There's a palpable feeling of sanctity that imbues everything in the Menil Collection, from its ancient Greek artifacts and sundry historical loot to the incredible array of sculptures from Africa and the South Seas, to the Surrealist gems and Dada ephemera, and the wide-spanning and deep-quarried stash of mid-to-late 20th century art.
Perhaps it's the lighting that lends the otherworldly ambience to every object in the place; perhaps it's the a/c. Maybe there's some kind of serenity mixed into the white paint. But the magic spell extends to the people, from the guests from far and near to the staff itself. It's like one always hoped church would be, but never quite was. And like any good church, it's always free and usually crowded.
"Thirty Works for Thirty Years," featuring a selection of greatest hits from the stacks, celebrates the Menil Collection's third decade keeping the center of Houston cool, calm, and collected.