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“Great art!”

The Menil Collection
Ranked #14 of 322 things to do in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: *Please note that the main museum building located at 1533 Sul Ross Street is off view through summer 2018. The Cy Twombly Gallery, Byzantine Fresco Chapel, Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall, Menil Menil Bookstore, and Bistro Menil will remain open with regular hours. The Menil will continue to host public programs. Please visit menil.org for more information.* A legacy of the philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, the Menil Collection opened in 1987. The museum presents regular rotations of artworks from its growing permanent collection, organizes special exhibitions and programs throughout the year, publishes scholarly books, and conducts research. The Menil Collection’s main museum building anchors a parklike 30-acre campus, which also includes the Cy Twombly Gallery, a site-specific Dan Flavin installation, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel—now a venue for long-term installations by contemporary artists—and outdoor sculpture.
Reviewed 27 November 2013

Loved the collection (they change often) and It's free to get in. There is park that surrounds the building and it's a great place to hang out, have a picnic, watch people play Frisbee or music.

1  Thank morgin1013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"rothko chapel"
in 144 reviews
"modern art"
in 70 reviews
"renzo piano"
in 26 reviews
"max ernst"
in 26 reviews
"dan flavin"
in 26 reviews
"bistro menil"
in 9 reviews
"jasper johns"
in 9 reviews
"ancient artifacts"
in 9 reviews
"free museum"
in 23 reviews
"no photography"
in 8 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 16 reviews
"residential neighborhood"
in 8 reviews
"natural light"
in 12 reviews
"main building"
in 23 reviews
"across the street"
in 35 reviews
"love art"
in 8 reviews
"art lovers"
in 10 reviews

584 - 588 of 797 reviews

Reviewed 26 November 2013

Okay, the building and the area around are very nice, but the collection, let's be honest, it is not that great : it is just a few works, never the most representing one anyway, of every possible style and every possible origin and every possible period. No theme whatsoever, it looks to me as just some people who had money, wanted to buy art, didn't know too much about it, so to play safe, they just bought a little bit of everything what they could lay there hands on, without ever daring to spend a lot on a very special piece ... sorry, but that is how it comes over to me.

Thank Kortenbergtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We are so lucky to have this museum in Houston. It is free but not open on Tuesdays. Not a large museum but always has interesting things to see. Don't miss the Rothko chapel while you are here.

1  Thank Susan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Visited yesterday and really enjoyed it. Ok some of the modern works won't be to everyone's taste but we really liked the surrealism section and I particularly liked the Egyptian mummy paintings too. The juxtaposition of some exhibits was interesting and clever e.g. Roman carved head next to a Maori one and a Native American one.

Well worth a visit plus no entry fee and free parking. A great experience all round.

1  Thank TheBlackWidow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 November 2013

Having read the positive reviews on TA I was really looking forward to this visit. Sadly it did not live up to my expectations. It wasn't all bad - a lot of the art on exhibit is stunning - but overall I would not recommend this place too highly;
1. As you enter the gallery, there are several pieces on display n the reception area. One in particular caught my eye and my husband and I walked over to get a better look. We stood close to the wooden pole that had been placed on the floor to keep a distance but made the mistake of leaning over - a security guard then shouted from across the room "too close ma'am!". I was stunned! We were not at all close to the painting and I had raised my hand to indicate a part of the painting to my husband...what did he think was going to happen? I was pretty dismissive of the guy and he backed right off but the way he shouted loudly from across the room was embarrassing and unnecessary. Perhaps he should have had a little more training on how to behave in a gallery.
2. The exhibit staff could not have looked more bored. Nearly every one was checking their watch, yawning, generally looking uninterested. I also saw them following people when they entered the room. Not sure how they were deciding who should be followed? I saw some of these people looking pretty uncomfortable as these staff members peered over their shoulders. Again, another training issue?
3. The Wols exhibit was wonderful. I really enjoyed this. There was a good array of his works on display.
4. The labelling and description left a lot to be desired. For example, there was a broken pot which was only described as "pot, circa 1000 BC - 200 AD". Really? There was no attempt to give any relevance to the piece - why was it there? Where was it from? Why did the collection feel it relevant to show? I agree that with a lot of art it is important to let the pieces speak for themselves, but with a collection as eclectic as this I feel that more was needed.

Overall, as a free attraction I would say it is worth a visit, but it's probably best not to expect too much. The Wols exhibit is great, but without this there would have been a lot to be positive about.

4  Thank BerkshireMash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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