Arts / Museums

Here Comes 2017 (and 2019)

Houston, City of Museums

BY Catherine D. Anspon // 01.16.15

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.

The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, looking north
The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, looking north

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 

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