The Menil Collection
The Menil Collection
4.5
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
Houston philanthropists and art patrons John and Dominique de Menil established the Menil Foundation in 1954 to foster greater public understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, culture, religion, and philosophy. In 1987, the Menil Collection’s main museum building opened to the public. Today, the Menil Collection consists of a group of five art buildings and green spaces located within a residential neighborhood. The Menil remains committed to its founders’ belief that art is essential to human experience and fosters direct personal encounters with works of art. The museum welcomes all visitors free of charge to its buildings and surrounding green spaces.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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  • N0rmalee
    Bossier City, Louisiana655 contributions
    Good stop!
    This is a group of several buildings within easy walking distance with plenty of free street parking as well as a lot at 1515 W Alabama near the bistro restaurant. We really enjoyed the main building on Sul Ross, not big fans of the Cy Twombly stuff, I guess we are unsophisticated because it mostly looked like somebody doodling on paper while on the phone or something. Some really interesting items in the collection, several Pablo Picasso paintings, a number of Andy Warhol pieces, some 6th century BC works. Admission is free but they do like you to go online and print a timed ticket. But they are really flexible on that. We had tickets for Sunday at 11 but our plans changed and we called to ask if we could come on Friday afternoon and that was fine with them. It wasn’t crowded but they do require masks and provide the disposable kind at the entrance. Very nice staff, recommend a stop.
    Visited March 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 4, 2022
  • katiepenney
    Galway, Ireland257 contributions
    Gem of a museum
    Small, well designed museum that is free. there is a great collection of surreal artists (Magritte, Ernst, Lam etc). A small collection of Greece pots and ceramics. A terrific African sculpture and masks and some other more modern things that were not noteworthy to me. The building is lovely and small enough that you don't get tired. There are a lot of people hovering around watching you (no photos etc) but they were friendly (but couldn't answer questions about the art). Altogether a great little museum. Gift shop was in a separate building and had a lot of books and puzzles.
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 10, 2023
  • Ron S
    New York City, New York5,345 contributions
    The Menil Collection
    Very good collection, well structured and organized. Rene Magritte and Max Ernst are nicely presented. Photography is not allowed. The museum's store is located across the street offering very good selection of art books.
    Visited March 2021
    Written March 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
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Excellent
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Average
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Poor
14
Terrible
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m0m0plenty
Kingwood, TX7 contributions
Feb 2020
The Menil is free to the public and has free parking, so it is definitely worth checking out. That being said, it houses a wide, odd assortment of 'art', including unsettling depictions of the human form. I visited with my husband and our youngest child, and I decided to steer our 5 yr old away from the photography and toward the more traditional pieces.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lreynolds04
18 contributions
Dec 2019
I really wanted to enjoy the Menil Collection...but I just couldn't. This may be in part to the fact that I have a difficult time seeing the art in two large black canvases on opposing walls, or splattered paint that looks like something anybody could do.

This review is for the main building only. We lost complete interest here, which is a shame.

And YES. I know that much of the art is about the artist behind it and they process and mindset they were in when the art was created. But how about including a description next to the exhibit, or leaflet, that explains this. Then I, and I'm sure others, would be able to appreciate it more.

The prehistoric artifacts were interesting, but yet again, little information regarding their provenance other than their native origin and the fact that they are definitely not in their homeland anymore.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mjsheridan130
New York City, NY242 contributions
Oct 2020
I was just disappointed with my experience. While it is great this museum is free, and the architecture of the buildings and grounds are nice, I wasn't impressed with how the space was curated. The items are confusing arranged with unclear reasoning and none of the art has any explanation plaques or further information. Beyond the title of the work and the artist name you have no other information about the piece. I also was under the impression this was mainly a modern art museum, however while it did have some impressive examples of post war art, most of the museum was full of objects around the world such as Africa or Polynesia. While this isn't bad in itself, it definitely wasn't what I was expecting or led to believe.
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leza H
London, UK657 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
I’d rate this as a must see whilst here especially if you’re art fans. The collection is wonderful and beautifully lit and laid out, if only every art museum was this aware of its lighting. No photos inside the galleries as they don’t want a distraction of camera phones disturbing visitor enjoyment which I think is a great idea. Visit some of the other gallery buildings on the same site but call ahead to see if they are open. A couple were closed due to covid related staff shortages when we were here. Wear masks for entry.
Written March 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jo M
Rogers, AR36 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
This was a great visit. There was a wide variety of modern art. The collection of ancient artifacts was very well- curated. We were only able to visit the main building, but will visit the others on our next visit into the city.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vince G
Spring, TX6 contributions
Jul 2022
Pro’s: Interesting collection, free.

Con’s: I’ve never been to a museum before (and I’ve been to plenty) that had so much security – a person in every room. They follow you around and watch you continuously. I’d be contemplating a piece of art and turn around to see someone contemplating me. It was unnerving. If you like being under constant surveillance, with a pair of eyes following your every move, then go for it. I didn’t particularly care for the experience and made my way out pretty quickly.
Written July 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

njgramps
NJ329 contributions
Jan 2022
The sculpture and antiquities were quite interesting. Most of the museum is devoted to modern art so if you are a modern art lover you will enjoy yourself here. There is one building set aside for the works of one artist whose "works" seemed too simplistic to me. The museum has guards in every room so don't do anything untoward. The neighborhood has some unique older house that are worth walking by.
Written February 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amybowie_MI
Michigan147 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
This is a really nice way to spend the afternoon with a very diverse collection of art. My husbands and my favorite room was the one with the byzantine icons and artifacts and it’s glorious. They have some very famous artist here including Picasso and Rothko and it doesn’t hurt that this is free with a suggested donation. The museum itself is quite striking.
Written July 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LaBu
San Francisco, California240 contributions
Feb 2022
The Menil Collection is not a single building; rather, an ensemble of buildings scattered among grassy lawns dotted with large-scale sculptures. There is the main museum building, a building for drawings, buildings devoted exclusively to Cy Twombly and Dan Flavin, a bookstore, and the Bistro Menil. Organizationally separate but only a couple of blocks away is the Rothko Chapel. One can easily spend a delightful day in the area, and we did.

The artwork is beautifully displayed in a minimalist, white-walled style. We particularly enjoyed the ancient, African and Pacific Islands collections and the Flavin light installation.

Apart from the art, the Menil Collection is worth visiting for its architecture. The main museum building and the Drawing Institute, both by Renzo Piano, are stunning.
Written February 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ziggy
5 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
I went to the Menil with my daughter for Father’s Day. I was describing to her something I noticed in one of the art pieces when a rude female staff member chewed me out for pointing. She said I could stand as close as I wanted to look, but if I used my finger to point at anything, I had to be at least two feet away. We were insulted so we left. Much of the artwork is ridiculous or depressing. The only thing good about the museum is its air conditioning. Maybe if I pointed my middle finger at the staff on my way out they’d get the picture.
Written June 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Menil Collection - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about The Menil Collection

The Menil Collection is open:
  • Wed - Sun 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
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