Stringing Houston’s Art Pearls

  • Arts & Culture
  • 2015

Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is a complex of multiple buildings, quite disparate, strewn across 14 acres: an original neoclassical structure, two Mies van der Rohe additions erected in the ’50s and ’70s, a 1986 sculpture garden, and a windowless tomb built in 2000. To link and unify all of this, the museum announced in 2015 that it would erect two connective buildings. These will accommodate the near doubling in two decades of objects owned by the museum, improve patron services, put parking underground, and rationalize the campus. The effort will cost $350 million, and an additional $100 million will be raised for an endowment to support the new facilities. Museum board chairman Rich Kinder and his wife, Nancy, donated $50 million to the effort, Kinder’s investment partner Fayez Sarofim put up $70 million, 11 other donors provided $10 million gifts, and there were 40 additional gifts of at least a million dollars—all of this before the fundraising campaign was even complete.

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