The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Passion for Perfection: The Straus Collection of Renaissance Art

Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 – Sunday, Jun. 17, 2018


When Edith and Percy Straus gave their remarkable collection of European art to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 1941, their generous donation marked a turning point for the MFAH.

Since the Museum’s opening in 1924, its European collection had been relatively insignificant—a situation that changed dramatically with the Straus gift. The 83 objects that arrived in late 1944, after Percy Straus passed away, not only formed the cornerstone of the European art department, but also put the MFAH firmly on the map. Building on his father’s collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, Percy, together with his wife Edith, had acquired mainly Italian paintings of the late medieval and early Renaissance period, carefully guided by the best scholars in the field.

Two artists—the painters of the Straus Madonna and the Sienese Straus Madonna—are named in honor of this collection that comprises their masterworks. Works by outstanding masters like Fra AngelicoGiovanni di Paolo, and Bartolomeo Veneto continue to be highlights of the MFAH collection.

Besides these Italian paintings, the Straus Collection also includes exceptional works by Northern Renaissance masters such as Hans Memling and Rogier van der Weyden, as well as a number of 18th-century French and English paintings and works on paper. A fine group of Italian Renaissance bronzes, and a number of Northern and French sculptures from the 15th to 18th century, add yet another dimension to the collection.


  • Tuesday - Wednesday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Thursday, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Friday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Sunday, 12:15 pm - 7:00 pm
    Monday: Closed (Except Monday Holidays). Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
  • General Admission: MFAH Members-FREE Adult-$15 ($14 Online); Senior (65+) $10 ($9 Online); Youth (13-18) $7.50 ($6.50 Online); Child (12 & younger) FREE; Military (ID Required) $10; Student (ID Required) $7.50 Ticketed exhibitions require an additional admission charge. Free Hours: FREE THURSDAY 10 am - 9 pm

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Make visiting a snap! Enlarge the map to see main-campus parking options, or download the PDF

    Parking update: A new underground parking garage, located on Montrose Boulevard, is now open!

    • The outdoor parking lot on Bissonnet, across from the Law Building, is closed permanently.
    • Parking is available in two garages: an above-ground garage at 1144 Binz Street, and a new underground garage at 5101 Montrose Blvd.
    • Guests with limited mobility: We recommend that you use the covered drop-off lane at the Main Street entrance to the Beck Building, or use wheelchair-accessible parking in the garage at 1144 Binz Street.

    Parking Garage Locations

    • 1144 Binz Street
    • 5101 Montrose Boulevard

    Parking Fees*

    Parking payments may be made only with a major credit card. Also accepted: MasterCard and Visa debit cards.
    MFAH Members Visitors
    0–30 minutes FREE FREE
    31 minutes–4 hours $6 $10
    4–12 hours $10 $18
    12–24 hours $35 $35
    *Parking is free for MFAH visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursdays. General admission to the Museum is free on Thursdays, courtesy of Shell.


    Both parking garages are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Special Offers / Dining

Paolo Fronza, from Fellini Caffè, runs this sophisticated dining operation. Enjoy an array of Italian-inspired fare with a Texas flair, a European-style coffee bar, a kids menu, and much more at the MFA Café, located on the lower level of the Beck Building.

Events at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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