Culture and Houston are not words you often hear in the same sentence or associate with each other, however, once again, common perceptions were proven to mean nothing.
Houston’s Museum District is choc full of cultural riches boasting no less than 19 museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Contemporary Arts Museum, a Children’s Museum and The Center for photography, all located alongside Hermann park with avenues of statues and sculptures, not to mention Houston’s very own zoo. With time running out on our last day in the city, we shortlisted the Fine Arts museum, as well as a stop at the Waterwall en route, as our must do's.
The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall park is a large, public park in Uptown Houston, featuring a 64-foot water fountain.
11,000 gallons of water are re-circulated per minute and cascade down the semi-circular structures’ inner and outer walls – mesmerizing to watch as the mist cools your legs as you egde closer to it.
In the July heat it was all too tempting to dive in.
But rules are rules so we settled on the shade of nearby trees for relief…and a quick game of hide and seek.
Next stop, art gallery! Back when I worked in Soho in Central London I often spent my lunchbreak wandering the impressionist rooms at the National Gallery, escaping the madness of the city in Monet and Menoir’s serene paintings. I’d read that Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts had an impressive collection of impressionist pieces and couldn’t wait to be reunited with works from some of my favorite artists.
We entered via the Shadow Monsters Insallation before continuing through James Turrel’s light tunnel designed to link the gallery's two main buildings. More than a passage, The Light Inside is a piece of artwork itself. The raised walkway makes you feel like your floating in space (maybe I had astronauts on the mind) whilst the changing light on the tunnel walls plays with your imagination creating an optical illusion.
Emerging on the other side we headed upstairs to the Impressionist wing. It’s rare to have a gallery of this caliber to yourself, yet late on a Sunday afternoon that’s exactly what we experienced, wandering through room after room with nothing more than walls lined with world famous works for company.
Van Gogh, Miro, Monet, Picasso, Monet, Cezanne, Turner, Degas, Matisse…the list goes on. It was difficult to tear ourselves away as the museum closed for the night.
London's National Gallery still holds the number 1 spot in my heart but MOFA Houston gives it a serious run for it’s money. If you're ever in the area, make sure you don't miss it.