teach at Glassell. All of the teachers are working artist. It allows the University of St.Thomas students to get an undergraduate degree in art through the Glassell School. It provides a foundry and ceramic facilities that make it possible for 3D artist to continue with their art without having to use commercial foundries and kilns. It provides art and art history classes year round as well as special workshops and speakers are hosted on the premises every year. The museum’s Core program brings the top artist to live in the community with many of them staying in Houston after they complete the residency. It provides an art mentor ship for merging artist through the BLOCK program. The BLOCK also provides these artist with studio space on the property with full use of the facilities 24/7 and weekly studio visits. There are only 4 museums in the country that have schools and with the 40 million dollar building that is under construction the MFAH is number one.
You should reach out to the Dean artist Patrick Palmer for a tour you will love what you see.

Rainey Knudson August 28, 2016 - 10:04

The new building’s budget is $450 million.

Cindee August 28, 2016 - 10:50

Thank you for that correction, I should never quote numbers. I did love the article and learned a lot about the museum’s of Texas.

Rainey Knudson August 29, 2016 - 08:32

Glad to hear it; thanks for watching.

MC August 28, 2016 - 22:39

Thanks for the list of places I need to go. Did not know the Stark existed until I watched your video. Took my wife on a road trip yesterday to check it out. What a great place and collection.

Rainey Knudson August 29, 2016 - 08:29

Happy to hear it! They hide their light under a bush somewhat, and they’re worth visiting. I really wish they would produce a catalog of the collection.

If you’re headed to Orange from Houston, it’s worth stopping in Beaumont for the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and the Dishman Museum at Lamar University.

Patrick Kelly August 29, 2016 - 09:46

Great lists with my favorites as well but I need up for all the collecting institutions west of I35. Maybe not in the majority of people’s top 5 but many doing very good work with very small budgets. They deserve a mention: Old Jail Art Center, The Grace Museum, Museum of the Southwest, Ellen Noel, and further out to El Paso Museum of Art. These museums are supporting and exhibiting Texas artists as much, or more, than the larger ones. Time to get in the car and drive!

Rainey Knudson August 29, 2016 - 13:54

Good list! Also San Angelo…


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