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Blaffer Art Museum was founded in 1973 to honor the late Sarah Campbell Blaffer. It offers educational programs and exhibits for both University of Houston students and the public. Showings in the gallery change regularly, and many periods of history have been exhibited over the years. The emphasis is on contemporary art of the past century. Previous exhibits have focused on German Expressionism, Vienna Moderne, 20th-century illustrations, and many others.
The selection of exhibits at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts covers both modern and ancient art and represents the talent of artists from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. You will find Frederic Remington's fine Western art mingling with medieval pieces and the work of early European masters. Paintings are abundant, but the lovely sculpture garden here is also worth viewing. Both the Glassell School of Art and the Hirsch Library for Art History call this museum home. Film buffs love the museum for its weekly showings of classic and foreign films. A gift shop and restaurant are both on hand to satisfy your hunger after a day of exploring.
Those who appreciate the European decorative arts will eventually find their way to this mansion in the River Oaks district. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and tall trees on five acres (2.02 hectares), the mansion is elegantly furnished in the Italian, English and Roman styles. Although the estate is now part of the Museum of Fine Arts, it was originally owned by the local Masterson family who hired architect John F. Staub in the 1950s to design a modern version of an Italian country estate. The exhibits at this museum range from 17th and mid-19th Century artifacts that were originally part of the Mastersons' enviable art collection. Admittance is by reservation only. Call to schedule a guided, peaceful tour through a contemporary palace.