The original MFAH building, a “temple for art” designed by William Ward Watkin in the Neoclassical style, opened in 1924. Additions by Watkin and Houston architect Kenneth Franzheim, plus two major expansions by internationally renowned Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, followed. With the 1974 dedication of the Mies-designed Brown Pavilion, the Museum more than doubled its space. The New York Times declared it “one of Mies’s most stunning spaces.”

Today, the original Museum building and its additions—now called the Caroline Wiess Law Building—showcase special exhibitions as well as the MFAH collections of African, Islamic, and Pre-Columbian art; the arts of China, India, Japan, and Korea; and the Glassell Collections of African, Pre-Columbian, and Indonesian gold.

Discover architectural and artistic treasures on this 45-minute tour of the Law Building.

Drop in! Gallery tours are free with Museum admission.


Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from the Sterling-Turner Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; ExxonMobil; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Occidental Petroleum; Leslie and Brad Bucher; Houston Junior Woman's Club; Mr. and Mrs. Melbern G. Glasscock; The Windgate Charitable Foundation; the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; Mr. William J. Hill; and the Susan Vaughan Foundation.