Historically, commissioned wares and dining-room furniture asserted the power, status, and personal beliefs of their patrons through the use of precious materials, embellishment, and technical execution. Borrowing from decorative arts patronage, the Opulence and Excess dining-room vignette comments on the relevance of this loaded history in contemporary culture. Join MFAH Associate Curator of Decorative Arts and Rienzi, Christine Gervais, as she provides a historical decorative arts context for this vignette. This event is free and open to the public.
About Christine Gervais
Christine Gervais is Associate Curator for Decorative Arts and Rienzi at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). She holds a B.A. in history from Trinity University; an M.A. in American studies from George Washington University; and an M.Phil., with distinction in the history of art, from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She joined the staff of the MFAH in 2002.
In her role at the MFAH, Christine is responsible for the acquisition, research, and exhibition of pre-1900 decorative arts objects. She was a contributor to the recent publications American Art and Philanthropy: Twenty Years of Collecting at the MFAH and Art Across America. Christine has previously lectured on topics including 18th-century portrait miniatures, the English Arts and Crafts movement, and French Art Deco.
In 2008, she curated the MFAH’s first exhibition of portrait miniatures. She was the curator of the 2011 exhibitions Circa 1900: Decorative Arts at the Turn of the Century and English Taste: the Art of Dining in the Eighteenth Century. Her most recent exhibitions include Pattern Repeat: Wallpaper Then and Now, as well as the major touring show Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House. Her next exhibition is Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections, which will open in Houston in June, 2015.
Related Events for Dining and Discourse
Join HCCC for two other events designed to spark discussion surrounding craft, food, and the dining experience. Held in conjunction with our current exhibition, Dining and Discourse , the programming features a variety of ways to engage with and learn about the exhibition.
The Art of the Cup: Origami & Tea Sampling
Saturday March 7, 11:00 – 3:00 PM
Featuring Corey Ackelmire, Clark Kellogg,
Robbie Lobell, and Studio WAC
Wednesday, March 25, 6:30 PM
Above, from left to right: Margaret Bohls, “Blue Leaf Tea Set” (detail), 2013. Porcelain, earthware. Nanda soderberg, ” Venetian Style Goblet,” 2014. Recycled beer bottle glass. Tom Shields, “Held-Up,” 2012. found chairs and ebonized oak. Photos courtesy the artists.