Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Museums
Detail from a work by Robert Pruitt held in the University Museum of Texas Southern University
Among Houston's biggest and most popular destination areas is the Museum District. It's jammed with a variety of world class organizations dedicated to art, culture and history. Of course, not all of the city's museums are inside the district, as our top 10 list shows.
Before we get to the list, here's a note about the museums that aren't on the list. We considered several other organizations including the Funeral Museum, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, the Museum of Printing History, the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and a previous winner in the Best of Awards, the Weather Museum. We decided to look at those and several other smaller museums that focus on one subject in another list.
10. The University Museum at Texas Southern University
3100 Cleburne, 713-313-7145
This is the first time on our list for this university-based museum. With collections such as those of famed painter John Biggers (who started the art department at the Texas State University for Negroes - now Texas Southern University - in 1949), well-known sculptor Carroll Harris Simms, and an impressive African art collection and ongoing touring shows, the museum is much less well known than its University of Houston counterpart but no less an important resource to the community. Recent exhibits include "Traces of Confucius," an extensive look at the life of Chinese philosopher.
9. Children's Museum of Houston
1500 Binz, 713-522-1138
The standing exhibits at the Children's Museum of Houston include the water filled FlowWorks, the indoor/outdoor environmental area with a native plant garden, pond and woodlands known as the EcoStation and the Inventors Workshop. In the past, touring exhibitions have included art from children's books (work from the Dr. Seuss series was recently on display). Performances, guided activities and weekly themed celebrations are scheduled throughout the year.
8. Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts
6815 Cypresswood Drive, Spring, 281-376-6322
We like the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts because while it's a fine arts museum, it has a low-key, family-friendly atmosphere. Dedicated to exhibiting local artists and the private holdings of area collectors, the Pearl Fincher has hosted "Texas Art Quilts," and in its Northwest Houston Collects series, "Selections from the Home of Ginger and Fred Palumbo" and "France." There's a community gallery; past exhibits there include "Ray Sherrod."
7. Holocaust Museum of Houston
5401 Caroline, 713-942-8000
The Holocaust Museum of Houston isn't just a history museum. And it isn't just an art museum. Or just a library. Or just a garden. Those are all covered by the museum's standing exhibition ("Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers," a collection of artifacts, photographs and film footage showing life for Jews and other minorities in pre-war Europe, as well as during the Holocaust and its aftermath) and other permanent facilities. But the museum doesn't focus only on the past. Along with "Never Forget," the museum is equally dedicated to the idea of "Never Again."
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