One of the greatest cultural treasures in the state of Texas, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is renowned for its superb collection of American and Texas decorative arts and paintings. Established by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to honor Bayou Bend's founding director emeritus, the David B. Warren Symposium has been presented biennially since 2007. Each symposium addresses different aspects of the theme “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience.”

History of the David B. Warren Symposium

The inaugural David B. Warren Symposium, “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience,” was presented by Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on February 9–10, 2007. David B. Warren delivered the keynote address, “A Gift of Love: Miss Ima Hogg’s Quest to Bring Americana to Texas.” The second symposium, “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience, Part 2” was presented October 30–31, 2009. The first two symposia placed the pre-1900 material culture of Texas, the lower South, and the Southwest within a national and international context, establishing a tradition that future symposia would follow.

The third biennial David B. Warren Symposium, “The Civil War and the Material Culture of Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest,” was held October 28–30, 2011, and commemorated the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War. The fourth symposium, “Itinerant and Immigrant Artists and Artisans in 19th-Century Texas,” took place October 25–27, 2013, and acknowledged the contributions of foreign-born craftsmen, photographers, and artists to the material culture of the Lone Star State. The fifth symposium, October 23–25, 2015, focused on "Creators and Consumers: Women and Material Culture and Visual Art in 19th-Century Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest."

The 2015 David B. Warren Symposium at Bayou Bend receives generous funding from:

The David B. Warren Symposium Endowment
William J. Hill
Nancy Glanville Jewell
Marilyn Lummis
The Summerlee Foundation
Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Texas Historical Foundation

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