The Museum’s collection of European art comprises important paintings and sculpture from the 13th to early 20th century. The expansive galleries include ivories and sculpture from the late Middle Ages, panel paintings and bronzes from the Renaissance, and paintings and sculpture from the 17th to 19th centuries. The Museum began to build a collection of Old Master and 19th-century paintings as early as the 1920s and 1930s, and local interest in European art soon grew dramatically. Generous gifts from private collections in the next two decades were instrumental to growing the MFAH collection, and in the 1970s, increased acquisition funds allowed the Museum to focus on individual works of great quality.

Get to know your Museum through 45-minute, docent-led tours that spotlight this area of the Museum’s collections.

Drop in! Gallery tours are free with Museum admission. On Thursdays, Museum admission is free, courtesy of Shell.


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.