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Arts / Museums

Houston’s New Art Palace Draws MFAH Praise — and Plenty of Wide-Eyed Visitors

The City's Oldest Hotel is Enjoying a Whole New Life

BY // 04.19.19
photography Dave Rossman

What: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston toasts The Lancaster Hotel

Where: The Lancaster Hotel

PC Moment: The Contemporary@MFAH patron group works to highlight and expand the role of contemporary art at the MFAH, and the unique synergy between its mission statement and the newly restored and renovated “art palace” The Lancaster hotel in downtown Houston embodied its ideals.

Gathering at the historic Theater District location – The Lancaster is the city’s oldest operating hotel – Contemporary@MFAH members toured the hotel’s expansive and important collection filled with Texas artists. The hotel’s lobby, restaurant, halls, and rooms showcase choice Houston talents such as Mark Flood, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Terrell James, alongside other Lone Star state faves, including Robert Rauschenberg and Luis Jiménez.

The intimate crowd took in The Lancaster’s trove of art while enjoying bites from the hotel’s recently re-imagined downtown dining destination, the restaurant Cultivated F+B. Artist and Lancaster visionary – the Dallas-based Jay Shinn, CEO of Magnolia Lodging, which owns and operates the hotel – alongside Alison de Lima Greene, the MFAH’s Isabel Brown Wilson Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and artists Margo Sawyer (in from Austin) and UH department of art professor Aaron Parazette (both proudly featured at the hotel) gave greetings and short remarks about the dynamic partnership between Contemporary@MFAH and The Lancaster’s informed curation of Texas works.

After toasts, guests enjoyed browsing The Lancaster’s collection featuring more than 100 Texas artists, which also includes works by Donald Judd, James Surls, Helen Altman, Ed Blackburn, Matt Kleberg, Tommy Fitzpatrick, and Donald Moffett (born in San Antonio).

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PC Seen: Curator Clint Willour and Reid Mitchell; top collectors Jereann Chaney, Minnette Robinson, Leigh and Reggie Smith, and Dorene and Frank Herzog; gallerists Betty Moody, and Deborah Colton with husband William Colton; art consultant Elise Arnoult Miller; Polly and David Roth; Ann Jackson; Carol Fleming; Lesley and Gerald Bodzy; patrons Shirley Rose and Bettie Cartwright; and artist Chong-Ok Lee Matthews.

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