The Menil Collection
What do you do when you have too much fine art to handle? If you’re renowned art collectors John and Dominique de Menil, you open your own museum, hence The Menil Collection (1515 Sul Ross St., 713/525-9400, www.menil.org, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Wed.–Sun., free, parking at 1515 W. Alabama St.). Located in the middle of the city’s museum district, the Menil is an ideal place to spend a few hours soaking up some magnificent art spanning many ages.
The Menils, who brought a vast fortune from their native France to America in the 1940s, left a legacy of approximately 15,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and rare books. Most of the works are modern with an emphasis on the surrealist movement, but there are also African pieces and works from the Byzantine period on display.
Be sure to check around each nook and cranny since some of the museum’s most rewarding experiences are in solitary areas where artwork and gardens are bathed in natural light.
The Menil compound also includes several noteworthy structures near the main museum building. Make time for the octagonal Rothko Chapel and the beautiful Byzantine Fresco Chapel.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition