Menil Drawing Institute

A building dedicated to celebrating modern and contemporary drawing.

Menil Drawing Institute Building

It is a pleasure to celebrate alongside the Menil Collection in Houston, as they welcome the fifth art building to join their 30-acre neighborhood, the Menil Drawing Institute. Located in the verdant Montrose district, the Menil fosters direct and personal encounters with art.

In addition to the main building, the Menil Drawing Institute neighbors three other museum buildings. Two of the buildings are dedicated to single artists—Cy Twombly and Dan Flavin—while the Byzantine Fresco Chapel houses rotating contemporary art installations. The Drawing Institute was born of the desire to further the study and appreciation of modern and contemporary drawing.

Opened in early November, the space is designed by Los Angeles-based architectural firm Johnston Marklee. Expanding on the lineage and landscape of the existing structures, the Menil Drawing Institute features a trio of garden courtyards and serves as a south-facing porch to the rest of the grounds. The exterior draws inspiration from the gable-roofed pre-war bungalows of the Montrose neighborhood, while the interior modulates light to both illuminate and protect the drawings.

Conceived as more than a showroom, the Institute is a space for scholars and conservationists alike. By unifying the acquisition, exhibition, study, conservation, and storage of drawing, the Menil honors this unique form of art.