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
    • Adults $15
    • Seniors (65+ with ID) $10
    • Military (with ID) $10
    • College Students (19+ with ID) $7.50
    • Youth (13–18) $7.50
    • Children (12 & younger) FREE
    • Certain special exhibitions are ticketed, with an additional charge.
    On Thursday, general admission is free for everyone.

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Make visiting a snap! Visit mfah.org/parking for complete parking info, including a map you can download.

    Two Parking Garages        

    Parking Garage Hours

    Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Parking Garage Fees

    • Parking payments may be made only with major credit cards, or with MasterCard and Visa debit cards.
    • The first 30 minutes are always free. On Thursday, parking is free for visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
    • For hourly rates, go to mfah.org/parking
    Recommendation for guests with limited mobility: 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.

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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