Thursday, March 6th, 2014, the Texas Chapter hosted Patrons and guests to a special evening at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). The event started out with a private tour of the MFAH’s current exhibit, “The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.”
This exhibit is very unique in its kind—it is not often that nearly an entire museum collection (in this case, a rich ensemble of 73 paintings by 25 artists spanning 70 years from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute of Williamstown, Massachusetts) can travel the world. However, the Institute took advantage of their museum’s three year construction period to loan their fine art, showcasing the great French paintings of their “patrons,” art collectors Sterling and Francine Clark, at museums in Milan, Shanghai, and, at present, Houston. Texas Patrons and friends were an appreciative audience, particularly fortunate in their ability to view the spectacular exhibit on a private tour, where they encountered and learned about works by some of the most esteemed French painters of the Impressionist canon, from Monet, Renoir, and Degas to Gérôme, Millet, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Despite the event’s emphasis on French painting, the focus changed to Italy by the end of the night, as the itinerary for the Texas Chapter’s upcoming group “Pilgrimage to Italy” was revealed at the following reception. This special group trip, taking place in late October 2014, will include exclusive tours through sites in and around the Vatican (from the Coliseum to the Swiss Guard Barracks), beautiful masses at major basilicas of Rome as well as intimate chapels within the Vatican, and even a day trip to Castel Gandolfo. The news was well received by Patrons and inspiring for guests in attendance. We share in this enthusiasm; here at the Patrons Office, we are all very excited to host the Texas Chapter in October!!