This weekend, on November 21, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will officially open its long-awaited Kinder Building, which is designed by Steven Holl Architects and dedicated to showing the institution’s collection of 20th- and 21st-century art. The building is the realization of a $450 million campaign eight years in the making, which ultimately included a complete rebuild of the Glassell School of Art and a new conservation center. The project also added to the campus new underground parking garages, public plazas, and numerous artworks set in the public sphere.
Glasstire has been covering the museum’s plans ever since then-MFAH Director Peter Marzio floated the idea in an interview on our site back in 2002:
“My ideas are very preliminary, so the square footages are almost irrelevant, but imagine roughly 150,000 square feet, although it may end up being bigger, perhaps as large as the Beck building, which is 200,000 square feet. Depending on how this new building is sited, you could have a 20th century/contemporary corridor, with the sculpture garden giving way to the Glassell School, which would climax with this addition.
“Current thinking would be to avoid the words modern and contemporary and think in terms of 20th and 21st centuries, beginning with a broad historical narrative. Other galleries would display intensely oriented, specific themes.”
Ultimately, the 183,528 square foot Kinder Building has provided the museum with an additional 100,000+ square feet of exhibition space. This is dedicated to the museum’s permanent collection: five thematic exhibitions top the building’s third floor, while its second floor galleries are separated by date and media. The building also features an impressive collection of works from Latin America.
The museum’s campus redevelopment project includes two new underground tunnels, meaning that all of the campus’ buildings are now connected. These two new tunnels, mirroring the MFAH’s well-known tunnel by James Turrell, feature light installations by Olafur Eliasson and Carlos Cruz-Diez.
There’s a lot to explore. See below for a photo walkthrough of the building.
Thank you for the amazing photo tour. What a gorgeous building and inspiring collection. As soon as it is safe, I hope I can lure my Art Historian sister to come to Houston and explore the building with me.
I’m almost speechless. After ascending from the tunnel with its amazing color phenonmena displayed, (and it’s not Turrell) up to the ground floor level, we decided to elevate to the top and descend Guggenheim style, gallery to gallery, and transcending down the most elegant staircases. And better than the G, the descend was interrupted by the lure of intriguing art in each of the galleries as a glimpse was there from multiple views. Warning: it is too much to expect to do a thorough examination of the artworks in one day. We were there almost three hours and yet missed some galleries. The museum should also be congratulated also on the excellent handling of the crowds of people. No paper handouts, no refreshments, not even water was available, but an abundance of sanitizing dispensers throughout the galleries and passageways. It’s a big WOW! Houston you have ascended to the sky!
and …..Glasstire, many thanks for the photo tour. It is thorough and most helpful as a post visit reference.
The sculpture’s artist who you omitted when mentioning Jason Salavon’s commission, is Ursula von Rydingsvard, Gusta, 2018.
Thank you so much for this tour. It felt like I was actually there !
Wonderful tour of the new Kinder Museum!
Thank you so much for this wonderful tour. I can’t wait until I am able to get out again and make a trip to Houston.
I was in awe throughout this whole visual tour. Spectacular!