Today in Texas History – April 12

From the Annals of Fine Art –   In 1924, the Houston  Museum of Fine Arts opened to the public. The MFA claims to be the oldest art museum in the state of Texas.  That claim is disputed by the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art.  The museum site was dedicated in 1917 by the Houston Public School Art League (later the Houston Art League) with the intention of becoming a public art museum. The original neo-classical building was designed in phases by architect William Ward Watkin. The original Caroline Wiess Law building was opened in 1924 and the east and west wing were added in 1926. The museum has continually expanded over the years with the addition of the Robert Lee Blaffer Memorial Wing in 1953, Cullinan Hall in 1958 and the Brown Pavilion in 1974.  The Brown Pavilion is the only Mies van der Rohe museum building in the U.S.  IN 2000, the MFA expanded dramatically with the addition of the Audrey Jones Beck Building which added 158,000 feet of exhibition space for major traveling exhibits.

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