Conservation + Collection Management
Photo: R. Pringle
Houston is home to one of the most exciting municipal art collections in the country. The City of Houston Art Collection is comprised of more than 500 works in all media, from oil on canvas to bronze sculptures, from cast glass to craft. As works age or sustain damage, conservation of those pieces is necessary. Civic art can be found in all of the usual places you’d expect to see public art—like parks, airports and in downtown—but also in neighborhood libraries and police stations. You can find the work of international heavyweights like Jaume Plensa, Henry Moore and Claes Oldenburg; the work of nationally recognized artists like Luis Jimenez, Jésus Moroles and John Biggers; and the work of many Houston-based artists in city facilities, on recycling trucks and even incorporated into parking meters.
Works of art require regular care, particularly those works installed outdoors where they sustain the full force of Houston’s climate and human interaction. While city departments are responsible for routine maintenance, Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) manages the city’s art conservation projects using accepted national standards. Funding for Civic Art projects, including conservation, comes from 1.75% of the amount appropriated by City Council for an eligible project per the City of Houston’s Civic Art Ordinance.
HAA’s Civic Art + Design department follows a collection management policy developed in 2007. This policy provides a framework for the responsible acquisition, stewardship, and care of the City of Houston’s Art Collection. Civic Art + Design also maintains an accurate inventory of the City Collection; documents and reports on the condition of the Collection to HAA and city departments; and maintains data related to artwork specifications, maintenance requirements and conservation history.
Have questions about artworks in the City of Houston Art Collection? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.