Society

A Spring Fling Like No Other Turns Houston’s House Museum Into a Vibrant Stage — Rienzi’s Grand Gardens Wow

It's the 25th Anniversary of a Special H-Town Place

BY // 05.13.24
photography Wilson Parish

What: Rienzi Spring Party

Where: At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston House Museum

PC Moment: Perhaps it was the bagpiper that greeted guests on their arrival at the home filled with European antiques that stood out. For others it was the splendid Rienzi gardens dressed in spring greenery, punctuated by the floral-infused outdoor table settings and lighted with Tivoli style lights.

Chairs Nelson and Meg Murray; Photo by Wilson Parish (Photo by Wilson Parish)
(Photo by Wilson Parish)

Meg and Nelson Murray chaired the dinner evening  themed “Une Nuit en Rose,” inspired by the Portrait of Eleanor Countess of Lauderdale which hangs in the museum home’s drawing room.

The soirée celebrated the 25th anniversary of the opening of Rienzi to the public. That happened in 1999 and since that time the Rienzi Society has hosted two fundraising events each year — a black-tie dinner party held in the house and the spring al fresco buffet evening. For both soirées, attendees are invited to peruse the wealth of European decorative arts that fill the dwelling designed by famed architect John Staub in 1952.

Christiana Reckling; Randa McConn; Photo by Wilson Parish (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Christina Reckling, Randa McConn at the Rienzi Spring Party (Photo by Wilson Parish)

As is tradition, the evening was supported in strength by the city’s Old Guard. For newcomers to Houston (100,000 a year), names such as Reckling, Sarofim, McConn, Elkins and Randall represent the patrician families that have given generously across generations to the Bayou City’s museums and other civic philanthropies.

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Polishing the verdant tableau was Stems Custom Floral which dressed tables in profusions of pastel blossoms. City Kitchen delivered the buffet dinner and while everyone dined, Nick Serena serenaded.

PC Seen: Courtney Sarofim, Jenny Elkins, Randa McConn, Angie and John Reckling, Gillian Sarofim, Jerry Ann Woodfin-Costa and Victor Costa, Erik Littlejohn, Audrey and David Gow, Courtnay and Mark Elias, Fairfax and Risher Randall, Christiana Reckling, Celina Hellmund, Lauren Gray, Scotty Finnegan, Matthew Cox and Avery Layton, Hague and Eric Bing, Carroll and John Wessels, and Kathy and Marty Goossen. 

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