Located in the Houston Museum District, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) contains over 6,000 years of history within more than 63,000 works from six continents, making it one of the largest museums in the country. There are seven separate facilities to explore, which you can spend all day browsing. The institution has an impressive display of permanent collections sorted by geographical region, including Africa, Asia, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, Europe, North America, and the South Pacific. Additionally, you can view myriad artistic styles through the works of master painters and photographers. For example, the Beck Collection showcases Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modernist works from artists like Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse, while the Manfred Heiting Collection encompasses 4,000 images taken since the invention of photography.
With so much to explore, it can be difficult to decide where to begin. One notable attraction is the Glassell Collection of African Gold, which houses the “largest, most comprehensive collection of African gold in an American museum.” Another exhibit not to miss is the Bayou Bend Collection, showcasing American decorative arts pieces from 1620 through 1870, said to be one of the finest of its kind in the United States. Situated on 14 acres of organic gardens, Bayou Bend also provides the opportunity for a scenic stroll, as does the Cullen Sculpture Garden.
If you’re looking to take in an affordable film, the Museum of Fine Arts is home to a big screen theater playing both classic and contemporary films. While the theater is small, the sound quality is superb and the big screen can easily be viewed from any seat in the house. They also sometimes have free showings, although tickets are generally $9.