Blaffer Art Museum Gallery


Founded in 1973, the Blaffer Art Museum endeavors to further the understanding of contemporary art through exhibitions, publications, and public programs. As the gateway between the University of Houston’s Central campus and the City of Houston, Blaffer Art Museum is a catalyst for creative innovation, experimentation, and scholarship. Its exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public, create community through dialogue and participation, and inspire an appreciation for the visual arts as a vital force in shaping contemporary culture.


The mission of the Blaffer Art Museum is to create experiences with contemporary art and artists that ignite wonder and curiosity, challenge pre-conceptions, and expand ways of seeing and thinking in order to nourish the human spirit and drive empathy, understanding, and engagement with today’s world.


Blaffer Art Museum was named in honor of the late Sarah Campbell Blaffer, a noted Houston art patron and collector. On the occasion of the building of a new $5.3 million Fine Arts Center at the University of Houston, Blaffer, the daughter of William Thomas Campbell, founder of Texaco, and wife of Robert E. Lee Blaffer, founder of Humble Oil (later Exxon), promised major works of art in her collection toward the building of a teaching collection housed at the University. Dedicated on March 13, 1973, the new museum immediately became a vital force in the presentation and promotion of the visual arts in Houston. Assistant Professor of Art Richard Stout served as Blaffer’s first acting director, and the museum opened its inaugural exhibition season with a solo show of the controversial work of Texas artist Michael Tracy in September 1973.

Land Acknowledgement 

We would like to acknowledge the original inhabitants of the land on which we gather. The City of Houston and the Gulf Coast Region is within the traditional territories and unceded land of the Sana, Atakapa-Ishak, Akokisa, and Karankawa peoples. We also recognize the native peoples that share the southeast Texas region, including the Tonkawa and Coahuiltecan, and that what we build here today is connected to their histories.
Blaffer Art Museum Front Exterior

Blaffer Art Museum Staff

Steven Matijcio

Jane Dale Owen Director & Chief Curator

Youngmin Chung

Assistant Director of Exhibitions & Operations

Robert Kimberly

Installations Manager

Erika Mei Chua Holum

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Assistant Curator

Katherine Veneman

Curator of Education

Blanca Wilson

Executive Administrator

Susana Monteverde

Development Officer
McGovern College of the Arts

A.C. Evans

Design & Digital Resources Manager

Advisory Board

* Indicates lifetime membership on Board

Paul Seifert, Chair

Sara Cain, Vice Chair

Mary Arocha

Wirt Blaffer*

Michelle Barnes

Debra Barrera 

Katharine Barthelme 

Luke Burns 

Alison de Lima Greene

Sanford Dow 

Bennie Flores Ansell

James Furr

Cullen Geiselman

Lisa McEnery Holder

Kaleta Blaffer Johnson

Maria Cristina Manrique de Henning

Gabriel Martinez

Judy Nyquist

Micheline Newall

Alton McDowell

Sallie Morian*

Abigail Owen-Pontez

Nichole Pruitt

Shirley Rose*

John Blaffer Royall

Christopher Scott

José Solís

Brian Thomas

Dr. Alvia Wardlaw

Jo Dee Wright

Ex-Officio Members

Dr. Andrew Davis

Dean, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts, University of Houston

Professor Beckham Dossett

Associate Dean, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts, University of Houston

Dr. María Gaztambide

Director & Chief Curator, Public Art of the University of Houston System

Professor David Politzer

Director, School of Art, University of Houston

Melissa Noble

Managing Director, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Initiatives, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts

Employment Opportunities

Please check frequently for new Employment additions.

General Employment

Thank you for your interest in employment with the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. Blaffer occasionally offers a range of career opportunities, both part-time and full-time. Full-time positions require specialized education and experience, while part-time positions are generally reserved for students.

The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Student Internships and Work Study

Students have opportunities to work in various capacities of the museum, such as gallery attendants, docents, office assistants, installation assistants, and interns. Blaffer Art Museum welcomes applications for internships in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Please contact the applicable department at the university or college you attend to find out if academic credit is available. To learn more about the docent or intern program, please contact Katherine Veneman at

Students participating in the work study program have the opportunity to learn on the job as gallery attendants, installation assistants, or office assistants. For more information or questions regarding or student gallery attendant positions, please contact Blanca Wilson at or visit Blaffer’s front desk. For temporary installation assistant positions, please contact Youngmin Chung at