Presented by Helga K. Aurisch, curator, European art

When Edith and Percy Straus gave their remarkable collection of European art to the MFAH in 1941, their generous donation of 83 works marked a turning point for the Museum. The gift not only formed the cornerstone of the European art department, but also put the MFAH firmly on the map.

For five years after its acquisition, the Straus Collection was exhibited as a stand-alone display, but afterward the works of art were dispersed throughout the galleries among the Museum’s ever-growing holdings. With the exhibition Passion for Perfection, the Straus Collection objects are finally on view again together—providing a wonderful opportunity to deepen appreciation of the high quality and broad reach of the collection.   

In this lecture, Helga Aurisch discusses how the Straus Collection was formed, highlights key works, and explores the significant role the collection has played in the growth of the Museum’s holdings of European art. 

$5 MFAH Members
• $10 Nonmembers
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Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from MD Anderson Cancer Center; Mitra Mujica-Margolis and Michael Margolis; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; Houston Junior Woman's Club; Mercantil Bank; Mr. William J. Hill; The Windgate Charitable Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Sharon G. Dies; The Powell Foundation; and the Susan Vaughan Foundation.