The Menil Collection is an art museum started by the Menils, who were French. The wife, Dominique de Menil was the daughter of Conrad Schlumberger, founder of Schlumberger oil services company, which has a headquarters in Sugarland/Missouri City. She and her husband John de Menil came to Houston after WWII and her father put her husband in charge of Schlumberger’s overseas operations. They were avid art collectors and philanthropists who promoted the arts in Houston. The museum was created to showcase and preserve their private art collection.
This is a decent sized museum with a varied collection of art from around the globe. Knowing that all of the works of art belong to just this one family make it all the more impressive. The museum has artwork and ancient arts from Greek, Roman, Medieval/Byzantine, African, Oceanic, and Northwest American cultures, with some Asian works. Most impressive was a long wooden table from 1500’s Europe. It was a rich dark color and you could see the age and wear of the table; the rougher, but high quality craftsmanship of the day, and all the details of wear and usage over time. What surprised me was this antique was just out in the open in the hallway exhibit space. You would think a 500-year-old antique would be more protected, like in a glass case or sectioned off. It was just neatly displayed with plaques explaining the art, but there was no glass case or ropes sectioning it off. Absolutely nothing. So you could get up real close to scrutinize the detail and see how it was put together. Awesome! Some other things of note were the Byzantine and Egyptian art. The artwork was done on wool or cloth and from thousands of years ago. Most of it has deteriorated but you can still see the painting. Wow.
這個藝術館不小。有希臘， 羅馬，歐洲中世紀, 非洲，亞洲，太平洋，和美國西北民族的藝術作品。藝術館很信任參觀者。有一張舊長桌展覽在走廊。這張桌子有500年歷史，但藝術館沒有用欄杆或玻璃隔開參觀者。你可以走到桌子旁邊仔細看看桌子的detail。 我覺得拜佔庭和埃及的畫也很有趣。這些畫有幾百或一千多年歷史。有些畫在一塊木板上，有些畫在布上。 每幅畫都有部分霉爛了，但是都可以看到畫家畫的畫。
This museum is a definite must see in Houston for art and history/culture buffs. There’s some really cool stuff here that is worth checking out. A quick tour might take 30-45mins, and if you really stop and admire the works of art it might take 2+ hours. The fact that it is free is a real plus and makes it easy on the budget.
If you go/旅遊資料:
Address/地址: 1515 Sul Ross St., Houston TX 77006
Free Parking/免費停車: 1515 West Alabama St.
Hours/開放時間: Wed-Sun 11am-7pm
Free Times/免費時間: Always free!! 不收門票
Check out my Houston Museum Guide for reviews of more museums.