Escape the Heat with Houston’s Summer Museum Exhibits

Be cool at these hot shows.

By Jenae Sitzes June 8, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

These Museum District exhibits are worth putting on your radar any time of year. That said, they're also an excuse to escape the heat and humidity for a few hours.

Museum of Natural Science


Learn about the misunderstood, threatened shark at this exhibition. Visitors can interact with sharks at the museum's "touch tank," view skin, skales and teeth at a biology lab, learn about the extinct Megalodon shark and more. Through Sept. 7

Pricing: $25 for adults, $20 for children, $20 for seniors (62+) and $5 for museum members.

Museum of Fine Arts

Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections

This summer, the MFAH hosts more than 90 Habsburg masterworks, many having left Austria for the first time in their existence. See artworks by Caravaggio, Rubens, Titian and many more. June 14 through Sept. 13

Regular Pricing: $18 for adults; $13 for youths (13–17) and seniors (65+); free for children under 12 and museum members; $10 for member guests

Thursday pricing: $10 for adults, youths and seniors; free for children under 12

Children's Museum

KLUTZ Amazingly Immature

The KLUTZ exhibit embraces kids' “inner zany genius,” keeping them busy with activities that will introduce them to science, engineering, math and literacy in a fun way. After KLUTZ leaves Houston early next year, it will travel to 15 cities across the country. Through Jan. 5, 2016


At this exhibit, children immerse themselves in the culture of Yalálag, a mountain village in Oaxaca, Mexico, through craftwork, art and role play. One of the museum’s original exhibits, Yalálag was recently given a facelift, with a new market and huaracheríaThrough Nov. 6, 2016

Pricing: $10 for adults and children, $9 for seniors (65+) and military, free for museum members and on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m.

Contemporary Arts Museum

Perspectives 189: From the Margins

See drawings, photography, sculptures and other works from 48 local teen artists in response to questions like, “What does marginalization look like and feel like? Does it have a sound? What does it produce? Can we prevent marginalization? Are its outcomes always negative?” This 9th biennial youth art exhibition gives teenage artists a platform to express their views on personal, social and political issues. Through July 19

Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty

Minter’s exhibit challenges perceptions of fashion and beauty that women face today and gives a woman’s take on a male-driven industry that presents only flawless, Photoshopped women as beautiful. The exhibition, which spans over 30 years of Minter’s works, explores the dirty side of beauty through paintings, photographs and videos. Through Aug. 2

Whispering Bayou

Aiming to transform the “memories and histories of the city into a metaphorical, virtual bayou,” this multi-media exhibit will bring together the work of Houston artist Carroll Parrott Blue, French composer/ video artist Jean-Baptiste Barrieré, improvisational jazz trombonist George E. Lewis, and maybe you—the exhibition will also utilize videos submitted by Houstonians. Visit the exhibit’s website for information on how to contribute. Aug. 1 through Nov. 1

Pricing: All exhibits at the Contemporary Arts Museum are free.

Houston Holocaust Museum

Soul Survivors

Through forensic art drawings by Lois Gibson of the Houston Police Department, Houston-area Holocaust survivors remember the faces of their loved ones who perished. These composite art drawings were created from the memories of the survivors, allowing them to visually express their loss and show younger family members the faces of their ancestors. July 10 through Sept. 13

The Art of Gaman

When former President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, they were given only a few days to settle their business and personal lives and pack up. As a result, many lost everything. The Art of Gaman displays more than 120 art pieces made by Japanese-Americans in internment camps as they struggled to make sense of their situation and “endure the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity,” known by the Japanese as gamanThrough Sept. 20

Pricing: $12 general admission; $8 for AARP members, seniors (65+) and active-duty military; free for museum members, children under 6 and college students with valid school ID. Free every Thursday from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Health Museum

Eat Well, Play Well

This exhibit will answer all your food and fitness questions, offering visitors inspiration for staying active every day, even with that busy 9-to-5 schedule. Through Sept. 7

Pricing: $9 for adults, $7 for children (ages 3 to 12) and seniors (65+), and free for museum members, children under 2 and on Thursdays.

Houston Museum of African American Culture

Leaving Mississippi: Reflections on Heroes and Folklore

Najee Dorsey’s collection of mixed-media works depicts heroes of the civil rights movement, with themes of civil disobedience and the search for a better life. Through July 12

Works on Paper by Benito Huerta

Texas artist Benito Huerta draws inspiration from the Realist movement, using familiar iconography in conjunction with modern techniques to share his views on politics, war, Mexican culture and more. The show includes drawings, watercolors and prints. Through Aug. 16

Pricing: $5 for adults and $3 for children (12 and under) and seniors (60+)

The Menil Collection

Barnett Newman: The Late Work

By incorporating the viewer into his art, Barnett Newman rejected the traditional Western European style of painting external subjects and tried to capture our feelings and inner lives in his art. The Menil’s exhibit of Newman’s work is the first to focus on his final years. Through Aug. 2

Takis: The Fourth Dimension

Closing the gap between art and science, Takis incorporates electromagnetism and other “invisible energies” into his three-dimensional works in intriguing ways. Through July 26

Pricing: All exhibits at the Menil are free.

Photo Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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