Window to the Web
Houston’s Museum District Day is August 18
Many people would be surprised to learn that Houston’s Museum District contains eighteen different museums that appeal to a broad range of interests.
The intimate Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum (www.menil.org/byzantine.html) is the U. S. repository for 13th century intact Byzantine frescoes. Located at 4011 Yupon St Houston, TX 77006, the museum is open with free admission Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. (closed Monday and Tuesday) For information, call (713) 521-3990.
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (www.camh.org) presents new art in an unusual stainless steel building located at 5216 Montrose Blvd Houston, TX 77006-6598. Admission is free, and hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday; 10 am to 9 pm Thursday; and noon to 5 pm on Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Call (713) 284-8250 for more information.
The Holocaust Museum Houston (www.hmh.org) teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy to tens of thousands of people worldwide who visit each year. Located at 5401 Caroline St Houston, TX 77004, the museum has free admission and is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. On Saturday and Sunday the hours are noon to 5 pm, and there are free guided tours. Dial (713) 942-8000 to reach them, or schedule tours for 10 or more by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (www.crafthouston.org) at 4848 Main Street Houston, TX 77002, provides a venue for and major emphasis on objects of art made primarily of fiber, metal, glass, clay and wood. This museum has free admission Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. It’s closed on Mondays, and can be reached at (713) 529-4848.
The Houston Center for Photography’s mission is to increase society's understanding and appreciation of photography and its evolving role in contemporary culture. You can visit them on-line at www.hcponline.org or1441 W Alabama St Houston, TX 77006-4103. Admission is free Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 5 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 pm. HCP is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, and can be reached at (713) 529-4755.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science (www.hmns.org) houses the Burke Baker Planetarium, Wortham IMAX Theatre, and the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Their permanent and traveling exhibits examine astronomy, space science, Native Americans, paleontology, energy, chemistry, gems and minerals, seashells, and Texas wildlife. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, and Tuesday from 9 am to 8 pm, it’s located at One Hermann Circle Drive Houston, TX 77030 and can be reached by phone at (713) 639-4629.
The Lawndale Art Center (www.lawndaleartcenter.org) displays contemporary works in all media, and is unique in its focus on Houston area artists. Located at 4912 Main Street Houston, TX 77002, the center is open with free admission Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday from noon to 5 pm. It’s closed on Sunday; call (713) 528-5858 for more information.
The Children's Museum of Houston (www.cmhouston.org) offers 14 galleries of hands-on exhibits and innovative outreach programming for children ages birth to 12 years. Located at 1500 Binz St Houston, TX 77004, this museum is open on Mondays for the summer, through Labor Day. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 pm on Sunday, with free admission from 5 to 8 pm on Thursday. Call (713) 522-1138 for membership information.
The Health Museum (www.thehealthmuseum.org) serves as an interactive science learning center. It’s open at 1515 Hermann Dr Houston, TX 77004 on Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Admission is free every Thursday from 2 to 5 pm. Call (713) 521-1515 about special exhibits or membership information.
The John C. Freeman Weather Museum (www.weathermuseum.org) is the first and only museum of its kind in the nation, founded in April 2006 and operated by meteorologists. It’s normally open at 5104 Caroline St Houston, TX 77004 on Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday from noon to 4 pm. Call (713) 529-3076 for admission and guided tour fees. Admission is free every Thursday from noon to 4 pm.
The Menil Collection (www.menil.org) houses one of the most important privately assembled collections of the twentieth century, comprised of 15,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs and rare books. Admission is free at 1515 Sul Ross Street Houston, TX 77006 on Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. The collection is closed Monday and Tuesday.
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (www.mfah.org) is one of the largest art museums in America, with more than 300,000 square feet of space devoted to the display of art and a collection containing over 55,000 works of art. Two of the four buildings on the main campus are the Law and Beck Buildings at 1001 Bissonnet Street Houston, TX 77005. The Museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday from 10 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday from 12:15 to 7 pm. The museum is normally closed on Mondays, except some holidays, and admission is free all day on Thursdays. Call (713) 639-7300 for general information, (713) 639-7390 for hearing impaired, and (713) 639-7319 to arrange special needs tours.
The Rothko Chapel functions as a chapel, a museum and a forum, providing a place where religion, art and architecture intermingle. The chapel (www.rothkochapel.org) has free admission, and is open every day of the year from 10 am to 6 pm at 1409 Sul Ross Street Houston, TX 77006. For more information, call (713) 524-9839.
The Houston Zoo (www.houstonzoo.org) is planning its Unity Day Celebration on August 18 to coincide with Museum District Day, and free entertainment and activities are planned at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park, beginning at 11 am. Click and print the half-price coupon at www.houstonzoo.org/en/cev/?37 to save on admissions to the Zoo for up to 6 adults or children from 10 am to 3 pm. Over 1.5 million people visit the 4500 animals at the zoo each year. The Houston Zoo is adjacent to the Miller Outdoor Theater at 1513 N Macgregor Dr Houston, TX 77030-1603, and is open every day except Christmas Day. For information, call (713) 533-6500.
Three additional destinations in the Museum District which do not participate in this special event include the following:
The Jung Center Of Houston (www.cgjunghouston.org) offers classes in the fields of psychology, philosophy, the humanities, religion and the expressive arts. The gallery is free to the public at 5200 Montrose Blvd Houston, TX 77006, and is open Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 7:30 pm; Friday from 9 am to 5 pm; and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. The Center is closed on Sunday. Call (713) 524-8253 for their program catalog.
The Rice University Art Gallery (www.ricegallery.org) invites contemporary artists to create new installations on-site at Sewall Hall, Rice University, 6100 Main Street Houston, TX 77005. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm, and Sunday from noon to 5 pm with free admission and access for the disabled. Their Summer Window Series runs from June through August, and the gallery is closed on Mondays and all University holidays. Call (713) 348-6069 for more information.
Museum District Day is a wonderful opportunity to explore the diverse displays of art, science, nature and history, and enjoy the special exhibitions, hands-on activities, refreshments, demonstrations and performances planned by these museums. There is a map of all the locations, as well as Metro Rail and bus routes serving the Museum District at houstonmuseumdistrict.org/default.asp?id=70. But if you’re unable to attend on August 18, check out the list of “free and easy” opportunities available for other days at houstonmuseumdistrict.org/default.asp?Mode=DirectoryDisplay&id=79&DirectoryUseAbsoluteOnSearch=True. It’s well worth the effort to visit them and see what they have to offer.
Beverly Rosenbaum, a HAL-PC member, is a 1999 and 2000 Houston Press Club “Excellence in Journalism” award winner. She can be reached at email@example.com.