Dave Barry once defined public art as "art that is purchased by experts who are not spending their own personal money." But despite the occasional opprobrium it invites—Richard Serra's scary-looking Tilted Arc was famously removed from New York City's Federal Plaza after public complaints—there seems to be no slackening of demand for showpiece art, from either the public or private sector.

For the purpose of this list, we define a public sculpture as a piece that is free and accessible 24 hours a day—disqualifying the MFAH's sculpture garden and most indoor art. Did we leave your favorite sculpture off the list? Disagree with one of our choices? Leave a comment on the slideshow or tweet your suggestions to @houstoniamag!