To celebrate the new Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation, opening later this year, the exhibition Hidden Layers: Painting and Process in Europe, 1500–1800 highlights recent technical findings about European paintings in the Blaffer and MFAH collections.

Details of artists’ working methods, and clues to original artistic intention, are made clearer by discovering what lies in the hidden layers. X-radiography and infrared reflectography reveal preparatory layers and underlying changes. Sometimes the transformations are major, with entirely different compositions below the surface. Other examples show the brilliance of an artist’s underdrawing or subtle alterations of line as the design is refined.

This 45-minute, docent-led tour explores the exhibition and encourages visitors to discuss the art together.

Drop in! Gallery tours are free with Museum admission. On Thursdays, Museum admission is free, courtesy of Shell.

► Plan ahead for your visit with parking information.


Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from Melvyn and Cyvia Wolff; 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.