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.
Labor Day at Rienzi
Monday, September 4, 2017
10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Enjoy your day off relaxing at beautiful Rienzi! Activities for the whole family last all day. Enjoy:
- Storytime Tours for little ones
- Sun prints in the gardens
- Lecture about herb gardening at 2 p.m.
- Light refreshments and treats
- Plus more gallery-exploring, botanical-hunting fun!
Fall 2017 Schedule
Wednesdays, September 6 | October 4 | November 1
Learn some of the processes behind the beautiful works of art in the Rienzi Collection! At each Wednesday Workshop for adults, you can explore the basic principles of a new theme—such as weaving, embroidery, book binding, and paper marbling.
Programs for Children & Families
Enjoy performances and participate in art workshops, gallery games, and a garden scavenger hunt on the grounds of Rienzi. These family events, presented jointly with Bayou Bend, feature complimentary transportation between the two house museums. Admission is free—drop in!
- Songs from the Heart
Sunday, October 15, 2017, 1–5 p.m.
- Women’s History
Sunday, April 23, 2017, 1–5 p.m.
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.
Rienzi and Bayou Bend Book Club
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
Rienzi Fall Lecture Weekend
September 16 & 17, 2017
Enjoy discussions inspired by the gardens of Rienzi! The weekend begins with a talk at Rienzi and concludes with a lecture at the MFAH in Brown Auditorium Theater, located in the Museum’s Law Building. Schedule & tickets
Annual Punch Party
Friday, October 20, 2017
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.
Yoga in the Gardens
Sunday, November 12, 2017
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 spring 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.
To Catch a Thief
Friday, November 17, 2017
Enjoy the beautiful backdrop of our Camellia Garden for an outdoor screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film To Catch a Thief, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
Doors open at 6 p.m. Refreshments are available for purchase. Please note that outside alcohol, glass containers, tables, and chairs are not permitted.
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.
2017 HGO Studio Performance Schedule
More details at mfah.org/calendar. For tickets, call the HGO box office at 1.800.626.7372.
• Thursday, November 16, 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, November 19, 5 p.m.
The Houston Grand Opera Studio Series is underwritten by a generous grant from Margaret Alkek Williams and Randa and Charles Williams.
River Oaks Chamber Orchestra at Rienzi
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Rienzi and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra present this special event to celebrate the legacy of Rienzi founders Harris and Carroll Masterson—including the couple’s love of music. Visit the galleries with docents to hear about the unique history of the Mastersons’ collecting passions and see rarely accessed parts of the house. A concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Learn more. Tickets available via the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.
Wednesdays, December 6 & 13, 2017
Relax with a glass of wine on the Rienzi terrace and see the galleries at twilight! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, good conversation, and live music by an Ars Lyrica artist. Docents are stationed throughout the house to greet guests and talk about the collection.
Special Topic Tours
Check mfah.org/calendar for dates and times.
Enjoy an in-depth look at an intriguing aspect of the Rienzi Collection. These small, personal tours are limited to 10 people. Topics vary. Reservations encouraged: firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.639.7800
Rivals, Spies, and the Quest for White Gold: Rienzi's Porcelain Masterpieces
Discover Rienzi's porcelain splendors. This tour focuses on the development of "white gold" in Europe during the 18th century. Explore the monarchs and vibrant commercial markets that fed the rise of the extraordinary porcelain creations at Meissen, Sèvres, and Worcester. Fueled by rivalry and scientific innovation, these masterpieces reveal the increasing standards of patrons, the diverse function of wares, and the exquisite skill of Europe's modelers, painters, and gilders.
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.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
March 2–4, 2018
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, visit riveroaksgardenclub.org or call 713.523.2483.