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.

Wednesday Workshops

Fall 2017 Schedule 
Wednesdays, October 4 & 25 | November 1
6:30 p.m.

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.

Learn more & register 

Programs for Children & Families

Family Days

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

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.

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

Yoga in the Gardens

Sunday, November 12, 2017
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 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.

Rienzi Reels

To Catch a Thief
Friday, November 17, 2017
6 p.m.

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. 

Learn more 

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
4 p.m.

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.

Twilight Tours

Wednesdays, December 6 & 13, 2017
6 p.m. 

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. 

Learn more

Special Topic Tours

Check mfah.org/calendar for dates and times.

Focus Tours
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: rienzi@mfah.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.

Azalea Trail

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.