Just when we thought Dallas was stealing all the visual thunder with that city’s ambitious annual Dallas Arts Fair Week, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston today stepped forth with a bold announcement re: the official unveiling of its $450 capital and endowment campaign toward a transformation of the MFAH as we know it. An impressive $330 has been raised, with $20 million more to go towards yielding a third building, a new Glassell and a center for conservation. (The remaining $100 million builds the endowment.) Read more about architect Steven Holl’s green-focused plan for building three, use of transparent and translucent glass and luminous roof canopy, in our February issue.
Equally exciting is the future Glassell, which replaces the beloved glass-brick ’80s-era structure with a new home for the MFAH school of art and its Core Fellows — get ready for a dramatic sloping green roof, which promises fantastic vistas of the surrounding, re-imagined campus.
Lead gifts came from big-hearted billionaires Fayez Sarofim and Nancy and Rich Kinder, to the tune of respectively $70 and $50 million, guaranteeing naming rights of the campus and third building.
While you’ll have to wait until 2019 for the new Kinder, the Glassell will unveil as soon as fall 2017 — which is also close to the anticipated date for the opening of the Menil’s new $40 million jewel-box Drawing Institute, designed by L.A.-based Johnston Marklee. All this makes the final years of this decade the most exciting time in Houston’s museum history since the early 1970s, a comparable period of vast vision, which saw the completion of the Rothko Chapel (1971), the Upper Brown Pavilion of the MFAH (1974) and the CAMH (1972). #FutureMFAH