Located in Boston, Massachusetts, The Museum of Fine Arts is home to one of the most important collections of art in the world. It has over twenty thousand pieces of art in its permanent collection, displaying a breadth and depth in early American decorative arts, twentieth century European and American art, and English decorative arts. The MFA employs 382 people and is governed by an 87-member board of trustees. It is open every day except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Patriot’s Day.
The museum’s early history is largely credited to the generosity of philanthropist Ima Hogg, who donated her collection of American paintings in 1917. The collection includes works by the artist and from the Houston area. The museum has also received donations from the Southern States Art League and other prominent Houston families. The museum opened its doors in 1924 and soon began to expand its collection. Mies van der Rohe designed the Cullinan Hall and Brown Pavilion buildings, two of the museum’s most famous buildings. Between 1970 and 1989, the collection nearly doubled, with the influx of corporate and personal donations.
The original museum opened in 1884, and a new addition opened in 1926. The museum also expanded in 1968. Eventually, two wings were added to the original building. In 1927, the museum started a school for practicing artists in the east wing. After completing the school, the museum hired Ruth Pershing Uhler, who would become a key influence in the development of the museum until her retirement in 1967. Uhler and Malone helped expand the museum’s educational and research programs, and the glassell School of art was established.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is one of the most prominent cultural institutions in the country. It began as a modest education endeavor in 1900, but has grown to become one of the foremost art organizations in the country. Aside from two art pavilions and two decorative arts centers, the museum also has a sculpture garden, conservation/art storage facility, and studio school. The museum is dedicated to educating the public about art, while simultaneously inspiring local and international artists.
The museum’s name was changed to “The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston” in the 1960s, following the merger between the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the museum’s new name. Under the new name, the museum’s collections have more than tripled in size in the past fifty years. The name is still used to refer to the institution as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has three directors.
The modern and contemporary art department houses nearly one thousand works by artists of both generations. The collection covers almost the entire history of photography, including daguerreotypes, albumen prints, salt prints, and all manner of color photography. In addition to photographs, the museum’s print and drawing department has a comprehensive collection of works on paper, including watercolors, pastels, and artist books. It has one of the largest collections of works by American women.