MFAH Announces 18th-Century Parisian and 20th-Century Czech Exhibits

Visitors to the Museum of Fine Arts will have a chance to step into the dainty shoes of the 18th-century French bourgeoisie thanks to a new exhibit that attempts to recreate a day in the life of Enlightenment Paris. The exhibit, Life & Luxury, will feature around 160 paintings, sculptures, drawings, furniture, scientific and musical instruments, books, textiles and other objects. The objects will be on loan from 26 museums and private collections, including the Louvre, the Met and the Getty.

According to a release, the furniture, paintings and other objects will be arranged into sections relating to daily life in the 18th century, including business affairs, book and art collecting, scientific pursuits, leisure activities like music and games, and prayer.

MFAH also announced an exhibit of Czech avant-garde art and glass from the private collection of Roy and Mary Cullen; art that was hidden from the public eye during the Cold War.

"There is still much to learn about 20th-century Czech art and its contribution to European modernism," said MFAH interim director Gwendolyn H. Goffe in a release. "The Cullens have shown imaginative flair and true connoisseurship in re-telling this story through their collection, literally a 'New Formation' of the international avant garde."

New Formations will highlight avant-garde works from the 1920s and '30s by the Devetsil artists and focus on the uniquely Czech movements of Artificialism and Poetism, according to the release. Art includes works by Josef Sima, Karel Teige and Jindrich Štyrský, and leads into works by the Skupina 42 (Group 42), whose work captured the desperate European spirit of World War II.

The exhibit will also feature 30 examples of Czech modern glass from 1900 to 1930, showing the transition from Art Nouveau to Czech functionalism.

Life & Luxury runs September 18 through December 11. New Formations runs November 6 to February 5. MFAH, 5601 Main St. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org.

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