828 Mercury Drive
Houston, TX 77013
Phone: (713) 673-4200
Fax: (713) 674-6913
Arts et Musées
Dedicated to preserving the memory of Texans who served in the armed forces, the Military Museum displays uniforms, weapons, equipment, vehicles and other memorabilia that date back to World War II. With a proud motto that states, "Get it out of the junkyard and back in the motorpool," the staff specializes in restoring vehicles, field equipment and pieces of artillery. You will even see a helicopter. Stop by if you are interested in war history, but even if you are not, the majesty of these machines will impress you.
There was a time in our history when the railroad was a major mode of transportation and was used extensively for cargo transport across the country. Songs have even been written and sung about the long, shrill train whistles and the age of the locomotive. Hank Williams and Jimmy Rogers are prime examples of singers who have paid tribute over the years. The museum features old locomotives, railroad cars, artifacts and other equipment for viewing and exploring. Some cars are completely restored to reflect their glory days. Kids love blasting the engine horn as they pass by and climbing around in antique cabooses. The museum is closed during the winter. Call ahead for exact times.
Long before the petrochemical plants and refineries dominated, farmers in the Pasadena area grew strawberries. Indeed, they grew more strawberries than any other city and shipped them all over the country. This historical museum celebrates that past with displays of memorabilia that range from that era to modern times. On the grounds around the museum, you'll see vintage houses and a restored gazebo. One of the houses, Strawberry House, showcases lifestyles from three past decades: the 1900s, 1920s and 1940s.
If you are looking for old Northern Italian architecture and a charmingly designed church, come visit this beautiful chapel known as Villa De Matel Convent. Built in the Lombard Romanesque style by Maurice J. Sullivan in 1928, it was the proudest of his creations. The sisters who decided to build the chapel in the 1920s asked him to create a building that would "be as good in 500 years as on the day of completion". He accomplished exactly that. Located on a sprawling 70 plus acres near South Wayside in southeast Houston, the grounds are home to the Sisters of Charity and Sisters of Incarnate Word private novitiate and mother house.
Spanish-American heritage thrives in Houston, especially in the visual and performing arts. This Latin cultural center, located in the downtown area, is one of the best in the country and sponsors many exciting events and children's programs throughout the year. Young people will learn about the challenges and opportunities life offers and how to use education, healthy relationships, faith and family ties as a strong base for success. Next door is the colorful Guadalupe Park, where both youth and seniors can meet in harmony and discuss different viewpoints.
Over the course of more than two decades, Jefferson Davis McKissack, a Houston postal worker who loved oranges, built The Orange Show one found object at a time. He dreamt it would one day become a major attraction. He died just seven months after opening its doors. Recognizing The Orange Show's importance as one of the finest examples of folk art environments in the U.S., a group of supporters formed the Orange Show Foundation to preserve the monument. They're also responsible for the internationally renowned Art Car Festival. Besides visiting The Orange Show, you can also take one of the Foundations' Eyeopener Tours.
Thankfully, they won't tell forced inane platitudes like "turn that frown upside down" to their patrons, but there is some level of expectation that all troubles will be checked at the door for pick up on the way out. All baggage is strictly the responsibility of the owner. Enter a magical place where indie bands can make a name for themselves, the suggested donation for beer and wine is a mere formality and no one has to feel ashamed to play with their puppets. More than just a bar with live experimental electronic music and underground jazz, this little bungalow also sports a gallery of quirky art to ponder and sock puppets and board games in the living room.
Fotofest Headquarters Gallery is an amalgamation of creativity and modernity. Home to the popular festival, Fotofest (which happens to be the country's largest non-commercial photography exhibition), it attracts hordes of photography enthusiasts throughout the year. Amateurs who want to learn a thing or two about the art of taking good pictures, and professionals who want to experiment with new styles and modes will love to browse through the passel of exhibits and images on display. The gallery is a veritable treat for anyone with even a mild interest in photography. Special events, photography workshops, sessions and classes are lined up by the dozen to acquaint you with this art form. Check the website for more details on current and upcoming events.
This modern gallery, founded in 1973 to honor the late Sarah Campbell Blaffer, 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 current emphasis is on contemporary art of the past century. Previous exhibits have focused on German Expressionism, Vienna Moderne, 20th-century illustrations, and many others.
Since Alex Haley published Roots tracing family trees and history has become a national passion. This museum and bookshop is dedicated to the accomplishments of the African-American community and their cultural contributions to American heritage and history. You will appreciate and enjoy the paintings, creative writings, artifacts and other items on display. Located on Martin Luther King Boulevard near The Shrine of the Black Madonna Church, the museum offers an educational experience that would make Mr. King extremely proud.
Tucked away in the 20-acre Sam Houston Park downtown, you will find an impressive bit of Texas history. Visit the Heritage Society Museum & Tour, which features historical records, then take the outdoor tour of noble buildings restored to their original glory. Pathways lead to an assortment of prestigious homes in Greek and Victorian styles. The 1868 Victorian-style Pilot House also happens to be the site of the city's first indoor kitchen. All the homes on the tour are unique in structure and furnishings. There is also a quaint church built in 1891 by German farmers.
Since 1977, this multicultural education center has tried to help inner-city youth develop self-discipline and confidence through the study of classic and visual arts. Scheduled events include exhibits, art shows and theatrical performances throughout the year. The entire program is designed to give kids a greater appreciation of their heritage and inspire belief in their ability to face the future.