For those who would like to have a more in-depth relationship with the MFAH, there are many Patron Groups that allow community members to affect the way the museum's collections are shaped, to travel with curators and others who share your interests, and to attend exclusive galas and exhibition previews. There is a patron group for every artistic interest. Each requires that you become an MFAH member in order to join. For more information, or to join, contact Emily Klim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.639.7594.
African American Art Advisory Association (Five-A)
Support the artistic accomplishments of African Americans while providing resources to increase the MFAH collection of African American art. Founded in 1993, the African American Art Advisory Association (Five-A) supports the museum’s collection of African American art and educates the community at large about the diverse body of artwork created by African Americans. Five-A members are treated to private tours, receptions, and lectures by renowned artists, curators, and historians. Membership dues and other fundraising proceeds go toward the purchase of African or African American art for the MFAH collections. Friend: $1,000. Member: $500. Supporter: $250.
American Art and Wine
Join American Art and Wine and visit some of Houston’s private American art collections while enjoying fine wines selected to match the artworks on view. Members of this group enjoy exclusive access to private collections in Houston, gather to hear wine experts talk about trends in the wine business, and take private, behind-the-scenes tours of major exhibitions of American art. American Art and Wine supports the American art department at the MFAH. Benefactor: $2,500. Friend: $1,000. Member: $500.
Art + Paper
Art + Paper celebrates and supports the collection and activities of the Prints and Drawings Department. It fosters a deeper appreciation for the graphic arts from a wide variety of periods and cultures, and encourages the understanding and collecting of prints and drawings through a series of exciting events with artists, collectors, curators, conservators, dealers, galleries, and other museums. Membership dues and other fundraising proceeds support purchases of works of art. Members are honored at an annual dinner, where they vote on objects to accession. Founder: $7,500 over five years ($1,500 per year). Patron: $1,500. Member: $500.
contemporary@mfah highlights and celebrates the role of contemporary art at the MFAH. Members will be invited to participate in four special events annually, such as dialogues with museum professionals, tours of private collections, and studio visits with artists. There will also be at least one opportunity per year to visit a major art destination. Members will have access to the museum's resources to learn best collecting practices, with an emphasis on how to build and maintain a commitment to the art of our time. Working locally, nationally, and internationally, the MFAH offers a unique forum for contemporary art as it continues to build one of this nation’s most all-encompassing encyclopedic collections. And, as the museum prepares for a major expansion to house contemporary art, contemporary@mfah membership dues will be dedicated to collections that will shape the future of this terrific new adventure for Houston. Founder: $7,500 over five years ($1,500 per year). Patron: $1,500. Member: $500. Young Contemporaries (age 35 and under): $250.
For those who wish to support emerging artists and critics in the Core Program, the museum’s premier residency program at the Glassell School of Art, the Core Salon provides an opportunity to get to know the Core Fellows and enjoy intimate gatherings featuring discussions about contemporary art. Those who join at the 10 X 10 level receive a limited edition work of art created by a former Core Fellow. 10 X 10: $10,000. Salon: $2,500 (couple). Salon: $1,500 (individual).
Click here for more information on Core Salon.
(FMV $1,000, $200, $100)
If you have an interest in modern and contemporary design, architecture, and craft, then Design Council is the right patron group for you. Founded in 1998 as part of the MFAH department of decorative arts, the Design Council focuses on the defining role that art objects and design play in daily life. This dynamic group meets bimonthly, from September to May, for lectures, visits to private collections, and behind-the-scenes tours of exhibitions. The Design Council also supports the museum’s growing collection of decorative arts and design. The membership year culminates with excitement as the curatorial staff presents a selection of objects to Design Council members, who vote on which ones to acquire using their membership dues. Benefactor: $2,500. Friend: $1,000. Member: $500. Supporter: $300. Apprentice (age 30 and under): $100.
The Family Circle is a group for families who want to foster a long-term appreciation of the visual arts in their children while supporting the MFAH. The museum hosts four events per year exclusively for Family Circle members: three programs that focus on the MFAH permanent collections and touring exhibitions, and one major benefit staged throughout the museum. Family Circle members have the opportunity to take exclusive behind-the-scenes tours designed to give children a personalized and interactive introduction to the world of art; attend seminars that share strategies for enhancing children’s visits to the museum; and participate in other fun programs that encourage a lifelong interest in the visual arts. Annual dues: $950.
Film Buffs is the museum's membership group for movie lovers. Industry professionals such as director Charles Burnett, actors Stockard Channing and Peter Fonda, and Houstonians Wes Anderson, Jonathan Caouette, and Richard Linklater have all played a role in Film Buffs events. Receive at least 10 admissions to the museum’s year-round film screenings in Brown Auditorium Theater (excluding some screenings); passes to sneak previews of new commercial film releases; invitations to social events and programs with visiting filmmakers and members of the Houston film community; MFAH Films, the printed film calendar; and FilmNews, a weekly e-mail update. Ultimate Film Supporter (individual or couple): $1,000. Film Buff (couple): $150. Film Buff (individual): $85.
Friends of the Arts of the Islamic World
Members of this group help the MFAH promote the cultural and artistic traditions of the Islamic world while enjoying exciting benefits, including invitations to lectures by leading experts and collectors, invitations to private events, guided tours of MFAH exhibitions, advice from experts on building private collections, and exclusive travel opportunities. The group gathers for a private annual dinner, during which members vote on how to spend the funds raised by Friends of the Arts of the Islamic World. Sustaining Founder: $25,000 over five years ($5,000 per year). Founder: $15,000 over five years ($3,000 per year). Benefactor: $2,500. Patron: $1,500. Young Patron (age 40 and under): $500.
Friends of Asian Art
The Friends of Asian Art plays a critical and active role in one of the most rapidly growing collections in the museum. With the opening of several new spaces dedicated to Asian arts in the Caroline Wiess Law Building--the Arts of Korea Gallery (2007), the Glassell Collection of Indonesian Gold (2008), The Nidhika and Pershant Mehta Arts of India Gallery (2009), The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Arts of China Gallery (2010), and the Arts of Japan (2012)--now is a particularly exciting time to join. Enjoy lectures and special cocktail receptions to meet pre modern and contemporary curators, scholars, dealers, and artists. Participate in exclusive viewings of exhibitions, collections, and behind the scenes tours. Join Christine Starkman, Asian Art Curator, Ancient to Contemporary Art, in curator-led travel opportunities to Europe and Asia to visit museums, important cultural sites, take part in art fairs, and visit private collections. The members of the Friends of Asian Art vote on acquisitions of Ancient and Contemporary masterpieces at the annual seated dinner. Major Sponsor: $10,000. Sponsor: $5,000. Benefactor: $2,500.
Join the MFAH Guild, the leadership group of the museum's volunteers. Members of this patron group help encourage, foster, and support the important role carried out by the museum's volunteers, whose efforts are critical to the success of the MFAH. Members enjoy exclusive participation in special lectures, social events, art-based trips, and leadership opportunities. As a Guild member, you will join in the warm camaraderie shared by hundreds of talented people dedicated to the success of the MFAH through volunteerism. Regular: $40 + 20 hours minimum volunteering. Dual/Couple: $50 + 20 hours minimum volunteering by one. Sustaining: $70 (no volunteering required). Sustaining Couple: $80
Learn more about the exciting field of Latin American art through informal lectures, seminars, and visits to some of the most prominent private collections in Houston and abroad. Members of the Latin Maecenas have the opportunity to interact with important contemporary Latin American and Latino artists; travel with curators to Latin American and U.S. cities for exclusive visits to public and private art collections, galleries, and artists’ studios; and learn how to recognize valuable opportunities in this rapidly expanding market. Funds raised by the group provide support for the purchase of new works of Latin American art for the MFAH collection. Sustaining Founder: $25,000 over five years ($5,000 per year). Sustaining Benefactor: $12,500 over five years ($2,500 per year). Sponsor: $5,000. Benefactor: $2,500.
If you have an interest in the museum’s curatorial efforts in all areas of the fine arts, consider joining Museum Collectors. Members enjoy private tours of some of the most prestigious art collections in Houston, as well as curator-led lectures, exhibition tours, educational presentations, and events that focus on aspects of collecting in various media. Among the group’s most popular events is the year-end May meeting, at which the group views a selection of artworks presented by MFAH curators and votes on which ones to acquire using membership dues. Since its founding in 1979, this patron group has purchased 100 important works of art for the MFAH. Benefactor (individual or couple): $2,500. Friend (individual or couple): $1,000. Member (individual): $350.
Photo Forum is for patrons interested in photography as a fine art. This group has a dual purpose: to increase members’ knowledge about the collecting, connoisseurship, and history of photography; and to support the museum’s growing permanent collection of contemporary photography. Founded in 1988, Photo Forum sponsors at least six programs a year including special tours of exhibitions, talks by photographers and collectors, and previews of upcoming auctions. These programs are often followed by dinner and lively discussion. At the final meeting each year, Photo Forum members use their dues to acquire contemporary photographs for the MFAH permanent collection. Benefactor: $2,500. Friend: $1,000. Member: $500. Supporter: $350.
The Rienzi Society benefits the MFAH’s collections of European decorative arts displayed in the former home of Carroll Sterling and Harris Masterson III. Members of the Rienzi Society receive special invitations to lectures and are invited each year to participate in selecting pieces for the collection to be purchased with funds raised at the Rienzi Society Dinner. The evening allows members to preview the items available for acquisition, and to enjoy a spectacular formal dinner in the Rienzi ballroom. Membership Dues (individual): $2,500.
Click here for more information on Rienzi Society.