The Art Car Museum in Houston, Texas: A Must-See Folk Art Attraction

Updated on May 31, 2019
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

For those who appreciate the wild and wacky—or at least the unusual—be sure to visit the Art Car Museum if you are in Houston. It is a folk art happening that is sure to delight the senses!

  • It is located at 140 Heights Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77007.
  • The museum is open from 11 am to 6 pm Wednesday to Sunday, and admission is free.
  • To accommodate large groups, please call 713-861-5526 before visiting the museum.

The museum was first opened in 1998. It showcases a few art cars at a time (due to space limitations) and is also a venue for artists who create modern art. The shows are changed frequently, and it is always a surprise to visit and see what is being showcased.

Subjects both serious and bizarre are addressed. Some of the artists are not yet well recognized, so being able to display their works in this museum may help launch their art careers.

Three-dimensional works of art are sometimes whimsical and surprising. All types of wall art are on display. Videos can also be viewed in a gallery at the back of the museum. A somewhat macabre video that was once on view inside of the museum showed a body being cremated. It took us a few moments to even realize what we were viewing.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Details of ornamentation on top of the Art Car Museum in HoustonExterior view of the Art Car MuseumUnder carport at Art Car MuseumAcross the street from the Art Car MuseumLizard or dragon art carArt car in front of Art Car MuseumArt inside of the Art Car MuseumArt inside of the Art Car Museum.  Silverware such as table knives were utilized in creating the wings of this bird sculpture.
Details of ornamentation on top of the Art Car Museum in Houston
Details of ornamentation on top of the Art Car Museum in Houston | Source
Exterior view of the Art Car Museum
Exterior view of the Art Car Museum | Source
Under carport at Art Car Museum
Under carport at Art Car Museum | Source
Across the street from the Art Car Museum
Across the street from the Art Car Museum | Source
Lizard or dragon art car
Lizard or dragon art car | Source
Art car in front of Art Car Museum
Art car in front of Art Car Museum | Source
Art inside of the Art Car Museum
Art inside of the Art Car Museum | Source
Art inside of the Art Car Museum.  Silverware such as table knives were utilized in creating the wings of this bird sculpture.
Art inside of the Art Car Museum. Silverware such as table knives were utilized in creating the wings of this bird sculpture. | Source

There is nothing serious about these cars with the exception of the time and inspiration put forth from the artists who created these icons to the independence of personal expression.

Some of the art cars are simply painted, mirrored, or plastered with every kind of object from beads to boxes, bunnies to coffeepots and so on. Others are transformed into other shapes entirely, such as a ladies' red high-heeled shoe, an outhouse, or a roach. You name it and eventually, someone’s imagination will have made it a reality.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My hubby & me with the Art Car named RexInside the Art Car MuseumView of art car named “Faith”Details on art car called “Faith”My mother inside of the Art Car Museum
My hubby & me with the Art Car named Rex
My hubby & me with the Art Car named Rex | Source
Inside the Art Car Museum
Inside the Art Car Museum | Source
View of art car named “Faith”
View of art car named “Faith” | Source
Details on art car called “Faith”
Details on art car called “Faith” | Source
My mother inside of the Art Car Museum
My mother inside of the Art Car Museum | Source

Houston Art Car Parade

The largest Art Car Parade in the country is held each year in Houston. People drive these wacky cars from all over the nation and convene in our city for a festival and parade consisting of the unusual and fun.

Cars are not the only thing featured. Anything motorized has come to be included.

If you like cars of all types and descriptions and you appreciate what can be done to change their appearance, then this type of parade and festival just might be right up your alley!

Have you ever attended the Houston Art Car Parade?

See results

A Fun Houston Venue

In a city of this size (the fourth largest in the United States) we have many entertaining venues to choose from. Often when we have had out-of-town visitors, we have included the Houston Art Car Museum on our list of places to take them. No one has ever walked away from the experience without being amused.

If you find yourself in Houston, Texas and have extra time on your hands, you just might wish to check out this wild and wacky entertaining place dedicated to portraying cars in a manner that is different from the norm. Who knows? It might give you some ideas about how to embellish yours!

People in our city like their art cars. We often spot them in various places around town as well as in the museum. So keep your eyes peeled if driving the streets of our city. You may just spot some unusual ones for yourself!

Looking forward to your comments below.

Art Cars Spotted in Other Areas Around Houston

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Art car spotted in Hermann Park Art car spotted in Houston Museum of Fine Arts parking lot.Art cars spotted in the Houston HeightsArt Car in the Houston Heights
Art car spotted in Hermann Park
Art car spotted in Hermann Park | Source
 Art car spotted in Houston Museum of Fine Arts parking lot.
Art car spotted in Houston Museum of Fine Arts parking lot. | Source
Art cars spotted in the Houston Heights
Art cars spotted in the Houston Heights | Source
Art Car in the Houston Heights
Art Car in the Houston Heights | Source

Do you see art cars where you live?

See results

Location of our Houston Art Car Museum

© 2018 Peggy Woods

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi C E Clark,

      Most of these places are currently closed to the public, but hopefully, in the days ahead, they will once again be able to be enjoyed. Yes, we are careful. Wishing you good health and safety in the days to come. Thanks!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 months ago from North Texas

      Some of these vehicles are pretty amazing. This museum really does look like it would be an interesting and fun place to visit. Great photos! Posting this article to FB & AH.

      While it may be difficult to stay in for such a long period of time, I hope you and your husband are taking every precaution to remain healthy and safe. Take care . . .

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dianna,

      The people down here really relish their art cars. I am sure you would enjoy visiting the Art Car Museum. We also have regular car shows but viewing these art cars is always fun.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      15 months ago

      If I ever get to Houston this will be on my list of must sees. We have car shows around here but they are not so beautifully creative.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dale,

      The Art Car Museum is interesting mostly because of the oddity of the vehicles on display. My husband likes to go to vintage car shows. I have enjoyed them once or twice but would not make a habit of attending them.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      15 months ago from The High Seas

      My wife would et a blast out of this. There's two things you can always count on her to want to attend, one is a flower show and the other is a car show. Funnily I am not interested in cars much at all, but my wife loves them and could look at them all day.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      20 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dolores,

      It is nice that you get to see art cars up in Baltimore at the summer art's festival. They are so much fun to see and the artists who create them are so inventive.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      20 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Peggy - love those art cars. Though this is a bit out of the way for me, I enjoy seeing art cars at Baltimore's Art Scape, a summer art's festival.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      21 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lorelei,

      That bunny car was so inventive as well as cute. It is amazing what can be found inside of the Art Car Museum in Houston. It is also fun spotting an occasional art car on the streets or in parking lots around town.

    • Ladymermaid profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Wow I love that bunny car. I could definitely see myself enjoying that piece.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      21 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mark,

      Hope when you visit Houston you map out some time. Our city and the entire metro area is vast and has much to offer visitors. Glad you liked this look at the Art Car Museum.

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Houston is one city I haven’t visited yet. I’m putting it on my list now along with the art car museum. So quirky. A real treasure.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      22 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi C E Clark,

      This museum is a fun place to visit. People are certainly imaginative when they create their art cars! Thanks for the shares.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      22 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ethel,

      I am glad you liked them. They are really fun to view in various places in addition to this art car museum.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      22 months ago from North Texas

      People certainly have wild imaginations! Great photos as always. Looks like a fun event. The museum would certainly be an interesting experience. Posted to FB and Awesome HubPages.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      22 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Some great images of some fab cars Peggy thank you

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      23 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Viet Doan,

      If you come to Houston again perhaps you will have some time to check out the art car museum. Assuredly there will be different things on display than what was featured here. They change things out regularly.

    • punacoast profile image

      Viet Doan 

      23 months ago from Big Island, Hawaii

      So bizarre yet so creative! I've never heard of this museum before, even though I've been to Houston quite a few times. Thank Peggy for such a fascinating article. I love that picture of you and your husband next to that giant bunny car!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      24 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      We also have vintage car rallies here. These art cars are whimsical and fun. The people who create them must also have a lot of fun. Glad you found this interesting.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      24 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Nothing like this do we have here so this was interesting reading and watching. We do have vintage cars and rallies but that's about all.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      24 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi John,

      Yes kids of all ages seem to appreciate these art cars. It would be nice for you to get to visit this art car museum in Houston someday. Perhaps you might even spot some art cars on our streets.

    • JR Cuevas profile image

      Ray 

      24 months ago from Philippines

      Wow, everything there was fantastic! I am loving those cars and I am amazed by their designs. It is vibrant, detailed, and very pleasant-looking. Kids must have liked that as well. Looking forward to going there in the future.Thanks for this!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      24 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Patricia,

      They televise the Houston Art Car Parade each year and that is how we choose to view it. It is a fun and amazing event! Thanks for the visit and good wishes.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      24 months ago from North Central Florida

      What fun that parade must be!!! I am always amazed at creations folks can come up with. thank you for sharing with us. Angels are once again headed your way ps

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi John,

      I agree with you that a lot of time and effort has been put into creating these art cars. Happy to be able to showcase this local Houston museum to you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Peggy, there are certainly some weird and whacky creations here, but you have to appreciate the time and effort people devote to them.

      I haven't seen a museum like this in Australia though so would love to visit one day if ever possible. Thanks for sharing.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 years ago

      Yes, I can see where it would be a fun place to visit.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      Different is a good word to describe the Art Car Museum. It is also fun!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 years ago

      It does seem a nice place to visit. Certainly different.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Linda,

      The annual art car parade is well publicized in our city and years ago we stumbled on to the fact of there being an art car museum here. It is certainly different and rather fun. It is also fun viewing art cars when they are spotted on the streets of Houston. I will be curious to know if you spot them in Canada where you live.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've never thought much about art cars before. The ones in your photos are certainly interesting! I'll have to look for some in my part of the world. Thanks for sharing another enjoyable article about Houston.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      You are correct what you said about driving an art car. You would certainly not be anonymous or blend into the crowd. Ha ha!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      What a wacky place you’ve profiled! Very fun for people of all ages. I’d love to visit. I’ve seen some art cars although I didn’t know what to call them at the time and was amused. Couldn’t imagine driving one. You couldn’t get away with being anonymous.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi agusfanani,

      I know how you like to recycle things so using what most probably would be discarded items to create these art cars would really appeal to you.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 

      2 years ago from Indonesia

      Hi Peggy W,

      That's a very interesting place to visit. I love cars and amaze ones that are well maintained so that they are still functional despite their age. I wish I could visit this museum and see The Flintstones' car in person. :))

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi manatita,

      The primary difference between the Beer Can House and the Art Car Museum is that the former one was created over the course of many years by one man who had a vision. The Art Car Museum features many different artists and the venue always has new things on display. This is but a small sample of what there is to see in Houston.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      A short one Peggy. Some how I love the Beer Can story a lot more, although in some ways they are both creative. Houston has a lot of things to see. I'll look you up next time. Lol.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Jackie,

      Art cars are quite commonly seen down here and it is always fun when we spot them. We also have many auto shows and enjoy seeing some of the older models.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from the beautiful south

      I don't think I have ever seen an art car and I would love to. I do go to auto shows to see the old ones and have a lot of photos but I am very jealous of this. Very good!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      This is a fun museum to visit. Because of the frequent changes of art as well as the different art cars on display there is always something new to discover.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      There are almost endless things to do and see in the Houston area. I'm happy to be able to introduce you to some of them. You are correct about the heat in the late spring, summer and early fall. The rest of the year would be the time to visit for more moderate temperatures. (Smile)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This car museum looks like it is truly amazing and unique. I think it would be a fun place to visit. the pictures show a whole different type of art. Interesting article.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You write so eloquently about Houston, Peggy, it almost makes me want to visit there...but then that heat thing pops up and I come to my senses. :)

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      I am not sure that there are other museums like this art car museum here in Houston. We seem to celebrate art cars. For the art car annual parade some school children in art classes get involved in the making of an art car with their teacher's help and advice. It is really fun seeing the art cars out on the streets.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Heidi,

      You can certainly call the Art Car Museum unique. Glad you liked the photos.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is amazing Peggy. I don't think I have been to any art car museum. I am sure this is interesting to see how individuals express themselves in their cars.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Well, isn't this unique! Thanks for sharing the great pics!

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