Ever since I nearly missed the gift shop at the Prado because of an earlier than usual closing time, I go straight to the gift shop when I first visit any museum.
After a while I figured out that the postcard rack is a good place to find what the museum keepers consider the best stuff in their museum. I also discovered from gift shop photo cards exactly where to stand to take dramatic pictures of the building. (Then — to the cafe to make sure it will be open when you’re ready to kick back and congratulate yourself for being cultured.)
It’s unlikely that docents universally embrace my technique, but just between us — sometimes a short tour is all you need.
The Art Museum of South Texas is a stunner that sits right on the edge of the bay.
Philip Johnson, of Glass House fame, designed the original poured concrete building in 1972; Victor and Ricardo Legorreta collaborated on an addition completed in 2006 that added 13 roof top pyramids and alfresco dining. Worth a trip if you’re in town.