The David B. Warren Symposium

One of the greatest cultural treasures in the state of Texas, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is renowned for its superb collection of American and Texas decorative arts and paintings. Established by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to honor Bayou Bend's founding director emeritus, the David B. Warren Symposium has been presented biennially since 2007. Each symposium addresses different aspects of the theme “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience.”


Call for Papers

The 2015 David B. Warren Symposium
on American Material Culture
and the Texas Experience


“Creators and Consumers:
Women and Material Culture and Visual Art
in 19th-Century Texas, the Lower South,
and the Southwest”


October 2325, 2015
Presented by Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Bayou Bend is accepting proposals for papers on women’s experience of material culture and visual art in pre-1900 Texas, the Lower South and the Southwest, to be presented at the fifth biennial David B. Warren Symposium in 2015. This symposium explores women’s contributions to material culture and visual arts of the 19th century through making, decorating, choosing, arranging, or using functional or artistic objects. Subjects of interest include traditional arts and crafts produced by women, participation in or support of traditionally male creative activities, and women’s influence through their choices and consumption. Proposals focusing on Texas and those presenting previously unpublished research receive particular consideration. Papers are published in the proceedings of the symposium in 2016.

Participants are invited to submit a 300-word abstract proposal for a paper to be presented as an illustrated oral lecture 25 or 50 minutes in length. The abstract should be accompanied by a current C.V. Please indicate presentation length in proposal. In general, 25-minute lectures are more appropriate for emerging scholars, while 50-minute lectures are  appropriate for senior scholars. Paper proposals are due to Bayou Bend by January 15, 2015. Acceptances are  announced by March 1, 2015.

The overall theme of the symposium series is “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience,” with the goal of providing an ongoing forum that examines pre-1900 Texas (as well as the lower South and Southwest) through the lens of American material culture. The symposium is named in honor of David B. Warren, the founding director emeritus of Bayou Bend.

For more information about the symposium or to submit abstracts, call 713.639.7759 or e-mail warrensymposium@mfah.org. Those whose papers are accepted receive transportation expenses, an honorarium for speaking, and a fee for preparing their manuscript for publication.


History of the David B. Warren Symposium

The inaugural David B. Warren Symposium, “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience,” was presented by Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on February 9–10, 2007. David B. Warren delivered the keynote address, “A Gift of Love: Miss Ima Hogg’s Quest to Bring Americana to Texas.” The second symposium, “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience, Part 2” was presented October 30–31, 2009. The first two symposia placed the pre-1900 material culture of Texas, the lower South, and the Southwest within a national and international context, establishing a tradition that future symposia would follow.

The third biennial David B. Warren Symposium, “The Civil War and the Material Culture of Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest,” was held October 28–30, 2011, and commemorated the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War. The fourth symposium was held October 25–27, 2013. The theme, “Itinerant and Immigrant Artists and Artisans in 19th-Century Texas,” acknowledged the contributions of foreign-born craftsmen, photographers, and artists to the material culture of the Lone Star State.


The 2014 David Warren Symposium at Bayou Bend received generous funding from: The David B. Warren Symposium Endowment; Bobbie and John Nau; William J. Hill; Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; The Summerlee Foundation; Marilyn Lummis; Nancy Glanville Jewell; Texas Historical Foundation; Friends of the Texas Governor’s Mansion; and Jane Karotkin