When Edith and Percy Straus gave their remarkable collection of European art to the MFAH in 1941, the couple’s generous donation marked a turning point for the Museum. Since opening in 1924, the Museum’s European collection had been relatively insignificant—a situation that changed dramatically with the Straus gift. The 83 objects that arrived in late 1944 not only formed the cornerstone of the European art department, but also put the MFAH firmly on the map. 

Building on his father’s collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, Percy, together with his wife Edith, had acquired mainly Italian paintings of the late medieval and early Renaissance period, carefully guided by the best scholars in the field. This 45-minute tour explores the exhibition of their collection, Passion for Perfection: The Straus Collection of Renaissance Art, and encourages visitors to discuss the artwork together.

Drop in! Gallery tours are free with Museum admission. On Thursdays, Museum admission is free, courtesy of Shell.

► Plan ahead for your visit with parking information.


Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from the Sterling-Turner Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; Houston Junior Woman's Club; ExxonMobil; Mercantil Bank; Mr. William J. Hill; The Windgate Charitable Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Sharon G. Dies; and the Susan Vaughan Foundation.