Houston’s Art Car Museum to Permanently Close

by Jessica Fuentes March 6, 2024

The Art Car Museum, a private institution dedicated to contemporary art, has announced that it will permanently close in late April 2024. 

An installation photograph of a gallery featuring two art cars.

Art Car Museum

Established in 1998 by Ann and James Harithas, the museum has been an important part of the Houston art scene for more than 25 years. The museum was born out of a 1984 exhibition, Collision, curated by Mrs. Harithas at the Lawndale Art Center. The exhibition also launched the annual Art Car Parade, making Houston a significant part of the international art car movement. 

The museum’s website explains: “The art car movement is influenced by the modern tradition in art emphasizing personal expression and a choice of imagery or subject matter selected from popular culture. The art car artist is a pioneer of a new image of the automobile, an image which in its diversity reflects fundamental changes in popular consciousness, changes based on the desire for greater independence and individual rights. All art cars are subversive and have in common the transformation of the vehicle from a factory-made commodity into a personal statement or expression.”

A photograph of a truck carrying a tall sculpture of a phoenix.

The Orange Show Art Car Parade, 2022

In addition to establishing the Art Car Parade and the Art Car Museum, Ann and James Harithas founded the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston and the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art in Victoria. Mrs. Harithas died in 2021 and Mr. Harithas died two years later. Since the death of Mrs. Harithas and prior to the death of Mr. Harithas, the future of these museums has come into question. On November 1, 2022, the Station Museum announced that it would close until further notice, and it remains closed at the time of this article; the Five Points Museum is currently open with an exhibition marking the bicentennial of Victoria, Texas.

The Art Car Museum website notes that “Discussions are in progress with local and regional arts organizations to continue and evolve the Art Car Museum’s presence, legacy, and mission in the future.” Details of these conversations and the plans that emerge will be shared as they are available. 

Currently, the museum will be open to the public through Sunday, April 28, 2024. Learn more about the museum via its website


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Jackie Harris March 16, 2024 - 23:23

The Collision show actually had nothing to do with launching the Art Car Parade.

TBone March 25, 2024 - 21:48

Hello Jackie Harris, Please go into detail regarding the Collision Shoe and The Origination of The Art Car Parade.


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