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.”

The 2019 David B. Warren Symposium on American Material Culture and the Texas Experience

A Diverse History: Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest before 1900
February 22–23, 2019

Keynote speaker: Marion Oettinger, curator, Latin American art, San Antonio Museum of Art

• Stay tuned for details, including registration and program.

Call for Papers

Call for papers for the 2019 David B. Warren Symposium is now open!

Deadline: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Bayou Bend is accepting proposals for papers on diverse people and traditions in material culture and visual art in pre-1900 Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest, to be presented at the 7th biennial David B. Warren Symposium in 2019. 

The 2019 symposium explores how the culture, race and gender of makers and consumers affected regional material culture and visual art in Texas and nearby states. Proposals focusing on Texas and those presenting previously unpublished research will receive particular consideration. Papers will be published in the proceedings of the symposium in 2020.

Participants are invited to submit a 300-word abstract proposal for a paper to be presented as an illustrated oral lecture 25 or 50 minutes in length. A current C.V. should accompany the abstract. Please indicate suggested presentation length in proposal. In general, 25-minute lectures will be more appropriate for emerging scholars, while 50-minute lectures will be appropriate for senior scholars. Paper proposals are due to Bayou Bend by July 1, 2018; acceptances will be announced in August 2018.

The overall theme of the symposium series is “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience,” with the goal of providing an ongoing forum that examines pre-1900 Texas (as well as the lower South and Southwest) through the lens of American material culture. 

Those whose papers are accepted will receive transportation expenses, an honorarium for speaking, and a fee for preparing their manuscript for publication.

► Proposals should be sent in PDF format to warrensymposium@mfah.org. Questions about the submission process may be directed to Joey Milillo, Bayou Bend programs manager, at jmilillo@mfah.org.

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 David B. Warren Symposium is made possible with  generous support from The David B. Warren Endowment;  Mr. William J. Hill; Mrs. Nancy Glanville Jewell; Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; Mrs. Fred R. Lummis; Bobbie and John Nau;  and The Summerlee Foundation.