Houston Museum News

The Menil Collection


Menil 25 Program - Making A Museum

Calvin Tomkins in conversation with Josef Helfenstein

Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

For three decades Calvin Tomkins has written about art for The New Yorker. The world he portrayed - through profiles of artists, architects, and curators like Philip Johnson, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Pontus Hulten, Walter Hopps, Renzo Piano, Robert Rauschenberg, Dia Art Foundation - was also the world of John and Dominique de Menil. Calvin Tomkins will recall that world in conversation with Menil director, Josef Helfenstein.


Holocaust Museum

Holocaust Museum Houston will offer tours focusing on the life and ministry of the German Lutheran theologian Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer each Saturday in October at 11:30 a.m. Bonhoeffer's actions against the Nazi Party and his message to the church in the context of the events of the Holocaust will be the focus of tours of the Museum's permanent exhibit, German railcar and Danish fishing boat. Tours include a look at the early influences on Bonhoeffer before the Holocaust, his organization of the Confessing Church to stand with the Jews in reaction to the Aryan clause, his involvement in assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler and his imprisonment and execution at the Flossenburg concentration camp by direct order from Hitler. The tours include the stories of the Bishop of Munster and Pastor Trocme, church leaders who strived to protect victims from Nazi tyranny. Admission and the walk-in tour are free. Tour sizes are limited, and advance reservation is requested. To register for any tour, visit http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online. To schedule a separate private group tour for 10 or more in advance, visit the Museum's Web site at http://www.hmh.org and check the “Plan Your Visit tab.”


Contemporary Art Museum

My Land

Election Eve Viewing Party

Thursday, November 6 | 6:30PM

In conjunction with artist Jonathan Horowitz's installation "Your Land/My Land: Election '12", CAMH is hosting an election eve viewing party. Staged simultaneously at art museums across the US, “Your Land/My Land: Election ’12” is a reimagined installation originally presented by Horowitz during the 2008 presidential election. At each location (as in ’08), red and blue area rugs will divide the exhibition space into opposing zones, reflecting America’s color-coded, political, and cultural divide. Back-to-back monitors will be suspended between the carpets, with one broadcasting a live feed of Fox News, the other of MSNBC. The installation will provide a location for people to gather and watch coverage of as well as talk about the presidential election. Its central trope is a divided United States swathed in only red and blue.



Public Opening and Reception on Friday, October 12, 2012, 6-9pm

Blaffer Art Museum is pleased to present a twenty-year survey dedicated to American sculptor Tony Feher. The exhibition and the accompanying monograph represent the first attempt at a comprehensive, in-depth consideration of Feher’s career. It seeks to reveal the richness, complexity, and impact of Feher’s investigations through a careful selection of 60 key works that revolve around a very personal formal, material, and spatial vocabulary developed and refined over the past couple of decades.

Feher's art can be initially challenging in its apparent ordinariness, in particular when it comes to the nature of his materials. Some of this has to do with the fact that Feher's works are mostly made up of objects that generally play a passing role in our lives that are usually discarded after their contents are consumed, or equally disposable packing and storing material. Feher selects the elements for his sculptures with utmost care and restraint; despite their generic character, ready availability, and ubiquitousness, in his hands they become specific. He often lives with materials for a long time, finally singling them out for their formal qualities and potentialities. Claudia Schmuckli, Director and Chief Curator of Blaffer Art Museum explains, “Tony Feher's work stands out as an oddly optimistic ode to hope. Its power to move us lies in the artist's desire to carve out moments of profound solace and quietude, to restore order and beauty where there is chaos and ugliness, and to celebrate the power of creativity as humanity's most powerful weapon and achievement.” Feher doesn't seek so much to transform as to accentuate the inherent characteristics of his artistic tools, to enable us to truly see and appreciate their value and beauty, or simply to see and appreciate things differently and anew. As Feher has summed it up, “Life is vulnerable, not fragile. Life perseveres. It has a tenacious grip. My art may appear fragile, but it holds on.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated monograph. At roughly 272 pages, with more than 100-four color plates and essays by Russell Ferguson, Chair, Department of Art, UCLA, and exhibition curator Claudia Schmuckli, it will be the first publication to fully document and interpret Feher’s artistic output. The monograph is designed by Takaaki Matsumoto Inc., New York, and published and distributed by Gregory R. Miller & Co., New York.

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1956, Feher was brought up in Corpus Christi, Texas and pursued a BA from the University of Texas, Austin. He now lives in New York.

Tony Feher is organized by Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. The exhibition and publication are made possible, in part, by The Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs, Houston Endowment Inc., ACME., Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Hiram Butler and Devin Borden, D'Amelio Terras, Jennifer and Jeff Eldredge, The Pace Gallery, Despina Papafote Caldwell and Don Ballard, Julie A. Cohn and John A. Connor, Douglas and Jennifer Bosch, Martha Claire Tompkins, Sissy and Denny Kempner, Mary and Bernard Arocha, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Hiendarsanti Darmodjo, Heidi and David Gerger, Theodore J. Lee and Marc A. Sekula, Judy and Scott Nyquist, and Kenneth and Michelle Zagorski.


The Houston Museum of Natural Science

October 16th

6:30 PM : Earth Extinction Events

Wortham Giant Screen Theatre

Many know of the theories of how the dinosaurs went extinct, yet may not know that Earth's past is full of mass extinction events-many far larger that the one that eradicated the dinosaurs. Follow the Earth for three complete orbits around our galaxy and examine paleo-geography in the context of our complex solar system, presented by geologist, paleontologist and astrophysicist John Moffitt. You will learn how life on Earth is affected by forces that are out-of-this-world in our planet's crowded superhighway. This lecture is included in a course co-sponsored by Rice University's Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.


Rienzi Announces “Punch Party: The 18th-Century Imbiber”

Enjoy 18th-century cocktails and 21st-century socializing on October 18


What    Each fall, Rienzi hosts a jolly celebration: “Punch Party: The 18th-Century Imbiber.” Travel back through time to the mid-1700s to explore historic English punch, a blend of spirits, citrus, sugar and spices. During this delightful evening at the MFAH house museum, guests sample original 18th-century cocktail recipes as well as modern punches concocted by the Midtown bar Mongoose vs. Cobra; and savory light bites with a historic twist. The unique sounds of AMP’D, the contemporary quartet from Divisi Strings, set the perfect tone for socializing on Rienzi’s terrace. Houston Grand Opera brings 18th-century garb for dressing up to snap fun photos in the Smilebooth.

When    Thursday, October 18, 2012

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where    Rienzi, 1406 Kirby Drive

Admission    Tickets are $25 for MFAH Members and $30 for nonmembers. Cost includes punch, light bites and complimentary valet parking. Space is limited, and reservations are required. Guests must be 21 or older. To purchase tickets,
visit www.mfah,.org/calendar online
or call 713.639.7800.

Background    Rienzi is the house museum for European decorative arts and paintings of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The beautiful estate is situated on four acres of wooded gardens, about three miles from downtown Houston in the historic River Oaks neighborhood. Formerly the home of philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III, Rienzi was designed by prominent Houston architect

John Staub in 1952. Opened to the public in 1999, Rienzi houses a substantial collection of European decorative arts, paintings, furnishings, porcelain and miniatures. Rienzi welcomes some 17,000 visitors throughout the year for tours, family programs, lectures, concerts and special events.