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Closed Now
Wed–Sun 11am–7pm
Free Admission
1533 Sul Ross St.
Houston, TX 77006
713-525-9400
Closed Now
Wed–Sun 11am–7pm
Free Admission
1533 Sul Ross St.
Houston, TX 77006
713-525-9400

Menil

Menil Drawing Institute

The Menil Drawing Institute will open its doors to the public as an unprecedented space dedicated to the exhibition, conservation, and study of modern and contemporary drawings. In understanding drawing as central to the lives of artists and crucial to artistic culture, this new building on the Menil campus will provide an intimate setting for the public to interact with the drawing collection, while allowing for an expansive commitment to interdisciplinary programming. The Drawing Institute is yet another chapter in the Menil’s sustained commitment to artists, Houston, and art as a common language.

In recognition that the Menil’s artist-centered environment and growing collection of works on paper offered a singular opportunity, the Drawing Institute was established in 2008. Since then, it has developed a national profile for exhibitions, scholarship, and collaboration. The important traveling exhibitions Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective (2012) and Lee Bontecou: Drawn Worlds (2014), as well as the multiple-volume catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jasper Johns have all been organized under the auspices of the Drawing Institute.

In anticipation of this remarkable new facility, The Beginning of Everything: Drawings from the Janie C. Lee, Louisa Stude Sarofim, and David Whitney Collections will be on view from February 24–June 18, 2017. With works spanning from the mid-19th to late 20th century, the exhibition will explore a range of narratives and art histories from the possibility of experimentation inherent to the medium to the role of drawing in artistic and art historical research. The Beginning of Everything will present promised gifts from the collections of Janie C. Lee and Louisa Stude Sarofim, as well as works from David Whitney’s 2005 bequest in celebration of the profound generosity of these three trustees and patrons.

Time-lapse video of Menil Drawing Institute building construction as of March 16, 2017. Watch the live feed here.

Johnston Marklee

In 2012, after a year-long international search for an architect to design the Menil Drawing Institute, the Menil selected the Los Angeles-based firm Johnston Marklee. Founded in 1998 by Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, the firm has undertaken residential, commercial, and institutional projects and exhibition environments worldwide, with a particular focus on the arts and collaborations with artists. Notable projects, often designed to take advantage of their site, include writers-in-residence facilities for the Lannan Foundation in Marfa, Texas; View House, Rosario, Argentina; Hill House, Pacific Palisades, California; and Helios House, Los Angeles. Distinguished by its respect for the landscape and the residential scale of the Menil’s campus, the firm’s approach reflects an ingenuity in adapting these characteristics to serve the multiple purposes of the MDI.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

The Menil campus is undergoing renovations by the distinguished landscape architecture firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates that will truly transform the outdoor experience of the Menil grounds. This lauded firm has created environmentally sustainable and experientally rich places across a wide range of scales, with projects including Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House, the High Line in New York City, and the Lower Don Lands project in Toronto. With regards to the Menil campus, Michael Van Valkenburgh and his team are emphasizing local vegetation which responds to the quiet elegance of the Menil campus architecture.