Welcome to the MFAH

Welcome to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. I hope you find mfah.org an inspiring guide to the wonderful experiences in store for you at the Museum, and I invite you to explore all of the exceptional exhibitions, installations, and virtual programming.

Drawn from the most extensive M.C. Escher collection in the world, Virtual Realities spans the career of an artist who defies characterization. Escher’s singular, sometimes unsettling works, with their orchestration of multi-dimensional alternate realities, have rightfully become icons of the 20th century.

The Obama Portraits Tour stops in Houston with the iconic portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively. Not only do the paintings feature history-making subjects, they were created by groundbreaking artists. Visitors have the rare opportunity to experience the power and beauty of these celebrated works in our Museum.

Shahzia Sikander was a Core fellow at the Glassell School of Art, and we are delighted to bring her work back to the MFAH in Extraordinary Realities. Her vibrant synthesis of illustrated manuscript painting with contemporary art has played a critical role in recognizing a wider range of perspectives.

Dawoud Bey is one of the preeminent photographers of our day. The retrospective Dawoud Bey: An American Project and its evocative title introduce Bey’s deeply humanistic photographs into a long-running conversation about what it means to represent America with a camera.

Spanish Colonial Paintings features art from the acclaimed collection of Carl and Marilynn Thoma. Masterworks from the Islamic worlds are on long-term display through our partnership with Kuwait’s renowned al-Sabah Collection. To complement that installation, two dedicated galleries showcase objects from the Museum’s own growing Art of the Islamic Worlds collection.

We have been especially pleased to introduce Houston—and the world—to the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, dedicated to the first comprehensive display of the Museum’s international collections of modern and contemporary art. This beautiful facility, and the surrounding plazas, gardens, and commissions, match the growth, diversity, and dynamism of our city. The inaugural presentation Connecting Currents comprises thematic installations of art from the 1960s to 2020.

When you plan your visits, check the ever-changing calendar of events for activities throughout the Museum, including the Glassell School of Art and our two house museums: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and Rienzi.

We offer a number of ways to enjoy the Museum for free. For example, MFAH members receive free general admission every day, and Family-level memberships include the children in the household. Children 12 and younger are always admitted free, and on weekends all children receive free general admission when they show their card from any Texas public library. General admission is free for everyone on Thursdays, courtesy of Shell Oil Company.

For me, the Museum is a place of wonder and enlightenment, as I hope it is for you. Please visit often, and say hello when you see me in the galleries.


Gary Tinterow
The Margaret Alkek Williams Chair
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

A Conversation with Gary Tinterow
Watch a series of conversations with Gary Tinterow about his ambitions and goals for the Museum, including partnerships both locally and abroad, and increased visitor access to the MFAH collections.