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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is dedicated to excellence in collecting, exhibiting, preserving, conserving and interpreting art for all people.
The Museum of Fine Arts is a centerpiece of cultural life in Houston. Founded in 1900, the institution began as a modest education initiative to take art into the public schools. A century later, education remains the mission, and the museum is one of the leading art organizations in the country. The museum includes two art pavilions, two decorative arts centers, a sculpture garden, a conservation/art storage facility, a studio school, and an administration building with a wing dedicated to art classes for children. The permanent collection--over 57,000 works of art--is the largest in the Southwest and includes masterpieces of international significance. One of the few museums in the country with both an art collection and an art school, the institution serves as a center of learning for the entire metropolitan region. Annual attendance places the institution sixth among the top ten art museums in the nation. Each year, the museum records more than two million visits to its exhibitions and outreach programs at schools, community centers, libraries, hospitals, and social service agencies and to its website. For its history of work in the community, the institution received the federal government's highest honor for extraordinary community service, the National Award for Museum Service, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 1997.
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