Programs & Gallery Activities at Rienzi
Educational programs at Rienzi seek to inspire all audiences to engage with the collection through a variety of events and activities. Adult learners have the opportunity to attend lectures and gallery talks given by MFAH curators and visiting academics. Docent-led tours and special themed tours provide a more in-depth understanding of the collection and encourage close study of the art objects on view.
Music lovers enjoy opera recitals and period music performed in Rienzi’s intimate galleries. Interactive family programs such as storytime, family days, and art workshops create an engaging learning experience for the youngest visitors. Art students and aspiring artists are invited to Rienzi for periodic sketching. Rienzi’s high-quality educational programs will enlighten and delight every visitor.
Lectures & Discussions
One Thursday a month, September through May, Rienzi highlights a great work of art in the collection. Speakers include curators, conservators, educators, and librarians. Free with Rienzi admission. Reservations encouraged: Call 713.639.7800.
History Book Club at Rienzi and Bayou Bend
Enjoy great conversations about good books. The two MFAH house museums host a history-book discussion series about life in America and Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. The book club meets alternately at Rienzi and Bayou Bend. Admission is free. Info & schedule
Selected Saturdays, 10 a.m.–12 noon
Enjoy Rienzi’s galleries and gardens while you learn the fundamentals of sketching in this drop-in program that usually takes place on the first Saturday of the month, with some exceptions. Discover new techniques with a different topic every month! All ages and skill levels are welcome. Free with Rienzi admission. Reservations are encouraged: email@example.com or 713.639.7800.
Enjoy an in-depth look at an intriguing aspect of the Rienzi Collection! Focus Tour topics vary—check the date you’d like to attend. These small, personal tours are limited to 10 people. Reservations encouraged: firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.639.7800
Check the calendar for dates, times, and topics.
Boxing Day at Rienzi
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Celebrate the season at Rienzi with English Christmas traditions, warm beverages, and holiday music and performances. Curatorial assistant Misty Flores explores a theme from Rienzi’s collection in an afternoon lecture. Enjoy Christmas crackers on the lawn; tour the galleries; and make your own crown with hands-on art activities for the entire family!
Music at Rienzi
Rienzi partners with Houston Grand Opera Studio (HGO Studio) to host a series of magnificent recitals reverent of 18th-century art and culture. Amidst the gorgeous surroundings of Rienzi's fine art gallery and ballroom, music patrons enjoy a vibrantly aesthetic acoustic experience. A docent-guided walkthrough tour and reception with wine and light hors d'oeuvres are included with admission.
Houston Grand Opera Studio
Audiences are invited to experience the exceptional talents of up-and-coming artists from Houston Grand Opera Studio. Developed thematically, each performance features a repertoire of works by renowned composers and surprise talents, selected for your enjoyment by HGO Studio members.
2018 HGO Studio Performance Schedule
More details at mfah.org/calendar. For tickets, call the HGO box office at 1.800.626.7372.
• Thursday, November 15, 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, November 17, 5 p.m.
Vintage Game Night with ROCO at Rienzi
Thursday, November 29, 6 p.m.
On this special evening during the 20th-anniversary year of Rienzi, celebrate the legacy of Harris and Carroll Masterson, Rienzi’s former owners, with a classic card game!
Choose from a variety of games, including bridge—the Mastersons’ favorite! Share conversation and a glass of wine before a performance by ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra). You can also explore the galleries—including some rooms not usually open to the public—to learn more about the Mastersons and their collection. Tickets ($45) available from ROCO online or by phone at 713.665.2700.
Wednesdays, December 5 & 12, 6 p.m.
Relax with a glass of wine on the Rienzi terrace and explore the house museum at twilight! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, good conversation, and live music. Docents are stationed throughout the galleries to greet guests and talk about the art collection.
Programs for Children & Families
Enjoy family-friendly performances, art workshops, gallery games, and a garden scavenger hunt on the grounds of Rienzi. These events, presented jointly with Family Days at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, feature complimentary transportation between the two house museums. Admission is free on Family Days—drop in!
- Learning through ASL
Sunday, April 15, 2018, 1–5 p.m.
- Symbols and Signs of European Monarchies
Sunday, October 21, 2018, 1–4:30 p.m.
Sunday Garden Photography
On Sunday afternoons, you're invited to visit Rienzi's gardens and capture their oasis-in-the-city beauty from behind the lens. Snap photos of the colorful flowers, lush green spaces, interesting architectural details, and eclectic statues. Use #rienzigardens to share your pics on social media!
Admission is free. Call 713.639.7800. No professional photography or tripods, please. Check mfah.org/calendar for more information and occasional cancellations.
2019 dates: March 1, 2 & 3
Rienzi has been a featured stop on the River Oaks Garden Club’s Azalea Trail since 1999. The house and 4.4 acres of beautiful gardens are open to all ages. For tickets and information, contact the River Oaks Garden Club.
Exhibitions at Rienzi
Rienzi’s exhibitions, presented biannually, explore elements of the house museum and 18th- and 19th-century European decorative arts in depth, actively engaging visitors in a dialogue with the Rienzi Collection. Free with Rienzi admission.