The art giant's football side
Peter Marzio gets a Monday Night Football tribute from the Houston Texans
The places that Peter Marzio was lauded in the wake of his death last week was extensive, but largely predictable. Art institutions around the world, publications with international heft like the New York Times and cultural outlets such as NPR all weighed in on the man who transformed the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston into an art world juggernaut.
But you can add a new, perhaps unexpected, tribute to the list.
On the Monday Night Football stage, in arguably their highest-profile game of the season, the Houston Texans took several moments to pay respect to Marzio's impact on the city of Houston. Shortly before kickoff, with the stadium all but filled, the Texans put a picture of Marzio up on the big video board and held a moment of silence.
"Houston lost a great leader this past Thursday with the passing of Peter Marzio," the public address announcer intoned. "Peter Marzio was a visionary ... He believed that the museum should be a place for all people and he worked tirelessly to ensure that the world class exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston were accessible to all."
Ever since Marzio died late last week from a cancer that even many art insiders didn't know he had, the tributes have poured in from around the world. Not many would have expected an NFL team to honor a museum head though.
Then again, Marzio wasn't your average museum director. And the Texans strive not to be your average football team oblivious to what's going on in the town around the stadium. Instead, owner Bob McNair and team president Jamey Rootes stress being a part of the greater community.
Marzio was a devoted football fan. He went to Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa. on a football scholarship and never lost his love for the game when he moved into the art world.
"He was a man for all seasons, an avid sports fan and a great supporter of the Texans and all things good in the community," the Texans PA announcer said during the tribute.
Marzio and his wife Frances routinely sat in McNair's personal box during the team's games and the families were great friends.
The museum director with a Monday Night Football moment? That's probably another first recorded by Peter Marzio.