As VIP guests sat down for dinner in the Blaffer galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, after getting the first look at "Mark Rothko: A Retrospective," the surrounding paintings from previous centuries hung in quiet contrast to Rothko's dynamic works on display in the Brown Foundation galleries.
The energy that the exhibition of the abstract expressionist's work inspired among the 160 donors, funders and curators carried over throughout the dinner which proved to be one of the museum's more animated preview evenings.
"Not since the great exhibition held in Washington in 1998 have so many Rothkos been united in our country," MFAH director Gary Tinterow told the gathering. "And not since 1979 has there been an important Rothko exhibition in Houston."
Rothko's son Christopher Rothko, author and director of the Rothko Chapel, was in Houston for the exhibition opening and the dinner where both Tinterow and Alison de Lima Greene, curator of contemporary art and special projects, spoke briefly. Their remarks included thanks to River Oaks District, lead corporate sponsor.
The enthusiastic group included Anne and Charles Duncan, Tina and Joe Pine, Nancy and Rich Kinder, Lynn Wyatt, Cornelia and Meredith Long, Ann Trammell, Sara Dodd, Colin Moussa, Laurie Morian, Nancy and Butch Abendshein and Aliyya Stude.