Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This series of lectures is held on Fridays at 1:30 p.m. with a repeat on Saturdays at 4 p.m. in the Brown Auditorium Theater. A reception to meet the speaker and a "Your Turn to Speak" tour follow each lecture.

Jan. 10-11: Giants of the Desert: Statues, Stonework, and Ancient Kingdoms in Saudi Arabia
Since the 19th century, travelers and enthusiasts have explored and searched for the past of the South Arabian Peninsula. This talk provides an introduction and overview into important aspects of the discoveries and highlight fascinating aspects of current discoveries and archaeological projects in the kingdom. Of particular interest are stone sculptures, discovered in recent years in the Oasis of Tayma, and their context in the wider Arabian world and beyond. 

Jan. 17-18: Colonial Cousins: How Benjamin West and John Singleton Copley Took London by Storm
Long before Jackson Pollock and his fellow Abstract Expressionists drew international acclaim for their innovative paintings in the mid-20th century, colonial Americans Benjamin West (1738–1820) and John Singleton Copley (1738–1815) held center stage in London's art world in the latter part of the 18th century. How did two colonial artists on the margins of the British Empire capture the imagination of the art-viewing public at the time? And what made West and Copley powerful drivers of artistic change? In this lecture, Emily Ballew Neff explores the seminal role West and Copley played in redefining the long-established genre of history painting in contemporary terms, and why their paintings still resonate with meaning to the present day.

Jan. 24-25: Houston's Hermann Park: A Century of Community
Barrie Scardino Bradley introduces her new book, Houston's Hermann Park: A Century of Community, which focuses on the park's development from 1914 and its relationship to the South End precinct, inspired by the City Beautiful movement, that includes MFAH, Rice University and Shadyside. Hermann Park has undergone a remarkable renewal in the last 20 years based on a master plan by renowned landscape architect Laurie Olin. Illustrated with images from the book and historic photographs of the Museum District, the lecture addresses that transformation as well as future plans for the park.

Jan. 31-Feb. 1: A Passion for Renoir
Although Sterling Clark loved the work of many French Impressionists, his special passion was Pierre-Auguste Renoir, whom he considered one of the greatest painters of all time — on a par with the great masters of the Renaissance. Clark avidly collected Renoir, amassing 39 works including portraits, still lifes, landscapes and genre scenes, concentrating his collecting on paintings created when Renoir was at the height of his career. Presented by Helga Aurisch, curator of European art.



Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005


$8 general public plus regular museum admission; $5 MFAH members.
All events are subject to change due to weather or other concerns. Please check with the venue or organization to ensure an event is taking place as scheduled.