I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden
This phenomenal sculpture garden is located on an acre of land between the Museum of Fine Arts and the Glassell School of Art at Bissonnet Street and Montrose Boulevard in Houston, Texas. The older school of art is now a brand new state-of-the-art building.
The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden is a fitting tribute to those most generous of benefactors to the Museum of Fine Arts, and the outdoor garden houses first-class sculptures of renowned artists from around the world.
My husband and I recently spent some time there again, on a lovely day in May. There is now a third MFAH building adjacent to the sculpture garden and the new Glassell School of Art.
A Rotating Collection
Some of the art pieces that were here in the past are no longer present. Perhaps they were on loan for a time. Others now take their place. I will show some of the ones no longer here in a collage at the bottom of this page.
Please join us on this virtual tour of the Cullen Sculpture Garden. I'll identify the sculptures, and this first one seems appropriate as he appears to be strolling the garden even without the apparent benefit of his head and arms.
The Walking Man by Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin was a French artist (1840–1917). This distinctive sculpture has a date of 1905.
Flora, Nude by Aristide Maillol
The Flora, Nude is a bronze sculpture created by French artist Aristide Maillol (1861–1944) in 1910.
This young lady does have the advantage of seeing where it is that she is walking. Standing close to The Walking Man, with her head held high, she seems at ease with her unclothed body and the world. Were she a live person, she would be enjoying the feeling of walking barefoot in the grass with the gentle warm breezes kissing her bronzed skin.
The combination of realistic sculptures and juxtapositions of abstract sculptures in the Cullen Sculpture Garden adds contrast and interest to the overall impression when wandering the well-maintained grounds.
I could not find a marker designating the title or the artist for the sculpture pictured above.
Adam by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle
This bronze sculpture dates back to 1889 and was created by French artist Emile-Antoine Bourdelle (1861–1929).
Sculptors often have people posing for them, whether the final piece of art is a composite of several people or solely one person. Holding a pose for an extended period must be hard for sittings done for portraits or sculptures.
Of course, with modern photography methods, one could take many photos and work from them. But back in the day when bronzes like Adam were made, people probably physically posed for the artists. This pose may have been one struck out of sheer exhaustion by the model. The artist may have liked what he saw and decided to use it, or it may have been the artist's intent from the start. We viewers may never know for sure.
New Forms by Tony Cragg
This bronze originated in 1991–92 and was sculpted by English artist Tony Cragg (1949–). It is a museum purchase with funds provided by the Schissler Foundation.
According to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston visitor guide, the MFAH hired Tony Cragg to create these sculptures after they had seen his exhibited works at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Supposedly Cragg's inspiration came from objects found in a chemistry lab.
Oiseau (Bird) by Joan Miró
Spanish artist Joan Miró (1893–1983) worked on this bronze sculpture from 1968 to 1981.
The Miró sculpture resurrected happy memories for us. When we attended the Olympics in Barcelona many years ago, we took the time to visit the Joan Miró Foundation. It is a museum filled with all kinds of artwork from his early days to later ones.
Untitled by Joel Shapiro
Joe Shapiro is an American artist born in 1941 who created this bronze sculpture in 1990.
My husband and I see runners and joggers and people walking in our subdivision daily, getting their regular exercise. When driving through areas like Memorial Park in Houston, numerous people are out in the fresh air working out every day, rain or shine. Do you see a running image when viewing this sculpture?
Decanter by Frank Stella
Frank Stella is an American artist born in 1936. This steel and bronze sculpture is dated 1987.
Spirit of Eternal Repose by Auguste Rodin
There are several pieces of art in this sculpture garden on loan from Iris Cantor. She must love the art of Auguste Rodin since both of the sculptures are of his creations.
Auguste Rodin is a French artist who lived from 1840 to 1917. The modeling of this piece took place from the years 1898 to '99. It is bronze, cast in 1982. The edition size is 2/8.
Cybele by Auguste Rodin
This Cybele sculpture is another one on loan from Iris Cantor. It was modeled in 1890, enlarged in 1904, and cast in 1982. It is another bronze with an edition size of 3/8.
Conversation with the Wind by Pietro Consagra
This artist was Italian and lived from 1920 to 2005.
When walking next to the sculpture, a breeze can make the steel parts of this sculpture move and make (to my ear) a melodic tinkling type of sound. The musical sounds undoubtedly sparked the name of the sculpture.
The Pilgrim (ll Pellegrino) by Marino Marini
A bronze created in 1939 by this Italian artist who lived from 1901 to 1980 is now on these beautiful Houston grounds.
Exhaling Pearls by Joseph Havel
An American-born artist (1954) created this patinated Bronze sculpture in 1993.
Instantly upon seeing this elongated and upright sculpture, one thinks of the sea, or at least I did. Since we live approximately 70 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and can see seafaring vessels like shrimp boats with their assembly of ropes, this instantly brought to mind those images.
Supposedly this image represents two Japanese lanterns and a cargo-ship rope according to a notation in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Visitor Guide, where this sculpture is listed. Of course, we viewers can look at art creations and develop our interpretations of the subject matter.
Houston Triptych by Ellsworth Kelly
Another American artist born in 1923, Ellsworth Kelly, created this bronze in 1986 specifically for this site.