The David B. Warren Symposium
This biennial symposium addresses different aspects of the theme “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience.”
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 goal is an ongoing forum that examines pre-1900 Texas, as well as the Lower South and Southwest, through the lens of American material culture.
2023 David B. Warren Symposium on American Material Culture and the Texas Experience
“Image and Identity: Representing Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest before 1900”
Friday & Saturday, April 28 & 29
The ninth biennial symposium explores how images created in and of Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest constructed, represented, dismantled, or concealed the identity of the people who lived there. Advance tickets and registration are highly recommended.
Friday, April 28, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m.
Presentation of Papers
Tickets & Registration
Attend in person at the MFAH or online via Zoom.
See the lineup of speakers, get tickets, and register for Zoom.
David B. Warren Symposium
History of the David B. Warren Symposium
The David B. Warren Symposium is named in honor of David B. Warren, the founding director emeritus of Bayou Bend.
The inaugural 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.”
In 2017, the symposium moved the presentation of papers from October to February 24 & 25 with the sixth installment, “Traditions in Transition: Change and Material Culture in 19th-Century Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest.” The seventh symposium, “A Diverse History: Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest before 1900,” February 22 & 23, 2019, sought to examine the diversity of cultures influencing 19th-century art in Texas and the South. The eighth symposium, “The Power of Place,” presented February 26–28, 2021, featured seven scholars examining how place helped to influence and define material culture in Texas.
The David B. Warren Symposium is made possible with generous support from the David B. Warren Symposium Endowment; Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; Nancy Glanville Jewell; and The Summerlee Foundation.