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  1. 15 Dec
    Thu / 2011
    This past Tuesday, Christie’s New York auction house held a sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, 80 pieces totaling a whopping $116 million.  At the top of that list, was a necklace featuring one of the most celebrated pearls known in the world – La Peregrina. The pearl is familiar in Rienzi’s gallery, where it is prominently depicted in a full-length portrait of Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain from 1605.  The jewel made its way to...

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  2. 15 Dec
    Thu / 2011
    I arrived at Rienzi a few minutes early this morning, coffee in one hand, my lunch of leftover saag paneer in the other. I was a little on edge, for my a.m. drive in was unnecessarily stressful. When I entered my office, which is an off-view bedroom at Rienzi, nick-named the Septapus Room after a psychedelic seven armed octopus that is painted on the walls, ironically, I felt an instant calm. Psychedelic murals aside, the Septapus...

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  3. 07 Dec
    Wed / 2011
    On Thursday, December 1st Rienzi hosted a conversation with Megan and James Silk, two-thirds of the trio from Feast Restaurant on lower Westhemier. Feast is a European-style restaurant that follows a “nose-to-tail” philosophy, advocating for the consumption of the whole animal, no bits left behind. At the reception before the main event, Feast provided the 60 guests with a course of hors d’oeuvres from their restaurant. Later on in the program, they revealed...

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  4. 17 Nov
    Thu / 2011
    Because one scoop of ice cream blog post is never enough, here’s a bit more on dessert equipage from the eighteenth century… As part of our installation devoted to the dessert service, we have on view an ice pail, made by the Worcester Porcelain Manufactory in 1770. This intricately decorated vessel is very much what it sounds like – it is a pail made to hold ice and chill food.  Designed in three parts, ice would...

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  5. 15 Nov
    Tue / 2011
    If you enjoy an ice cream cone now and again (and we hope that you do), you might be interested to learn that ice cream was a favored dessert in European circles as early as the seventeenth century. As part of our exhibition English Taste, Rienzi has on view a series of porcelain objects from eighteenth-century dessert services, two of which were made specifically for ice cream.  If the thought of 300 year old ice cream...

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  • Inside the MFAH

    “Inside the MFAH” provides perspectives, conversations, and opinions from insiders at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Read blog »

  • The Gilded Dish: A Rienzi Blog

    Rienzi is the house museum and collection of European paintings and decorative arts at the MFAH. Our articles highlight elements of the collection, discuss additions and changes to the house or gardens, and review events held at Rienzi for those of you not able ... Read blog »

  • The Muse of Provence: A Blog for the Dora Maar House

    The Brown Foundation Fellows Program, based at the Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, France, provides residencies of one to three months for midcareer professionals in the arts and humanities to concentrate on their fields of expertise.       Read blog »

  • Through the Storm: E-Records Blog

    In 2010, the MFAH received a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to plan the implementation of an electronic records archive (ERA) for preserving the museum’s permanent born-digital records. Under the grant, the MFAH Archives and Information Technology ... Read blog »