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Dominique de Menil - Houston's arts pioneer

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For those of you who have access to Town & Country magazine, there's an interesting article about the two new books that were recently published about Dominique de Menil.

They paint a picture of a woman who is singlehandedly responsible for bringing serious art to Houston.

"I would never have started collecting so much art if I had not moved to Houston," Dominique is quoted as saying in Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil (edited by Josef Helfenstein and Laureen Schipsi; Menil Collection/Yale; $65). "Houston was a provincial, dormant place, much like Strasbourg, Basel, Alsace. There were no galleries to speak of, no dealers worth the name, and the museums! That is why I developed the physical need to acquire."

De Menil was from Paris, and got her money from the family business. A little company you might have heard of called Schlumberger.

They strongly supported the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and founded the art-history department at the local University of St. Thomas and an arts-and-media center at Rice University. Eventually, their discriminating acquisitions of modern and tribal art led them to start the Menil Collection.

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A little company you might have heard of called Schlumberger.

And don't ever make the mistake of calling it "Schlum-Burger" in the presence of an employee. It's Schlum-ber-JZEAA!

in addition to the remarkable art she collected, and her generosity in sharing it with the public, the sensitivity she showed in creating an urban environment which preserved and respected the neighborhood in which she built her museum is a wonderful legacy.

Edited by dbigtex56

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And don't ever make the mistake of calling it "Schlum-Burger" in the presence of an employee. It's Schlum-ber-JZEAA!

Do you speak from experience? laugh.gif

Seriously though, I have gone to the Menil Collection and I liked it. The location is a bit strange, though.

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