Open Now
Wed–Sun 11am–7pm
Free Admission
1533 Sul Ross St.
Houston, TX 77006
Open Now
Wed–Sun 11am–7pm
Free Admission
1533 Sul Ross St.
Houston, TX 77006


Selections from the Permanent Collection

Winter 2020
Main Building

The Menil’s growing collection, while not encyclopedic, spans the prehistoric era to the present day. Particular areas of strength include Byzantine art, West and Central African art, Surrealism, and 20th and 21st century American and European art. On September 22, 2018, the museum reopened with a year-long permanent collection initiative featuring many of the museum’s most well-known paintings and sculptures, as well as recent acquisitions and other works and promised gifts that have never before been on view in the museum. The installations will be changed several times over the course of the year-long period.

The opening installation in the African art galleries features more than 60 masks, figural sculptures and shrines, and vessels from regions of West and Central Africa. Introducing the galleries is a new presentation of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that explore the shared histories Africa and Europe after 15th century.

The gallery for the arts of the Pacific Islands showcases masks, body ornaments, textiles, prestige objects, ceremonial and utilitarian sculptures, and musical instruments from the regions of Polynesia and Melanesia.

The presentation of Medieval to Early Modern art (5th to 18th centuries) is designed around a central room devoted to the Menil’s celebrated collection of Byzantine icons. The icons range in date from the 6th to the 18th centuries and represent three distinct cultures: Greek, Balkan, and Russian.

Works from the Mediterranean, North Africa, Near and Middle East, and Asia comprise the Arts of the Ancient World galleries. Organized according to cultural regions and periods, singular works from ancient Egypt and Greece, the Etruscan civilization, the Cyclades Islands, and the provinces of the Roman Empire highlight the visual histories of human civilizations spanning millennia.

The galleries devoted to the Menil’s iconic Surrealist collection have been expanded, yet retain the intimate domestic scale expected by visitors. The new installation includes entire rooms devoted to individual artists: Max Ernst (1891–1976), Victor Brauner (1903–66), Joseph Cornell (1903–72) and René Magritte (1898–1967).

Go behind the scenes with Director Rebecca Rabinow and curators Michelle White and Paul R. Davis to learn more about the process of reinstalling an entire museum building over the course of several months.


Dan, Wee, or neighboring peoples
Akan peoples
Alamblak peoples
Amhara or Tigrigna peoples
Amhara peoples
Antimenes Painter
Antiphon Painter
Attributed to Giuseppe Arcimboldi
Asmat peoples
Australian Aboriginal peoples
Baga peoples
Baining peoples
Bamana peoples
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Baule peoples
Jean Frédéric Bernard
Lee Bontecou
François van der Borght
John Chamberlain
William Christenberry, Sr.
François Clouet
René Crevel
Dan peoples
N. De Fer
André Pieyre de Mandiargues
Walter De Maria
Mark di Suvero
Dogon peoples
Charles Eames
Edo peoples
Elema peoples
Ewe peoples
Fang peoples
Gallo Gallina
Robert Gober
Gola peoples
Haida peoples
Joseph Havel
Heiltsuk peoples
Michael Heizer
Iatmul peoples
Iroquois peoples
Jukun-speaking peoples
Kete peoples
Edward Kienholz
Kongo peoples
Kono peoples
Joseph Kosuth
Kuba peoples
Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw peoples
Lake Sentani peoples
René Lalique
Léna Leclercq
Lega peoples
Léonard Limosin
Andrew Lord
Jim Love
Madak peoples
Mahafaly peoples
Mande peoples
Maori peoples
Gabriel Mathias
Roberto Matta
Antoine Maurin
Mayan culture
James Merrill
George Morland
Mossi peoples
Nalu peoples
Max Neuhaus
Ni-Vanuatu peoples
François de Nomé
Nuu-chah-nulth peoples
Obamba peoples
Robyn O'Neil
Joe Overstreet
Papua New Guinean
Pende peoples
Francis Picabia
Bernard Picart
Pre-Bembe peoples
Pre-Columbian culture
Kenneth Price
Rapa Nui peoples
Robert Rauschenberg
Pierre Raymond
Larry Rivers
Sakalava peoples
Sawos peoples
Guido Schindler
Kurt Schwitters
Willie Seaweed
George Segal
Richard Serra
Songye peoples
Suka peoples
Sulka peoples
Dorothea Tanning
Ticuna peoples
Tlingit peoples
Cy Twombly
Unidentified Psychiatric Patient
Vili-Kongo peoples
Andy Warhol
Daria C. Williams
Yoruba peoples
Yup'ik peoples