Holocaust Museum Houston, Lester and Sue Smith Campus will host its grand reopening June 22 through June 23, 2019, after a $34 million expansion of its original home at 5401 Caroline Street. In becoming one of the top Holocaust museums in the country, the organization will broaden its mission as a superregional hub for Holocaust education and a national voice for human rights and social justice.
More than doubling in size to a total of 57,000 square feet, the new facility will rank as the nation's fourth largest Holocaust museum and will be fully bilingual in English and Spanish. The new three-story structure will house a welcome center, four permanent galleries and two changing exhibition galleries, classrooms, research library, café, 200-seat indoor theater and 175-seat outdoor amphitheater. With more than 50 screens, mini-theaters and interactive terminals are featured throughout the Museum.
The permanent Holocaust exhibit includes such rare artifacts as a fishing boat like those used by Danish fishermen to ferry Jewish neighbors to neutral territory under cover of night, as well as a World War II-era railcar like the ones that transported Jews to concentration camps and killing centers. A Human Rights Gallery will feature educational displays of all UN-recognized genocides as well as tributes to international human rights leaders including Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King, Jr. among others. The Museum will debut the nation's largest gallery of artwork by the Holocaust child survivor and painter Samuel Bak, with more than 130 works in exhibition rotation. Finally, an interactive media display will bring to life the writings of 12 young diarists, including Anne Frank, who died in genocides around the world.
The Museum will open its doors with two touring exhibitions. On view June 22 through September 15, 2019 in the Mincberg Gallery, Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann is a co-production of The Mossad – Israeli Secret Intelligence Service; Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Cleveland, Ohio. The Museum’s smaller Central Gallery will feature Points of View, a national photography exhibition from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, from June 22 through October 6, 2019.
Doors will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22 and at noon on Sunday, June 23. Opening weekend activities include Holocaust Survivor Talks in the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Theater at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 23. The first 500 people in line each day of opening weekend will receive a Holocaust Museum Houston tote bag.
Admission is free for children and students (includes college students with valid college ID), $15 for adults, and $10 for seniors and AARP members; free for active military through Labor Day as part of the Blue Star Museums program. As a member of the Houston Museum District Association, the Museum waives admission from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. each Thursday.
The Museum’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more details and to purchase advance timed tickets, visit hmh.org.
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