Arts / Museums

Houston’s Own Sistine Chapel is Saved: The Corinthian Steps in to Keep the Stunning Vatican City Homage Going

BY // 07.05.18

People who thought they were goin’ to the chapel in Houston had another thing coming last week.

The stunning Sistine Chapel exhibit in The Corinthian Houston shuttered abruptly. The Vatican City facsimile was closed off without warning, leaving those who traveled to see it feeling frustrated and confused.

Now, thanks to The Corinthian, Houston’s own Sistine Chapel has reopened to the public.

“We wanted to save it. It’s a beautiful exhibit and we wanted to continue it. It’s the right thing to do,” Boyd Bryan, director of Corinthian Houston, tells PaperCity. “We decided we would honor previously purchased tickets.”

This despite the fact that The Corinthian will get no money from those already sold tickets. That money went to Brilliant Lectures, the nonprofit which set up the one-of-a-kind exhibition and then could not keep it going.

The sudden closure is still shrouded in some mystery. Brilliant Lectures did not respond to PaperCity’s requests for comment.

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“It was closed for private viewings and private events. It was always scheduled — I don’t know that it was promoted,” The Corinthian’s Bryan says.

“It was supposed to reopen to the public on the 26th (of June), that was the schedule. Due to some unforeseen issues with the previous producer of the program, it did not happen.”

Frank Garvey and Corinthian Houston have promised to now extend the original closing date of July 31 all the way back to August 16. They pushed back the schedule to compensate for the closures, and then some. Houston’s Sistine Chapel is now open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 am to 8 pm, and Sundays from of 12 to 7 pm.

The Corinthian is selling new tickets at the door in addition to honoring the previously purchased tickets.

Bryan says there’s never been another installation quite like this one.

“It looks like it’s floating in here. It looks like it’s just floating,” he says. In the past, it’s all been on stage trussing wherever it’s set up, all over the world. This is the only installation of this type they’ve achieved.”

This exhibit should also make for a more intimate experience. Houston’s Sistine Chapel is a unique arrangement of photographic reproductions of Michelangelo’s famed frescoes hung artfully throughout the venue hall’s luxurious space.

“People that have visited the chapel and other exhibits say you can’t take a photo, you can’t ask questions, you can’t talk,” Bryan says. “And they move you through there. Here, people can actually sit down and meditate and actually be able to absorb the artwork.”

For those of you searching for an activity on the many rainy days ahead, this unique Sistine Chapel exhibit may just fit the bill.

“We’ll add some more black out drapes. It’ll be cloudy, it should be beautiful,” Bryan says.

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