Patron Groups

Each patron group at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, creates a personal access point to the Museum where group members experience specially crafted programs to sharpen their appreciation for the arts and meet others with similar interests. Through exclusive members-only programs, supporters receive privileged access to curators and renowned art-world figures; behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum; visits to Houston's best art collections; and private, sophisticated travel opportunities. There is a patron group for every artistic interest, and all MFAH members are eligible to join one or more groups. For more information, contact Bradley Houston at bhouston@mfah.org or 713.639.7594.

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American Art and Wine

Join American Art and Wine and visit some of Houston’s best private collections focused on American art while enjoying fine wines. Members enjoy exclusive access to private art venues, gather to hear wine experts talk about trends in the wine business, and take behind-the-scenes tours of major exhibitions of American art. American Art and Wine supports the operations and acquisitions of the American painting and sculpture department at the MFAH.

 

Recent program highlights include:

  • Evening visit to the private collection of a Museum trustee with artwork by John Singer Sargent and other American masters
  • Behind-the-scenes lecture from conservation staff on American paintings in the Museum collection
  • Private, curator-led tour of the landmark exhibition, American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World

Founder: $5,000. Benefactor: $2,500. Patron: $1,000. Member: $500. Young Member (age 40 and under): $300. 

(FMV $65)

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Art + Paper

Art + Paper fosters a deeper appreciation for the graphic arts and encourages the understanding and collecting of works on paper through a series of exciting events with artists, collectors, curators, conservators, and other experts. Membership dues directly support the prints and drawings department, and the membership year culminates as the curatorial staff presents a selection of objects to consider for accession by the group.

Recent program highlights include:

  • Lectures from leading works on paper scholars such as Sarah Suzuki, Associate Curator, the Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Special curator-led tour of the Texas Contemporary Art Fair
  • Private opening exhibition reception for Princes and Paupers: The Art of Jacques Callot

Sustaining Benefactor: $12,500 over five years ($2,500 per year). Sustaining Patron: $7,500 over five years ($1,500 per year). Benefactor: $2,500. Patron: $1,500. Member: $750. Young Member (age 40 and under): $500.

(FMV $125)

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contemporary@mfah

contemporary@mfah highlights and celebrates the role of contemporary art at the Museum through dialogues with museum professionals, tours of exhibitions and private collections, and artist studio visits. Members have the opportunity to travel to a major art destination with curators, and to learn about best practices in collecting with an emphasis on how to acquire and maintain the art of our time. As the Museum prepares for a major building expansion devoted to contemporary art, contemporary@mfah membership dues will help build the collection that shapes this new chapter for the Museum and Houston.

Recent program highlights include:

  • Private tour with the curator of the seminal exhibition Picasso Black and White
  • Viewing of a private collector’s home featuring a new installation by James Turrell, among other important contemporary artists
  • Exclusive lecture presentation by renowned artist, Sean Scully
  • Patron trip to Mexico City including the National Palace, the marvelous Metropolitan Cathedral, private collections and galleries, and the recently completed Museo Jumex

Sustaining Benefactor: $10,000 over five years ($2,000 per year). Benefactor: $2,500. Patron: $1000. Young Patron (age 40 and under): $300.

(FMV $125)

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Core Salon

For those who wish to support emerging artists and critics in the Core Fellows Program, the Museum’s premier residency program at the Glassell School of Art, the Core Salon provides an opportunity to connect with Core Fellows and enjoy intimate gatherings, private collections and discussions on 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 (FMV $1,000). Salon: $2,500 (FMV $200).

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Design Council

As part of the decorative arts department, the Design Council focuses on the defining role that art objects and design play in everyday life. This dynamic group meets bimonthly for lectures, visits to private collections, and behind-the-scenes exhibition tours. Design Council also supports the Museum’s growing collection of decorative arts and design. The membership year culminates with an annual vote where members select accessions from a curatorial presentation of artworks.

 

Recent program highlights include:

  • Private curator-led tour of Koloman Moser: Designing Modern Vienna 1897-1907, the first monographic presentation of the designer’s work in the United States
  • Exclusive visit to a local private collection with contemporary glass by Lalique and works on paper by such artists as Matisse, Picasso, and Warhol
  • A behind-the-scenes demonstration of conservation techniques for plastics used in modern and contemporary design
  • Design-centered patron trip to Indianapolis featuring the Indianapolis Museum of Art with a reception at the Director’s home and special private collections

Benefactor: $2,500. Patron: $1,000. Member: $500. Young Member (age 40 and under): $300.

(FMV $10)

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Family Circle

The Family Circle fosters long-term appreciation of the visual arts for families and children while supporting the MFAH. Benefiting a range of important education initiatives, the group’s programs are led by the learning and interpretation department. The Museum hosts three events per year for Family Circle members, engaging patrons with the MFAH permanent collections and touring exhibitions. Family Circle members take exclusive behind-the-scenes tours that give children a personalized and interactive introduction to the world of art, and they participate in other fun programs that encourage lifelong interest in the visual arts.

Annual dues: $950.

(FMV $75)

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Friends of the Arts of the Islamic World

Members of this group help the Museum promote the cultural and artistic traditions of the Islamic world. Patrons enjoy invitations to lectures by leading experts and collectors, unique private events, guided tours of MFAH exhibitions, advice from experts on building private collections, and exclusive travel opportunities. The group also holds a biennial gala celebrating arts and culture of the Islamic world that draws guests from across the globe.

 

 

 

 

 

Other recent program highlights include:

  • A private reception in a trustee home honoring the Turkish Film Festival
  • Expert panel discussion examining the trends in collecting contemporary Arab art
  • Luxury member travel to southern Spain and Morocco with private visits to Marrakech, Fes, Córdoba, Seville, and Granada

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.

(FMV $100)

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Friends of Asian Art

The Friends of Asian Art play an active role in one of the most rapidly growing collections in the Museum. With the Arts of Korea Gallery, the Glassell Collection of Indonesian Gold, the Nidhika and Pershant Mehta Arts of India Gallery, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Arts of China Gallery, and the Arts of Japan Gallery, the Museum offers something for every Asian art connoisseur. Patrons enjoy lectures and private cocktail receptions to meet curators, scholars, dealers, and artists.  Members also participate in exclusive viewings of exhibitions, collections, and behind-the-scenes tours and have opportunities to participate in international, curator-led travel. A highpoint of the year is the annual seated dinner where Friends of Asian Art members vote to select ancient and contemporary masterpieces to be acquired for the Museum’s collection.

Recent program highlights include:

  • Lecture and private reception with renowned Indian artist Zarina Hashmi
  • Private-collection visit featuring important Imari porcelain and other Asian artworks
  • Curator-led tour of the exhibition Unfolding Worlds: Japanese Screens and Contemporary Ceramics from the Gitter-Yelen Collection

Major Sponsor: $10,000. Sponsor: $5,000. Benefactor: $2,500. Young Benefactor (age 40 and under): $1,000. 

(FMV $125)

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Latin Maecenas

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 have the opportunity to interact with important contemporary Latin American and Latino artists; travel internationally with curators; and learn how to recognize valuable opportunities in this rapidly expanding market. Funds raised by the group support the acquisition of Latin American artworks for the Museum’s collection. Latin Maecenas members are invited to the biennial Latin American Experience Gala, which brings the international Latin American art community to Houston.

 

 

 

Other recent program highlights include:

  • Exclusive talk and dinner with renowned Brazilian artist, Ernesto Neto
  • Lecture and private reception with Venezuelan artist, Arturo Herrera
  • Trustee collection visit featuring prominent Latin American artists from the School of the South
  • Private Latin Maecenas trip to Cuba highlighting unique architecture and artist studio visits

Sustaining Founder: $25,000 over five years ($5,000 per year). Sustaining Benefactor: $12,500 over five years ($2,500 per year). Founder: $5,000. Benefactor: $2,500. Young Benefactor (age 40 and under): $1,500. 

(FMV $95)

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Museum Collectors

Founded in 1979, Museum Collectors was the first patron group to be established at the MFAH. Members support acquisitions for all curatorial departments and enjoy private tours of important art venues, as well as curator lectures, exhibition tours, and events focused on best practices in collecting. Among the group’s most popular events is the spring meeting where members vote on artworks to acquire using membership dues.

Recent program highlights include:

  • Private curator-led tour of Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River
  • Behind-the-scenes view of works purchased by Museum Collectors for the prints and drawings department
  • Private collection visit with rare objects from the arts of the Islamic world

Benefactor (individual or couple): $2,500. Patron (individual or couple): $1,000. Member (individual): $350. 

(FMV $50)

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Photo Forum

Photo Forum supports the photography department at the MFAH and is designed to deepen members’ knowledge about the collecting, connoisseurship, and history of photography while supporting the Museum’s growing permanent collection. The group sponsors a number of programs a year, including special tours of exhibitions, talks by photographers and collectors, and previews of upcoming auctions. At the final meeting each year, Photo Forum members direct group dues to acquire contemporary photographs for the permanent collection.

Recent program highlights include:

  • Exclusive, curator-led preview of the landmark exhibition, For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 19681-1979
  • Lecture and reception with Ansel Adams scholar, Rebecca Senf
  • Special preview and reception for the Houston Center for Photography annual auction

Founder: $5,000. Benefactor: $2,500. Patron: $1,000. Member: $500. Young Member (age 40 and under): $300. 

(FMV: $55 for Benefactor and Patron levels; $50 for Friend and Member levels)

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Rienzi Society

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.

(FMV $100)

For more information, contact RienziSociety@mfah.org or 713.639.7523.

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