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.

Annual Punch Party

​Friday, October 12, 2018, 7–9 p.m.

Travel back in time at Rienzi! The annual fall Punch Party celebrates the tradition of English punch with 18th-century cocktails, modern punches, and live music.

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Programs for Children & Families

Family Days

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.

Yoga in the Gardens

Sunday, October 28, 2018, 9 a.m.

Enjoy the energy of the outdoors with yoga! In this free program cohosted with the Breakfast Yoga Club, yogis are invited to bring their mats and celebrate the season amidst the wooded landscape of Rienzi’s gardens. Following class, guests may tour the house and gardens. Light refreshments are available.

Drop in! Admission is free. Spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lectures & Discussions

Gallery Talks
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

Saturday Sketch

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: rienzi@mfah.org or 713.639.7800.

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Rienzi Reels

Lady Jane
Friday, November 2, 6:30 p.m. 

Enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the Camellia Garden for an outdoor screening of the 1986 historical drama, Lady Jane. The film stars Helena Bonham Carter as the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey, remembered as England’s Nine Days’ Queen. Cary Elwes plays her husband, Lord Guilford Dudley.

Gates open at 6:30 p.m. The film begins at sunset. Refreshments are available for purchase. Cash bar. Please note that outside alcohol, glass containers, tables, and chairs are not permitted. Service animals are allowed, but please leave pets at home.

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Focus Tours


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 encouragedrienzi@mfah.org or 713.639.7800

Check the calendar for dates, times, and topics.

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, May 10, 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, May 13, 5 p.m.

The Houston Grand Opera Studio Series is underwritten by a generous grant from Margaret Alkek Williams and Randa and Charles Williams.

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.

Azalea Trail

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.

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