As I was formulating my plan for my visit to Houston I knew that at the top of my list was visiting the Museum of Fine Arts. On display at the museum is Vincent Van Gogh: His Life in Art, currently a part of the collection through June 27th. Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists, and I’m not even going to try to hide the fact that what really tipped it over the edge (I’m also a huge Degas fan) is the Doctor Who episode about him. What can I say, I’m an art lover and a super nerd.
Let me tell you a little bit about MFAH! The original MFAH museum was the first art museum to be built in the state, and has grown to a large complex of buildings and includes to house museums and an art school. The Museum is more about just displaying art, MFAH is also home to the International Center for the Arts of the Americas, specialized storage rooms and large research areas, including a leading research institute for 20th century Latin American and Latino Art. I live in Washington, DC where museums are a dime and dozen, with incredible art on display throughout the city, and I was extremely impressed with the buildings, the sculptures, the art available and the whole package of MFAH. In fact, I left MFAH on my “Houston Bucket List” because I barely scratched the surface of what there was to see. I also added Bayou Bend house because I didn’t even realize that that was something to see! MFAH has two house museums, Bayou Bend which I just mentioned, and the Renzi, which I was, in fact, able to visit during my time in Houston.
Aside from the actual museums and sculpture garden, the Museum puts on events every week in an effort to make art more accessible to everyone no matter what their life is like. Visit the museum during lunchtime during the week and you can get free admission to the museum with a receipt from one of the food trucks out front or the museum cafe! Get a break from the heat and humidity and visit the museum after you eat your lunch. Enjoy happy hour events where admission to the museum is free, test your photography and sketching skills with special access to the museums in the complex, enjoy specialized tours with curators and docents, family day activities through the year and special member events as well.
Now, to the Van Gogh Exhibit. MFAH is the only place to view an exhibit and collection like this. Get an in-depth and intimate look at the life of Van Gogh through more than fifty pieces of his work. The collection is set up so that it carefully takes you through not only his professional life (starting with his early sketches which I had never seen before) but also including pieces of his personal life. For Van Gogh, those two things were so closely tied and in my opinion, directly affected his works as an artist. I don’t want to give to much away about this amazing collection of pieces, but there were many things in it that I had never seen before. Getting to view the sketches and paintings that he did that was without color was incredible. It showed an interesting part of this man, and painter, where you can see that he took what he was doing very seriously. He wanted to master his techniques and improve his abilities before he added color, which was fascinating to me.
Also, a part of the Van Gogh exhibit is Van Gogh Up Close, which I highly recommend if you are bringing children to the museum. Bringing the arts to kids, and putting it on their level through physical activity and touch is such a brilliant idea. It is exactly perfect for little ones, but truthfully the adults in the room (including myself) were having just as much fun. Visiting the museum during this time is perfect because admission to the Van Gogh exhibit includes general admission to the Museum. For families, MFAH is perfect because child pricing (which is FREE!) is included for children all the way up to the age of 12, which is amazing.
You have through June 27 to visit MFAH and experience the Van Gogh collection. Purchase tickets here
Don’t miss out on this amazing exhibit all in one place!
**Stay tuned for my close-up post about the Renzi house museum!**
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