Visiting Bayou Bend / Photography Policy
On Saturday, December 2, Bayou Bend closes at 1 p.m. for a special event, with the last admission at 12 noon.
Hours & Admissions
Tickets may be purchased only on-site at Bayou Bend.
Call 713.639.7750 for information. Some public programs and other events may affect normal touring hours. Visit the calendar for event listings and updates.
- Bayou Bend is closed on Monday, except Monday holidays (for self-guided visits).
- Open on Tuesday, July 4.
Lone Star Card Participants
Receive free admission for up to 6 people when you present your Lone Star Card and photo ID.
Bayou Bend House Tours are generously supported by Sharon G. Dies.
Guided House Tours
No reservations needed • Availability dependent on tour capacity, and group-tour & school-tour schedules • Not available during August
- Tours begin approximately every 20 minutes during the following times:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
10 a.m. to 1:40 p.m.
- Tours begin approximately every 15 minutes during the following times:
Friday & Saturday
10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Guided House Tour Options
- Highlights Tour (Length: 1 hour)
- Visit several rooms on both floors of the house, including the main entertaining areas and upstairs suite
- See and learn about Bayou Bend’s rarest and historically most important treasures, as well as unique Texas-made objects
- Hear about the Hogg family, and how Ima Hogg transformed her home into a museum to display one of the nation’s best collections of American antiques
- Study Tour (Length: 1.5 hours)
- Visit rooms in addition to those on the Highlights Tour
- Focus on the objects in the collection and how they reflect American history
- Receive in-depth information about American decorative arts
- See the full range periods represented by the collection (1630–1876)
- Option to visit focused displays on silver and ceramics
Self-Guided House Tours
- No reservations needed
Guests may use their cell phones to listen to an audio tour, or refer to a tour handout, as they walk through the house. Available in English and Spanish. In August, self-guided tours are available all day.
- Tuesday–Thursday, Self-guided tours available many afternoons after 2 p.m.
- Friday–Sunday, 1 p.m.–5 p.m. (last admission 4 p.m.)
Admission: Highlights Tour & Self-Guided House Tour (includes Gardens admission)
$12.50 | Adults
$11 | Students (with ID) / Seniors (65+ with ID)
$10 | MFAH members
$6.25 | Youth (ages 13–18)
Free | Children (ages 12 & younger)*
Free for active members of the U.S. military & reserves with valid ID and for military families with dependent cards
*Children 9 & younger not permitted on guided house tours
Admission: Study Tour (includes Gardens admission)
$15 | Adults
$13.50 | Students (with ID) / Seniors (65+ with ID)
$12 | MFAH members
$7.50 | Youth (ages 13–18)
Free | Children (ages 12 & younger)*
*Children 9 & younger not permitted on guided house tours
All gardens tours are self-guided. Guests may use their cell phones to listen to an audio tour, or refer to a selection of tour handouts.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. (last admission at 4:30 p.m.)
1 p.m.–5 p.m. (last admission at 4:30 p.m.)
$7.50 | Adults
$6 | Seniors (65+ with ID)
$6 | Students (with ID)
$5 | Youth (ages 13–18)
Free | Children (ages 12 & younger)
Group Tours of Bayou Bend
Bayou Bend is an ideal destination for a group tour. Guided and self-led options are available for the house, depending on the date and time desired. All home tours include a self-guided tour of the gardens, or you may select a gardens-only option.
Packages are available for groups of 24 or more; a 20% discount is applied to the admission fee. Group tours must be reserved at least three weeks in advance, pending availability, and guests must arrive 40 minutes prior to the reserved tour time.
For an even more memorable experience, group tours may be enhanced with options such as lectures, receptions, and luncheons at the Visitor Center. Additional charges apply.
Group Tour Inquiries
Contact Lavinia Ignat at 713.639.7758.
Accessibility at Bayou Bend
At Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the Kilroy Visitor Center is wheelchair accessible. The public facilities within Bayou Bend’s house and gardens require assistance for those with limited mobility. Please note that large portions of the gardens are not wheelchair accessible and feature difficult terrain and stairs. In addition, because of the house’s historic nature, the second floor is inaccessible to guests who use wheelchairs and walkers.
Please call ahead or visit the Kilroy Center for directions to the wheelchair-accessible entrance to the property, which is different from the main entrance, and for more details. Bayou Bend’s mobile tour, available on smartphones and tablets, offers audio and text descriptions of the house and significant objects in the Bayou Bend Collection. For more information, contact email@example.com or 713.639.7750.
Still photography, without flash, is permitted solely for private, noncommercial use. Permission to photograph on Bayou Bend properties (and the bridge) is granted for images that are personal mementos of a visit, not for images that use Bayou Bend as a setting for special-occasion or commemorative photos of events not related to Bayou Bend. Such photography includes, but is not limited to: graduation and senior photos; engagement, bridal and wedding photos; family holiday photos; birthdays and similar celebrations; maternity photos; modeling; and so forth. Using the Bayou Bend property for any special-occasion or commemorative photography, or any professional photography, is not permitted without prior arrangement and payment of a session fee. Contact BayouBend@mfah.org or 713.639.7758.
Photographs cannot be published, sold, reproduced, transferred, distributed, or otherwise commercially exploited in any manner whatsoever.
Flash photography, photography props, tripods (and similar equipment), changes of clothes, decorations, or similar items are not permitted on Bayou Bend’s grounds. Visitors must check large cameras, camera bags, and related equipment into a locker prior to entering the house.
Nudity and semi-nudity are not permitted on the property. All guests are expected to remain clothed at all times.
The statues, fountains, plants, and trees at Bayou Bend are considered Museum commodities and may not be climbed, sat upon, leaned upon, or handled for any reason, including photography purposes. Do not attempt to move any furniture other than chairs.
Bayou Bend is a drone-free zone.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on behalf of Bayou Bend, reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to withhold and/or withdraw permission to photograph on its premises or to reproduce photographs of objects in its collections. Bayou Bend personnel are authorized to enforce all policies and procedures included herein.
Commercial Photography and Special Requests
For press and other special photography requests, including commercial and educational film projects, fill out the MFAH Photography and Filming Request Form and submit it to the Museum’s communications department at firstname.lastname@example.org during business hours.
Professional Bridal and Portrait Photography
Bayou Bend’s gardens are available for wedding, family, commemorative, and bridal portraits with prior arrangement and session fee. Learn more about how to request bridal and portrait photography at Bayou Bend.
Rights and Reproductions
For information about rights and reproductions in connection with photographic images from Bayou Bend’s collection, contact the Museum’s photographic and imaging services manager at email@example.com or 713.639.7525.
The Cottage Shop at Bayou Bend
Browse a selection of gift ideas in a boutique atmosphere. Unique products, in all price ranges, reflect the quality, craftsmanship, and beauty of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Located in the cottage next to the historic house.
Shop hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 713.353.1544 to order by phone.
The Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center
6003 Memorial Drive
Houston, Texas 77007
Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center at Bayou Bend features an orientation gallery, a library, two meeting rooms, public terraces, and ample parking. Designed by Houston architect Leslie K. Elkins and opened in September 2010, the building achieved a LEED Silver Certification for its environmental efficiencies.
What You’ll Find in the Kilroy Center
Begin your visit to Bayou Bend in the Kilroy Center’s T.L.L. Temple Foundation Orientation Gallery. Here, visitors become acquainted with Bayou Bend through several introductory videos, and discover ways to enrich their tour.
Hogg Family Legacy Room
Art objects, memorabilia, and information panels introduce you to the Hogg family's rich legacy in Texas.
Kitty King Powell Library and Study Center
The Kitty King Powell Library and Study Center houses an outstanding non-circulating collection of books, periodical volumes, auction catalogues, and more, all available to the public for art research.
Be sure to explore the William J. Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive to research artists who worked in 19th-century Texas.
The Kilroy Center features two spacious, multipurpose rooms for education programs, meetings, and facility rentals. These first-floor rooms overlook landscaped gardens and are accessible to outdoor terraces.
About Ima Hogg & Bayou Bend
Enjoy this short video, produced by Biography, with information about Bayou Bend’s legendary founder, Ima Hogg; the extraordinary collection; and the beautiful, historic gardens.
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the MFAH house museum for American decorative arts and paintings, is a 10-minute drive from the Museum’s main campus. The magnificent former home of Houston philanthropist and collector Ima Hogg, the 1928 John Staub–designed house is situated on 14 acres of organically maintained gardens in the historic River Oaks neighborhood.
Ima Hogg (1882–1975) devoted her life to Houston's early civic, educational, and cultural institutions. She was also an astute and ambitious collector, determined to assemble the finest examples of American material culture from 1620 to 1870. In 1957, she donated her home and collections to the MFAH. Bayou Bend opened to the public in 1966, quickly establishing itself locally and nationally as a cultural treasure.
Today, nearly 2,600 objects installed in 28 period room settings showcase the evolution of American taste from the Colonial through the Victorian eras, including furnishings, paintings, silver, ceramics, and glass. Outside, visitors stroll through surrounding woodlands and a series of gracious and beautiful gardens intended as outdoor rooms for living and entertaining, not just views to be admired from within the house. In 2010, Bayou Bend opened a visitor center designed to be a modern gateway to the historic collections and gardens. The house is just a short walk away, through a bird sanctuary and over a suspension bridge that spans Buffalo Bayou.
From the Director
Welcome to Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens online. America has always been a nation of collectors. From the humblest houses to the most magnificent mansions, American homes are filled with objects that proclaim our status, our lifestyle, and our place in the world. For Miss Ima Hogg, the legendary Texas collector and philanthropist, the collecting impulse lay at the heart of America's heritage. In 1920 she began acquiring furniture and other objects that would tell the history of colonial America, and would evolve into the Bayou Bend Collection, one of the nation's foremost assemblages of American decorative arts dating from 1620 through 1870. Bayou Bend, the beautiful house with the romantic name, was designed as a private residence for Miss Hogg and her brothers, Will and Mike. Although the house was not built until 1928, the room settings faithfully re-create interiors from previous eras. Miss Hogg donated Bayou Bend to the MFAH in 1957, with the understanding that it would be converted into a house museum. Over the next decade, rooms that once served Miss Hogg's personal needs were transformed into period settings to showcase her superb collection. Although the house opened to the public in 1966, Miss Hogg continued avidly to collect for her beloved Bayou Bend until her death in 1975 at the age of 93. The objects in the Bayou Bend Collection are among the finest examples of American design and craftsmanship, but they also reflect the tastes, values, and aspirations of ordinary Americans. Today, the collection fulfills Miss Hogg's dream that "Bayou Bend may serve as a bridge to bring us closer to the heart of an American heritage which unites us." We hope you enjoy your online visit and will be inspired to visit Bayou Bend in Houston.
Director, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
Conservation programs at Bayou Bend receive generous funding from the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation.
Funding has been provided to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021.