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Guido Reni, Saint James the Greater, c. 1636–38, oil on canvas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Agnes Cullen Arnold Accessions Endowment Fund.

Going for Baroque: The Ups and Downs of the Taste for Collecting the Italian Old Masters

Saturday, Mar 01, 2014
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet Map & Directions

Presented by Edgar Peters Bowron, PhD, Audrey Jones Beck Curator of European Art

Trends in scholarship and collecting art, as in other fields, ebb and flow. In America, the taste for Italian Baroque painting of the 17th and 18th centuries has experienced highs and lows. During the late-18th century, founding father and third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, displayed great interest in Guido Reni, Salvator Rosa, Caravaggio, and their contemporaries. A half-century later, in response to British critic John Ruskin, these painters fell out of favor. But less than a century later, American collectors including Samuel H. Kress and John Ringling collected these painters with enthusiasm and, as a result, greatly influenced museum collections in the United States, including the MFAH. And what is the state of collecting Italian Baroque masters today?

Join Edgar Peters Bowron, Audrey Jones Beck Curator of European Art, for a richly-illustrated lecture about the ins and outs of the ups and downs of Italian Baroque painting in America. Questions about the content of this lecture? E-mail

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

$5 MFAH Members
$8 Nonmembers + Museum admission
Free for Members at the Patron, Supporting, Sponsor, and Benefactor levels, up to two tickets. Leadership Circle members receive unlimited free tickets.
Secure your seat in advance! Use the "Get Tickets" button above and print at home; call 713.639.7771; or visit any MFAH admissions desk.

Friday and Saturday Afternoon Lectures at the MFAH receive generous support from Aggie and Joe Foster.

Special thanks to Adept Word Management for transcription services.

All education programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive endowment income from funds provided by Caroline Wiess Law; The National Endowment for the Humanities; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; the Favrot Fund; and Gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.