This is where art and literature meet! Designed for established book clubs—whether formal or informal groups—the MFAH Book Club links works of literature to works of art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The MFAH Book Club presents three selections per year. Each book:

  • Is featured for a four-month period in the fall, spring, and summer
  • Is accompanied by a downloadable discussion guide to facilitate group discussions
  • Culminates with a docent-led tour at the Museum, scheduled in advance (see below)

Summer 2016

The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor

“Contributor to the Washington Post Anne-Marie O’Connor brilliantly regales readers with the galvanizing story of Gustav Klimt’s 1907 masterpiece—the breathtaking portrait of a Viennese Jewish socialite, Adele Bloch-Bauer. The celebrated painting, stolen by Nazis during World War II, subsequently became the subject of a decade-long dispute between her heirs and the Austrian government.

When the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, its decision had profound ramifications in the art world. Expertly researched, masterfully told, The Lady in Gold is at once a stunning depiction of fin-de-siècle Vienna, a riveting tale of Nazi war crimes, and a fascinating glimpse into the high-stakes workings of the contemporary art world.” —Amazon.com

How to Participate

For book clubs and other groups of six or more confirmed participants:

  1. Read the book. Most MFAH Book Club selections may be purchased at the MFA Shop, where Museum members receive a discount. Reading copies are also available in the Museum’s Kinder Foundation Education Center and at the Museum's Hirsch Library.
     
  2. Download the discussion guide to facilitate your conversation. This guide features questions about the book and select artworks on view at the MFAH.
    Discussion Guide for The Lady in Gold
     
  3. Request a docent-led tour by e-mailing bookclub@mfah.org—a minimum of 3 weeks in advance—with the following information:

    • The name of your group and number of participants
    • The primary organizer's name, telephone number, and e-mail address
    • Your preferred date and time for your tour (see below for tour availability)

    Tours related to Anne-Marie O’Connor’s The Lady in Gold are available between May 1 and August 31.

    Choose from the following days and times:

    Tuesdays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
    Wednesdays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
    Thursdays, 10:30 am, 3:30 p.m., or 6:30 p.m.
    Sundays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.

    Note: If your group meets on a specfic day and/or time not listed above, please e-mail bookclub@mfah.org with a request, which we will try to accommodate.
     
  4. Look for a confirmation e-mail, within 5 business days, with information about when and where to meet the docent at the Museum.

Questions? E-mail bookclub@mfah.org

What to Expect on an MFAH Book Club Tour

• MFAH Book Club tours are free for MFAH members and free with general Museum admission for nonmembers.
• Tours last approximately 1½ hours.
• Camp stools are provided for seating.
• Docents facilitate tours, selecting several artworks on view at the Museum that they feel best connect with aspects of the featured book.
• Excerpts from the book are a vital component of these discussion-based tours, so we encourage you to bring your copy of the book along.
• Expect lively discussion of the book and artworks!
 

Past Selections


Since the MFAH Book Club's inception, the Museum has featured a wide range of fiction and nonfiction picks. Though tours are not offered for these past selections, discussion guides are available here.

The MFAH Book Club receives generous support from Aggie and Joe Foster.

All Learning and Interpretation programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive endowment income from funds provided by the Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; Caroline Wiess Law; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; The National Endowment for the Humanities; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; the Favrot Fund; and Gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.