At the heart of the museum’s permanent collection are the 10,000 art works and objects that the de Menils acquired beginning in the 1940s. Since the museum opened in 1987, the collection has nearly doubled in size. The museum’s curatorial staff and generous supporters have worked to augment the Menil Collection’s holdings through purchases and gifts of works of art that celebrate the diversity of interests that characterize the Menil.

To pay tribute to the museum’s first thirty years, curators selected thirty works of art to tell a unique story about the museum’s history by constructing a narrative that walks visitors through the past thirty years. The works from the permanent collection represent the museum’s history, the range and depth of its collection, and the close relationships that the de Menils cultivated with artists over many years. Featured works are dispersed across the permanent collection galleries, satellite buildings, and the front lawn.

A keepsake gallery guide illuminates each of the thirty works with snapshot descriptions that detail the history of the institution. The museum’s conservation, publication, and programming departments have joined the curatorial team to tell these stories from a variety of perspectives.