The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building

The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, devoted to the Museum′s international collections of modern and contemporary art, opened November 21, 2020. Designed by Steven Holl Architects as the third MFAH gallery building, it is the final component in the eight-year project to expand and enhance Museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus. The Kinder Building stands in complementary contrast to the existing gallery buildings—the Caroline Wiess Law Building and Audrey Jones Beck Building—and in dialogue with the adjacent Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden.

Making Modern at the MFAH

See a series of short films that capture the making of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building. Making Modern introduces you to the community of artists, artisans, and architects who have all been part of the project. #GetModernMFAH

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Behind the Scenes

With the opening of the Kinder Building, the Museum’s growing collections of modern and contemporary art have the showcase they deserve. Go behind the scenes to see the art on view, and how this years-long master plan came together. #GetModernMFAH

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Architecture Highlights

  • The Kinder Building comprises two floors and more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space circling a three-level atrium space, with the distinctive roof allowing natural light to flood the central spaces.
  • Gathered under a “luminous canopy” roof, the concave curves reference the billowing clouds that fill the “big sky” of Texas.
  • Vertical, translucent-glass tubes clad the facades.
  • The galleries increases overall MFAH exhibition space by nearly 75 percent.
  • New destinations include the 215-seat Lynn Wyatt Theater, a restaurant, and a café.
  • Seven gardens and six reflecting pools are inset along the building’s perimeter.


Art Highlights

  • The Kinder Building is dedicated to presenting works from the Museum’s international collections of modern and contemporary art.
  • The building opens with the first comprehensive installation of these works, drawn from the collections of Latin American and Latino art; photography; prints and drawings; decorative arts, craft, and design; and modern and contemporary art.
  • A flexible black-box gallery at the street-level entry is devoted to immersive installations, with inaugural presentations of the work of Gyula Kosice and James Turrell.
  • A windowed street-level gallery features work by artists including Jean Tinguely and Pablo Picasso, and an installation of suspended lights by Spencer Finch hangs in the café space.
  • The second-floor galleries are organized by curatorial department, with each gallery highlighting collection strengths.
  • The third-floor galleries feature Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston—five thematic installations that present art from the 1960s onward.

 Inaugural Thematic Installations
Preview of Collection Highlights

Site-Specific Commissioned Artworks
Major, site-specific commissioned artworks serve as portals that connect the Kinder Building with the other components of the Sarofim Campus. Located at strategic points, the works are designed to mark moments of transition on the campus and to activate public spaces. These works of art have been commissioned from a roster of renowned, international artists.

  • El Anatsui
  • Byung Hoon Choi
  • Carlos Cruz-Diez
  • Ólafur Elíasson
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock
  • Cristina Iglesias
  • Jason Salavon
  • Ai Weiwei

The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building opening is sponsored in part by a major grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.