The Menil Collection
The internationally renowned Menil Collection is perhaps the city's ultimate hidden jewel, with a main building that's tucked away on a residential cul-de-sac. Opened in 1987, the long, low-slung gray clapboard building was the first U.S. commission by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, and rotating displays of art, in galleries bathed in soft natural light, range from the prehistoric to the present day. Piano's second U.S. commission was the adjacent Cy Twombly Gallery, another building set on the 30-acre tree-shaded campus of art installations, sculpture parks, a bistro and the art-filled Rothko Chapel that are integrated into the surrounding neighborhood. Other satellite buildings include one that is aglow with site-specific works in fluorescent light by the minimalist pioneer Dan Flavin and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel— now a venue for long-term installations by contemporary artists. Dotting the campus, among many massive magnolia and live oak trees, are outdoor sculptures by Michael Heizer, Tony Smith, and Mark di Suvero.