Museum Exhibits in Houston This Month: September 2021

"White: Gold Morogoro" by Kapwani Kiwanga | Photo: Emile Ouroumov; courtesy of Moody Center for the Arts

Grab a last look or first glimpse at opening and closing museum exhibits and installations throughout Greater Houston in September 2021.

This month, Lone Star Flight Museum commemorates a significant day in our collective history, Art League Houston honors their Texas Artist of the Year, Lawndale brings multiple exhibitions to the floor, Moody Center for the Arts unveils immersive artwork, and more.

Several exhibitions are also on their way out this month, including a slate of MFAH exhibitions (like Ernesto Neto’s netted walkway), popular summer exhibits at HMNS, a lens into the world of Nigerian Americans at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, an expansive retrospective of a Houston-based artist at Blaffer Art Museum, and much more.

Click here to check out more ongoing installation and exhibitions in museums around Greater Houston.

Detail of “Layer (3)” by Joel McGlasson | Courtesy of the artist

First Look: 11 Opening Exhibitions in Houston This Month

  • Never Forget: Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 at Lone Star Flight Museum | Opens Wednesday, September 1 – This exhibit features the names of the 2,977 people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks covering the walls of the gallery space, centered on an 11-foot section of a World Trade Center I-beam. Guests will also have an opportunity to leave their name, as well as their own sentiments and reflections on the day, in a guest book that will be donated to the National 9/11 Museum & Memorial in New York City. Included with general admission. Free admission is granted to first responders and their families on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12.
  • Parallel Journey at Archway Gallery | Opens Saturday, September 4 | FREE – This dual exhibition features the work of wife-and-husband artists Cookie and Tom Wells. Cookie’s paintings take a new direction from figures into totally non-objective works, while Tom’s fine wood furniture complements.
  • Joel McGlasson at Jung Center | Opens Tuesday, September 7 | FREE – An artist that put his career on hold to become an architect, Joel McGlasson has dove back into painting after his retirement in 2011, utilizing different techniques to explore the expressive forms of abstract painting. The Jung Center hosts this retrospective of his work from across 50 years of work.
  • Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s at Menil Collection | Opens Friday, September 10 | FREE – The Menil takes a closer look at a pivotal ten-year period in French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s career, bringing numerous works from European collections that will make their US debut in this exhibition.
  • Vicki Meek: The Journey to Me at Art League Houston | Opens Friday, September 10 | FREE – This solo exhibition of Dallas-based artist Vicki Meek marks her recognition as Art League Houston’s 2021 Texas Artist of the Year. Three site-specific installations track her development as an artist, with focus on cultural memory, identity, and social issues in relation to the African diaspora, taken with hope and emphasis on collective healing.
  • Treasures in Gold & Jade at Houston Museum of Natural Science | Opens Friday, September 17 – The work of two master artists from Taiwan is on display in this exhibition, which features 27 jade carvings by Huang Fu Shou and 17 sculptures by Wu Ching, delicately crafted in gold. Included with general admission.
  • Kapwani Kiwanga: The Sand Recalls the Moon Shadow at Moody Center for the Arts | Opens Friday, September 17 | FREE – The Paris-based artist transforms parts of the Moody Center with her site-specific works that utilize natural materials to address linkages between trade and labor, as well as society and the environment, on multiple scales.
  • David McGee at Lawndale Art Center | Opens Friday, September 17 | FREE – In the latest installation of The Sankofa Project, which examines historical events that have led to our current moment of social unrest and racial reckoning, David McGee’s work utilizes the fields of painting, printmaking and drawing to explore the emotional weights of race, language, symbols, and many other themes. McGee’s work can be seen in the Main Street–facing windows.
  • Emily Peacock: Die Laughing at Lawndale Art Center | Opens Friday, September 17 | FREE – Through the disciplines of photography, video, sculpture, performance and installation, Houston-based artist Emily Peacock uses humor and levity as a means of coping with tragedy.
  • Bria Lauren: Gold Was Made Fa’ Her at Lawndale Art Center | Opens Friday, September 17 | FREE – This photography project from Third Ward–native artist Bria Lauren celebrates the women of South Side, Houston in order to amplify their voices and the voices of Black women across generations who have been impacted by structural inequity, generational narratives, and respectability politics.
  • José Cisneros: A Colorful World in Black & White at the Bryan Museum | Opens Saturday, September 18 – The black and white artwork of Mexican-born artist José Cisneros is on display in this retrospective exhibition that looks at the personal sketches, illustrations, calligraphy, cartography, and glass work of the famed artist, who died in 2009 at the age of 99.

Click here to check out more ongoing installation and exhibitions in museums around Greater Houston.

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“SunForceOceanLife” by Ernesto Neto at MFAH | Photo: Justin Jerkins/365Houston

Last Chance: 17 Closing Exhibitions in Houston This Month

  • Collaborations XVIII: Isolation at Houston Center for Photography | Ends Sunday, September 5 | FREE – This exhibition features work from Houston-area high school students as they create an exhibition from beginning to end.
  • Three Centuries of American Art – Antiquities, European & American Masterpieces at MFAH | Ends Monday, September 6 – From the private collection of Fayez S. Sarofim, more than 200 works of painting in America, including from Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, and contemporary art, will be on display in the Caroline Wiess Law Building. Featured artists include Mary Cassat, Edward Hopper, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and others.
  • Pompeii: The Exhibition at HMNS | Ends Monday, September 6– Take a rare look inside the lives of residents of Pompeii before and after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 A.D. Featuring 150 artifacts on loan from the collection of the Naples National Archaeological Museum, the exhibit includes frescoes, mosaics, and statues from Pompeii that were hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until rediscovery more than 250 years ago. In a media-rich, object-based, immersive experience, learn how the people of Pompeii lived, loved, worked, worshiped and found entertainment. $30; $21 for ages 3 to 11; $15 for members.
  • Victoria: The T. Rex at HMNS | Ends Monday, September 6 – Discovered in 2019, Victoria is the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton touring the world today. This exhibition dives into all facets of Victoria’s life and death, including her role as a mother. Included with general admission.
  • Brain: The World Inside Your Head at the Health Museum | Ends Monday, September 6 – This all-ages exhibition employs innovative special effects, 3-D reproductions, hands-on learning activities, and interactive technology to explore the inner workings of the brain, including its processes, potentials and mysteries. Tickets are $10; $8 for ages 3 to 12 and 65+; free for ages 2 and under.
  • Off the Wall: Sondra Perry at Moody Center for the Arts | Ends Wednesday, September 8 | FREE – The large-scale site-specific work, Ocean Modifier, spans the south wall of Brochstein Pavilion, offering visitors an encompassing experience of digital imagery that recreates a murky seascape, interspersed with an altered lenticular image of J.M.W Turner’s renowned painting Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On).
  • 9JA Vision: The Fiber and Mixed-Media Work of Joy O. Ude at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft | Ends Saturday, September 11 | FREE – This solo exhibition of the Texas-based artist, Joy O. Ude, showcases the “interweaving of Western and Nigerian cultures, as experienced from the perspective of an American-born child of Nigerian immigrants.”
  • Suited Up: Contemporary Armor Making in Texas at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft | Ends Saturday, September 11 | FREE – This exhibition features suits of armor inspired by historical re-enactments and iconic pop-culture warriors, exploring the craftsmanship behind armor making in Texas.
  • Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life at HMNS | Ends Sunday, September 12 – The latest edition of the popular traveling exhibit features real human bodies that have be preserved through the process of plastination. Designed by Body Worlds’ creative and conceptual designer, Dr. Angelina Whalley, it demonstrations the human body through the span of time and shows visitors the latest findings in anatomy, longevity, and health. $30; $21 for ages 3 to 11; $15 for members.
  • Artists on Site Series 2 at Asia Society Texas Center | Ends Sunday, September 12 – The second iteration of this series transforms galleries into studio and project spaces for Houston-based artists. Visitors can swing by to see ideas and research of the artists take shape, and may even see the artists working. Featured artists include Bennie Flores Ansell, Guadalupe Hernandez, Preetika Rajgariah, and Stevie Spurgin.
  • Dream Monuments: Drawing in the 1960s and 1970s at Menil Drawing Institute | Ends Sunday, September 19 | FREE – Taking cues from an unrealized exhibition planned by Dominique and John de Menil, Dream Monuments presents an era of drawing works that grapple with the concept of monumentality and how to represent it through new approaches and radical transformations.
  • Shaping the Past at Multiple Locations | Ends Sunday, September 19 | FREE – A collaboration of Project Row Houses, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, and Goethe Pop Up Houston, this poster exhibition can be viewed at each location and features different projects to address systemic racism and sexism, social and economic exclusion, and legacies of colonial and state violence.
  • Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock at MFAH | Ends Sunday, September 19 – Debuting at MFAH, this retrospective of the Colombian-born fiber artist traces six decades of her vibrant, radical work that transformed flat design forms into architectural components through her work in tapestry and textiles.
  • Monet to Matisse: Impressionism to Modernism from the Bemberg Foundation at MFAH | Ends Sunday, September 19 – On loan from France, this exhibition consists of paintings, drawings, and bronze sculpture from the 14th century to the 20th century, including works by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and more.
  • Third Ward Special at Community Artists’ Collective | Ends Saturday, September 25 | FREE – Take a tour of Houston’s iconic Third Ward neighborhood through the lens of 6 local artists and photographers with deep roots in the area including Marc Furi, Flash Gordon Parks, Rabéa Ballin, Risky Cereal, Brian Ellison, and Derrell Boson. Thursdays to Saturdays noon to 5pm.
  • Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning at Blaffer Art Museum | Ends Sunday, September 26 | FREE – This exhibition, in partnership with Texas Southern University, approaches the work of Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus from throughout his career that spans fifteen years. Visitors can view approximately 50 objects, images, and installations produced from 2005 through 2020 that demonstrate the breadth of Cyrus’ practice.
  • Ernesto Neto: SunForceOceanLife at MFAH | Ends Sunday, September 26 – MFAH’s Cullinan Hall hosts this large-scale, immersive exhibition featuring Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto’s mid-air walkway that sends visitors through a suspended maze of crocheted netting and ball clusters, inspired by the art, culture, and traditions of the Huni Kuin, an indigenous tribe of the Brazilian rain forest.

Click here to check out more ongoing installation and exhibitions in museums around Greater Houston.

Body Worlds | Photo courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science

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A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins keeps an eye out for all sorts of happenings in H-Town, including breweries, sports, concerts, must-see destinations and much more while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston.