Originally established as home and garden estate for Ima Hogg (1882–1975) and her two brothers in the late 1920s, the Bayou Bend Art Museum and Garden—which is a part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston—features American paintings and decorative arts that date between 1620-1870. These works of art, which include furniture, silver pieces and ceramics, comprise one of the best collections of its kind in the world. The museum is located on Memorial Drive just east of Memorial Park. It offers many programs for people of all ages including a summer camp, art classes, workshops and lectures.
Ima Hogg was an important civic leader and philanthropist in Houston during the 20th century. She and her brothers bought the property in 1925 and started to build the house and gardens two years later. Ima was very interested in classical history and designed the garden to reflect these interests; she included three statues from Greek mythology. She decided to donate the estate to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 1957. Since 1961, the house has been maintained by the River Oaks Garden Club. The estate was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.