Newsletter subscribe

Museums, Recent Posts, Tourist Attractions

Houston Folk Art | Beer Can House & Art Car Museum

Posted: June 26, 2018 at 7:58 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Folk Art in Houston, Texas

We celebrate all types of art in and around the Houston metropolitan area and that includes folk art.  Houston folk art is often amusing and entertaining.  Artists who create various forms of this type of art are unconstrained by convention.  In this post I will show you two places that share the same Houston zip code.

Mailbox at the Beer Can House

The Beer Can House

Seamless aluminum cans fascinated John Milkovisch.  Read some interesting facts about aluminum below.

  • The earth’s crust is made up with about 8% of aluminum.
  • Aluminum is soft, lightweight and malleable.
  • It is resistant to corrosion.
  • Aluminum is most often found mixed with other minerals.
  • 1956 was when aluminum cans were invented and commonly utilized from 1958 to the present day.
  • The person who first named aluminum in 1808 was Humphry Davy, a British chemist.
  • Aluminium is the preferred spelling and pronunciation of the word aluminum outside of the U.S. and Canada.
  • The making of aluminum is very energy intensive requiring lots of electricity.
  • Recovery of aluminum through recycling uses approximately 5% of the energy needed to extract aluminum from ore.
  • A sampling of the uses for aluminum include spacecraft, automobiles, cookware, paint, street light poles, doors and window casings, baseball bats, some coins and so much more.
  • Aluminum compounds have wide ranging applications in industry.

John Milkovisch may or may not have known all of this when he began to collect aluminum beer cans.  Perhaps it was the silvery gray metallic color that attracted him.  Over the years Mr. Milkovisch began to experiment with flattening out the cans and cutting them into various sizes.  With space considerations in mind it would have been easier to keep collecting the cans when flattened.  But what to do with all of that accumulated aluminum?

“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.” —Aeschylus

That quote could certainly be described to what eventually became known as the Beer Can House in Houston, Texas.  Click on the highlighted link to learn more.  Obviously the Beer Can House can be viewed anytime from the exterior but if you wish to take a closer look inside and out, plan your visits on a weekend when it is open to the public.

 

Art Car Museum

The map above also shows the location of the Art Car Museum in Houston.  So if you enjoy viewing different types of folk art you just might want to make a day of it and enjoy seeing both locations.  This eclectic museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday.

An art car spotted on the streets of Houston in Hermann Park.

Ever since the days when horses and buggies were replaced by the first automobiles, people have become enamored with the horse power under the hoods of those vehicles.  In America the Model T cars became the first massed produced ones on the road which were created by the Ford Motor Company.  Those early cars were not always reliable and the roads were not as good as they became in later years.

A funny story that relates back to the wedding journey of my husband’s grandparents in 1918 can be read here.  It has to do with the road conditions and reliability of their “Old Henry Ford.”

Here are some interesting facts regarding early automobiles according to Wikipedia:

  • In 1875 the State of Wisconsin offered a $10,000 reward to the first manufacturer of a vehicle replacing horses and buggies.  An average speed of more than 5 miles per hour would have to be maintained over a 200-mile course.
  • The first automobile manufacturing company in the United States was the Duryea Motor Wagon Company in 1893.
  • The world’s 2nd mass-produced auto was the Rambler by the Thomas B. Jeffery Company in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (1902-1916)
  • In the early 1930s steam-powered vehicles were at the peak of development.
  • It took until 1955 until 6 million cars a year would be sold in the United States.

Art Cars

There are many car aficionados of every make and model who like to keep them operational and usable.  At our old place of residence our next door neighbor kept himself busy refurbishing Studebaker cars.  You can read about my mother’s Studebaker car called Tillie which I clearly remember.  It should probably have been turned into an art car but I doubt that was ever thought of back in those days.

Today there are artistically inclined people who use primarily older cars and turn them into vehicular pieces of art.

An art car under the carport at the Art Car Museum

The Greek philosopher Plato once said that “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.”  What is beautiful to one person may seem odd or ugly to another.

Check out our Art Car Museum in Houston, Texas to see different art cars on display as well as other unique types of art.  You may exit the museum scratching your head in disbelief or wonder but one thing is for sure.  I will just bet that you will leave with a smile on your face!