PaperCity Magazine

June 2015 - Houston

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S ometimes a blockbuster is more than an exhibition — it's an entire history lesson. Last year, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, established a new tradition of decorative-arts dazzlers with its peek into the gilded upper-crust life of the great British estate Houghton Hall. This year, the continent is the playing field for "Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna's Imperial Collections" (June 14 – September 13). The MFAH is one of only three American stops for these treasures, which have never before been exhibited in such magnitude in the States. Loaned from Vienna's palatial Kunsthistorisches Museum (founded by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1891), the nearly 100 artworks and objects reflect the collecting acumen of the Habsburg rulers and encompass Greco-Roman antiquities; medieval relics, such as arms and armor and even jousting weapons; all the trappings of power, from carriages to beautifully preserved court costumes and campaign uniforms; and masterpiece canvases by painters privileged by royal patronage, including Rubens, Caravaggio, Titian, Velázquez (a portrait of the Spanish princess, Infanta Maria Theresa), protean surrealist Arcimboldo and even Holbein the Younger's likeness of Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour. The exhibition is organized in Houston by lead curator David Bomford, MFAH director of conservation, with colleagues Helga Aurisch and Christine Gervais, into three chronological sections spanning more than 600 years of sovereignty, from the late medieval through the Baroque golden age and concluding with the twilight of the empire at the end of World War I. Catherine D. Anspon Roman cameo mounted as pendant, An Antonine Prince as Mercury, AD 150–175 ALL IMAGES KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM, VIENNA INTRIGUE PALACE Clockwise from top left: Giuseppe Arcimboldo's Fire, 1566 Tintoretto's Susannah and the Elders, circa 1555/1556 Giorgione's The Three Philosophers, circa 1505 Velázquez's Infanta María Theresa, circa 1652/1653 Above: In the style of Charles F. Worth, Black Velvet Dress Belonging to Empress Elisabeth, circa 1860–1865 Right: Vienna Court Carousel Sleigh, circa 1740/1750, and Harness, remade in 1814/1815 R ene w Y our " W ife " In su r ance ! R en nce ! Fabulous Selection of Antique & Estate Jewelry custom jewelry jewelry repair 4901 Locust St. (713) 666-6683 Bellaire, TX Tues.-Sat. 10-6 custom jewelry jewelry repair Trade-ins welcome

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