Explore the importance of modern & contemporary drawings at the Menil Drawing Institute

Photo courtesy of The Menil Collection

Dive into the study, conservation, exhibition, and acquisition of modern and contemporary drawings at the Menil Drawing Institute. 

Located within the 30-acre Menil Collection museum campus in Montrose, the Menil Drawing Institute sits modestly tucked away at the corner of Branard and Mulberry Street behind the Collection’s free-standing Cy Twombly Gallery.

The fifth art building to join the Menil neighborhood, the Institute was established in 2008 to further the study of modern and contemporary drawings after recognizing that the museum’s artist-centered approach and growing collection of drawings offered a singular opportunity.

Designed by Los Angeles-based architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee), the unique 30,146-square-foot building features a trio of spacious courtyards and a design that modulates daylight in a way that both illuminates and protects delicate works on paper.

Visitors can look forward to an intimate setting for the public to view the Collection’s holdings and rotating drawing exhibitions. Click here for more information on current and upcoming exhibitions.

Designing the Menil Drawing Institute

In 2012, after a year-long international search for an architect to design the Menil Drawing Institute, the Menil selected the Los Angeles-based firm Johnston Marklee.

In addition, the distinguished landscape architecture firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates was retained to transform the outdoor experience of the Menil.

This award-winning firm has created environmentally sustainable and experientially rich sites of various scales. At the Menil, Michael Van Valkenburgh and his team have chosen to emphasize local floral to underscore the quiet elegance of the Menil campus architecture.

To date, the Menil Drawing Institute joins the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, the Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall, and the Cy Twombly Gallery as freestanding satellite buildings dedicated to modern and contemporary art in Menil’s 30-acre art neighborhood.

Menil Drawing Institute

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Cody Swann is a writer and musician born and raised in Houston. When he isn't recording or touring the country with his band, Wild Moccasins, he can be found covering live music and arts events for 365 Things to Do in Houston.