Rienzi Gallery Talk: Let the Games (Table) Begin November 18, 2020

By The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Tags: rienzi-gallery-talk, 18th-century, mfah, museum, games

Discover 18th-century English games tables, popular for playing cards, and the innovative “concertina action” technology that furniture designers used for the ease and comfort of the gamers.

In this virtual gallery talk, Trevor Boyd, associate conservator of decorative arts, tells the story behind the story of the Games Table in the ballroom at Rienzi.

As he unboxes the components of the design and shows how it works, find out about this cutting-edge technology of the early 1700s, when gambling moved from gaming houses into personal spaces. See how the concertina action operates (think “accordion”), why the table has built-in spaces for candles, and much more.

Fall Gallery Talks
This virtual gallery talk is the second in the fall series of three presented by Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts.

Next up: In December, curator Kaylin Weber highlights an enigmatic painting. For the October talk about 18th-century Chinese export porcelain with assistant curator Misty Flores, watch here.

Visiting Rienzi
To see the Games Table—and other beautiful works of art—in person, schedule a tour of Rienzi.


Education programs at Rienzi receive generous funding from the Sterling-Turner Foundation; Alkek and Williams Foundation; Carroll Sterling and Harris Masterson III Endowment; Isla Carroll Turner Friendship Trust; and the Caroline Wiess Law Endowment for Rienzi.