The Museum District is rife with attractions, including several smaller museums worth visiting for their focus on a particular aspect of the city’s culture.
The Buffalo Soldiers Museum
The Buffalo Soldiers Museum (1834 Southmore Blvd., 713/ 942-8920, www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat., $2 all ages) is somewhat small, but its significance is enormous. Its name is derived from the term associated with the African-American troops who served in the U.S. Army and protected the Texas frontier in the late 1800s. The Native Americans reportedly referred to them as Buffalo Soldiers due to their immense bravery and valor.
Fittingly, the museum honors the legacy of African Americans’ contributions to military service for the past 150 years. This is a truly unique collection of materials dedicated to a compelling aspect of Texas and America’s heritage. Two stories of exhibits feature artifacts, photos, and maps detailing the importance of legacies being passed on to future generations. It’s a true learning experience, and it’s inspiring to see the groups of area students making connections with their past as interpretive guides offer insight about the uniforms, flags, and equipment.
The Holocaust Museum
A somber subject is handled admirably at the Holocaust Museum Houston (5401 Caroline St., 713/942-8000, www.hmh.org, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., noon–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun., free). The museum’s mission is to educate people about the dangers of prejudice and hatred in society, and it certainly makes an impact on everyone who walks through its doors.
Visitors learn about the historical and personal stories associated with the Holocaust in the museum’s permanent exhibit called “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers,” which focuses on the stories of Holocaust survivors living in the Houston area. Displays chronicle the Nazi rise to power and the imprisonment in concentration camps.
Artifacts, photos, films, informative panels, and a research library serve as testament to the suffering, with the hope that this educational experience will help prevent future atrocities from occurring.
Houston Center For Photography
One of the best little museums in the region is the Houston Center for Photography (1441 W. Alabama St., 713/529-4755, www.hcponline.org, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed.–Fri., noon–6 p.m. Sat.–Sun., free). Located in a funky building at the edge of the Museum District, the HCP’s mission is to encourage and educate people about art and photography. Exhibits showcase local and national photographers, and programs and services strive to stimulate dialogue about the art form through digital workstations, presentations about methods and critique, and community collaboration.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition