Rienzi is dedicated to making art available to everyone with a curiosity to learn.  

School Tours

To schedule your school tour, call Rienzi's education office during business hours at 713.639.7800. Or, complete the registration form and e-mail it to rienzi@mfah.org or fax it to 713.639.7810.

Tours of Rienzi encourage students (pre-K through grade 12) to develop a lifelong love of learning through art. Thematic tours connect with established curricula, encouraging students to engage in topics such as European history, world cultures, geography, and language arts. Specially trained gallery educators lead interactive tours, which emphasize close observation of objects and facilitate the development of essential visual and critical-analysis skills.

• Rienzi offers free school tours three days a week: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Minimum size for a tour group is 10 people; maximum is 60 people.
• Early-childhood tours (pre-K through grade 3) are available in two formats: storytime or scavenger hunt. Tours can be customized to complement classroom curricula.
• Upper-school students may take one of the themed tours listed, or Rienzi staff will work with teachers to customize a tour based on school curricula. Examples of TEKS standards are listed in parentheses with the tour topics below.

Tour Topics

Highlights of the Rienzi Collection
Join Rienzi docents for an overview of life and luxury in the 18th and early 19th century. The Rienzi Collection features decorative arts and paintings that explore how people lived in the period. Perfect for world history classes! (WH 3, 26, 31)

What Makes a Great Cup of Tea? Tea Wares in the Rienzi Collection
Learn about transcontinental trade and globalization through the silver, ceramic, and furniture wares made for tea consumption. The material culture used in a ritual that began in Asia quickly spread to England and took on a new personality in the British Empire. (WH 3, 7, 31)

The 18th Century and the Ancient World: A Look at Mythology
Explore the ancient gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus through the objects in Rienzi’s collection. During the 18th century, the discovery of Pompeii and subsequent fashion for classical ideals spurred the creation of a visual culture that used ancient iconography and ideals. Learn about the myths behind the images and their purpose in the Age of Enlightenment. (Eng I 2, 8) (WH 1, 3, 26)

East Meets West: Trade and Globalization in the 18th Century
Travel to four continents and explore the idea of globalization during this tour.  Find out how new methods of sea and land transport opened up trade between Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and look at works of art that were made in England, but inspired by China, Japan, and India. (WH 3, 7, 8, 31)

Women of the House: Roles of 18th-Century Women
Explore the portraits of women in the Rienzi Collection through this tour. Learn about Mrs. Elisha Mathew, Lady Elizabeth Blunt, and Eleanor, Countess of Lauderdale, among others. The tour will also explore feminine wares that were produced for a female audience. (WH 3, 24)

Rivals, Spies, and the Quest for White Gold: Rienzi’s Porcelain Masterpieces
Discover Rienzi's porcelain splendors. This tour introduces you to the inspiring 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. (WH 3, 7, 31)

Are you a homeschool family looking for a variety of options? Visit mfah.org/homeschool for additional information about the Museum's programs and resources for homeschool educators and students.

Before Your Tour

As you prepare to visit Rienzi, you can do a few things as a classroom to get ready:

• Visit mfah.org/rienzi to view photos of art objects in the Rienzi Collection and to read about the history of the home and gardens.
• Download the “I Spy” Rienzi Gardens scavenger hunt to discover what you might find outside the home.
• Practice looking at art with these handy tips designed by MFAH staff members.