Take a guided tour of exhibits on the history of printing, from ancient clay tablets to modern presses and more at the Printing Museum in Montrose.
Reopened after a 2016 fire, the Printing Museum explores the history and impact of the printed word and image, from the invention of paper and moveable type, the struggle for a free press in the early United States, major advancements in the 20th century, and the continued impact and relevance of print in the modern world.
The museum itself boasts multiple galleries featuring permanent and temporary exhibitions, a theater, gift shop, and letterpress, bookbinding, lithography, and paper-making studios.
Founded by four professional printers—Raoul Beasley, Vernon P. Hearn, Don Piercy, and J. V. Burnham—in 1979, the museum became an outlet for sharing their passion and preserving their vast collections.
Through its hands-on programming and guided tours, the Printing Museum continues to illuminate with its vast permanent collection, along with workshops and exhibitions for kids and adults.
The Printing Museum’s Collections
Featuring antique printing presses, rare books, prints, and historic newspapers, visitors will have the opportunity to experience ways that people have used printing technologies to transform our collective lives.
From the invention of paper and moveable type to the struggle for a free press in the young American Republic to important advances in printing and publishing in the 20th century, the Printing Museum shows visitors how each innovation led to greater exchanges of information and ultimately to a more literate society.
Guided Tours at The Printing Museum
While on a tour, guests will learn about early forms of printing, participate in the hands-on printing of a leaf of the Gutenberg Bible pulled from a replica press, and print a copy of the Declaration of Independence on a 19th-century Columbian iron handpress.
Visitors will also discover the importance of the Linotype machine, and witness advances in printing and self-publishing that came about in the 20th century, and an optional 45-minute film, Harvest of Wisdom.
Workshops at The Printing Museum
Visit the Artist Hall to explore HCCC’s artist studios where artists-in-residence who were selected from across the country to come to Houston share their knowledge and love of craft with you.
In return for opening their studios to the public, they receive financial, professional, and promotional support to advance their careers.
And before you leave, check out the Craft Garden behind the building, which demonstrates the living connection between how plant materials are grown and used to create things like the blue jeans and t-shirts we wear every day.
The Printing Museum
- Location: 1324 W. Clay Street, Houston, TX 77019
- Hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. The Printing Museum is currently offering guided tours by appointment only. To check availability and book a time, call 713-522-4652 or email [email protected].
- Parking: The free museum parking lot holds approximately 15 cars. Additional free street parking is usually available.
- Admission: Tickets for guided tours are $10; $8 for children ages 7 to 12, seniors ages 55 and older, college students with ID, and for active military and veterans; $5 for museum members. To check availability and book a time, call 713-522-4652 or email [email protected].