The Evolving Lives of Objects

Carol and Les Ballard Lecture

The Evolving Lives of Objects

New discoveries provide an opportunity to look at historic objects in a different light. During this afternoon of free programs at Bayou Bend, see how curators, conservators, and historians view museum collections from a unique perspective.

For example, in The Obama Portraits Tour, the stylistic conventions of artists Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley break with those of traditional presidential portraiture. This event also covers topics such what an altered chair can reveal about its time prior to entering a museum collection; the secrets an artifact may yield during conservation; and how understanding a work of art changes with knowledge about contributions made by artisans marginalized in historical narratives.

The afternoon’s spotlight lecture is accompanied by a quilt viewing, a tour of relevant objects in the Bayou Bend Collection, and video presentations from MFAH curators and conservators.

Lecture | 1 p.m.* and 3 p.m.
“Cut, Pieced, and Upholstered: Unpicking the Many Lives of Quilts during the Colonial Revival”

Presented by Laura E. Johnson, the Linda Eaton Associate Curator of Textiles at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Quilts are admired today as much for their bold designs as their ability to record history. But from the 1870s to 1940s, collectors decorated with quilts in ways that may seem surprising now. This talk explores connections between decorators, quilts, and interior design at the turn of the 20th century. The focus then turns to new stories in the 21st century, examining the global histories of production and consumption woven into these extraordinary textiles.
*The 1 p.m. lecture is also available via Zoom, with closed captioning.

Free | Reservations are strongly recommended via or 713.639.7750.

Learn more about Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens

This lecture series is generously endowed by Carol and Les Ballard.


Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
6003 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77007
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