Exclusive Tours offer access to select Museum exhibitions on special Mondays when the Museum is closed to the public. In these lively, in-depth walking tours, Museum experts share their expansive knowledge about the featured exhibition. After the tour, discuss your experience over a glass of sparkling wine.


Exclusive Tour “The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta”

Join a private, curator-led tour of The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta for an exploration of the exhibition’s thematic sections. The talk touches on daywear and eveningwear, de la Renta’s love of texture and fabrics, and signature design elements.


Past Events in This Series

Exclusive Tour “Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950”

Curatorial staff leads tours of Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950 while the rest of the Museum is closed to the public. Join the program to explore how Mexico emerged as a center of modern art. 

Exclusive Tour “Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish”

This private, curator-led tour of Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish explores how the artist brings viewers into unexpected, all-consuming encounters with the living universe.

Exclusive Tour “Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats”

Join a private tour of Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats and learn more about the social, historical, and economic aspects of ikat production; the labor-intensive process of dyeing and weaving; and the distinctive aesthetics of Central Asian designs and colors.

Exclusive Tour “Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950”

This private tour of Adiós Utopia explores the complex relationship between artistic production and the utopian spirit that defined Cuba’s revolutionary period. Find out more about the diverse ways art charted, commented on, and confronted the country’s social utopia and its contradictions.

Exclusive Tour “Ron Mueck”

Go behind closed doors for a curator-led tour of Ron Mueck. Explore the psychological penetration that the artist brings to each of his carefully crafted vignettes, the dreamlike quality of many of his sculptures, and his brilliant appropriations of art-historical themes.

Exclusive Tour “Two Centuries of American Still-Life Painting: The Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs Collection”

Join assistant curator Kaylin Weber for this private tour of the Two Centuries of American Still-Life Painting: The Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs Collection as she explores why still-life painting has captivated American artists, collectors, and audiences for more than 200 years.

Exclusive Tour “Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville”

Led by Chelsea Dacus, assistant curator, antiquities; the arts of Africa, Oceania, the Americas; and the Glassell Collections
Join this private tour of the Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville and discover some of the new insights about ancient art, technology, religion, and cultural interaction revealed by the Berthouville Treasure.

Exclusive Tour “Emperors’ Treasures”

On this private tour of Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, discover how Chinese art evolved and flourished under Han Chinese, Mongol, and Manchu rulers from the early 12th to early 20th century.


Exclusive Tour “Degas: A New Vision”

Exclusive Tours offer access to select Museum exhibitions on special Mondays when the Museum is closed to the public. In these lively, in-depth walking tours, Museum experts share their expansive knowledge about the featured exhibition. After the tour, discuss your experience over a glass of sparkling wine.

Exclusive Tour “Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape”

Join this Exclusive Tour with Kaylin Weber, assistant curator, American painting and sculpture, and curator of Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape, as she explores the extraordinary group of Onderdonk landscapes on view in the exhibition. After the tour, discuss your experience over a glass of sparkling wine.

Exclusive Tour “Beyond Impressionism”

Led by Helga K. Aurisch, curator, European art In the years following the last Impressionist exhibition in 1886, trends evolved that took painting to new frontiers. Interest in new color theories and motifs, a better understanding of optics, and the aim to move beyond the Impressionists’ desire to capture light and movement resulted in a plethora of new approaches. Starting with a look at Impressionism, this curator-led Exclusive Tour concentrates on the rich holdings of the Beck Collection’s Pointillist masterpieces by[…]

Exclusive Tour “High Society: The Portraits of Franz X. Winterhalter”

Led by Helga K. Aurisch, curator, European art, and organizing curator of  “High Society: The Portraits of Franz X. Winterhalter” In 1866, art critic Arthur Stevens wrote of Franz Xaver Winterhalter: “He specializes in painting the queens and princesses of the whole world; every august head appears to require consecration by Winterhalter’s brush.” Indeed, Winterhalter’s client list reads like a who’s who of royal and aristocratic sitters: King Louis-Philippe of France; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Britain; Leopold I, King[…]

Exclusive Tour “The Impressionist Revolution”

Led by Helga K. Aurisch, curator, European art From the perspective of 2016, it’s almost impossible to imagine why the paintings created by the artists we call the Impressionists were so universally ridiculed and feared in late-19th-century France. It was Claude Monet’s painting Impression: Sunrise that earned the group the initially derisive name “Impressionists,” a term coined by the journalist Louis Leroy in his exhibition review in the satirical magazine Le Charivari. The artists themselves soon adopted the name as[…]

Exclusive Tours “Mark Rothko: A Retrospective”

Long recognized as among the foremost figures of the Abstract Expressionist vanguard, Mark Rothko (1903–1970) embraced the possibility of beauty in pure abstraction with a painterly eloquence that gave a new voice to American art. Join this exclusive tour of Mark Rothko: A Retrospective for an insider's look at Rothko's evolution, from his early sketches of New York's urban scene to his final, transcendent paintings. About the Presenters These tours are conducted by Museum staff members from the curatorial team[…]

Exclusive Tours “Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael”

Led by James Clifton, curator, Renaissance and Baroque painting; director, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation; and organizing co-curator of  “Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael (1566–1638)” A remarkable storyteller, Dutch artist Joachim Wtewael depicted risqué mythological scenes and moralizing biblical tales with equal ease. Wtewael (1566–1638) was a virtuoso draftsman and a brilliant colorist, as adept at working on monumental canvases as small copperplates. He painted both from his imagination and from life, creating striking portraits of his family[…]


Master Tours “Habsburg Splendor”

Led by exhibition co-curators Helga Aurisch, curator of European art; and Christine Gervais, associate curator, decorative arts and Rienzi The Habsburgs ruled for more than five centuries over an empire that reached from Europe to Central America. They married strategically, forging alliances with political rivals, and they commanded wondrous works of art to promote their powerful image. The Habsburgs endured into the 20th century, only to see their reign collapse during World War I. Their stories, and the art they[…]

Master Tours “For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979”

Led by Yasufumi Nakamori, associate curator, photography; and Allison Pappas, assistant curator, photography For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979 explores in depth, for the first time, the role of photography in the formation of contemporary art in Japan. Get a behind-the-scenes look at this landmark exhibition with a Master Tour. Find out more about Japanese artists in the late 1960s and early 1970s—a period of political and social turmoil. Japan was struggling to[…]

Master Tours “Spectacular Rubens”

Presented by David Bomford, interim department head, European art; chairman, department of conservation; Houston curator for "Spectacular Rubens." The acclaimed exhibition Spectacular Rubens brings to Houston the elaborate Triumph of the Eucharist tapestries by Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens. These monumental works of art, along with preparatory sketches and recently restored oil-on-panel studies, offer an unrivaled opportunity to experience the Baroque master’s extraordinary impact, on both an intimate and a broad scale. About Master Tours On special Mondays—when the Museum is closed to[…]

Master Tours “Unfolding Worlds”

Presented by Christine Starkman, curator of Asian art, Ancient to Contemporary; and Cindi Strauss, curator of Modern and Contemporary decorative arts and design Unfolding Worlds: Japanese Screens and Contemporary Ceramics from the Gitter-Yelen Collection brings together 28 sets of screens and 36 contemporary ceramics from the collection of Dr. Kurt A. Gitter and Alice Yelen Gitter. The Gitter-Yelen Collection, formed over the past four decades, represents the premier artistic traditions of Japan from the Edo period (1603–1868) to the present.[…]

Master Tours “Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River”

Presented by Helga Aurisch, curator, European art Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River examines Claude Monet’s abiding fascination with the Seine by tracing his life along the iconic French waterway, both chronologically and geographically. This beautiful exhibition brings together more than 50 paintings on loan from locations around the world. Beginning with scenes of leisure activities, modern life, and cityscapes along the Seine, the presentation culminates in the ethereal works from the Impressionist painter’s famous Mornings on the[…]


Master Tours “Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House”

Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House brings the renowned collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from England's Houghton Hall to the United States for the first time. Family portraits by Hogarth and Sargent, unique furniture by William Kent, and exquisite objects in porcelain, gold, and silver tell the fascinating stories behind one family's collecting over three centuries, all presented in re-creations of the original room settings. On two Mondays, July 28 and August 4—when the Museum is[…]

Master Tours “John Singer Sargent: The Watercolors”

John Singer Sargent: The Watercolors offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see 100 gorgeous watercolors by Gilded Age American master John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). Fabulous early-20th-century scenes of landscape, labor, and leisure highlight Sargent’s exquisite mastery of the medium of watercolor, in which he was unsurpassed. On three consecutive Mondays—when the Museum is closed to the public—take part in Master Tours, an exclusive series of in-depth events led by Museum art historians who share their expansive knowledge of the works on view in[…]

Master Tours “Georges Braque: A Retrospective”

Georges Braque: A Retrospective explores the unique achievement of one of the most influential painters of the 20th century. This exhibition is the first comprehensive museum survey of Braque’s work seen in the United States in 25 years, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the only U.S. venue. On two Mondays—when the Museum is closed to the public—take part in Master Tours, an exclusive series of in-depth events led by Museum art historians who share their expansive knowledge[…]

Master Tours “The Age of Impressionism”

After a grand world tour across nine cities, eight countries, and three continents, The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute makes its final stop at the MFAH. This spectacular exhibition showcases the Clark’s renowned holdings of 19th-century French painting by some of the most important Impressionist artists: Renoir, Degas, Monet, Cassatt, and many others. Over three consecutive Mondays—when the Museum is closed to the public—take part in Master Tours, an exclusive series[…]