The State of the Art of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Bluffer Gallery


“Houston’s global art scene” – the article written by James Howard Gibbons covers tries to summarize the representation of art exhibitions in Houston. The state of art summary presented within the article addresses the Museum of fine art and the Blaffer Gallery. The author emphasizes the international shade of the exhibitions which completely reflect Houston’s position as a city due to its variety in residents’ nationalities and ethnicities. The author lists the items currently belonging to the Museum of fine art focusing on their diverse origins which include Pacific islands, Africa, Indonesia, and ancient Americas. The individual separation of the Korean art pointed by the author was explaining the material and historical values of these exhibits due to the frequent attempt to destroy the art by invaders that colonized Korea throughout history.

In addition, the author explains the recently becoming Latin flavored exhibitions, which compensates for the lack of interest in these works in the last century. The current attempts to raise the interest in Latin art include the establishment in 2001 of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas and the recent exhibit of important Brazilian paintings.

The most recent exhibition held in the museum in some way outlining its international character is a gallery of conceptual works by the Egyptian minister of culture who was accompanied by another art-related figure who turned out to work earlier in Dallas and Houston.

The author continues to underline the internationalism of the art in Houston by pointing out the nationalities of the local artists who participated in an exhibit held by the Blaffer Gallery emphasizing his statements that even the curator of the Blaffer Gallery show was from Switzerland.

Personal Position

The cultural variety in Houston presented by the author might have been influenced by the multinational diversity in Houston residents, but the author is missing a point that this diversity and its consequences have deeper origins in the roots. These roots came from Houston being an international trade center in the first place. Houston is a major center for various foreign investments and its international importance has been recognized by visitors such as China’s Vice Premier Deng Xiao Ping, Britain’s Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth, France’s President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Egypt’s Presidents Anwar el-Sadat, Jordan’s King Hussein, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Saud Al-Faisal, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Robert A. Muldoon and Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and many more.

This cosmopolitanism in financial activities has its reflection in attracting people from all around the world; artists are one group among others. In this explanation an answer to the author’s statements about (whatever) reason have brought artists from around the globe to Houston while trying not to be cynical in explanation, it needs no further explanation that financial aspect is one the indicators of success in arts. In such a manner a modern city like Dubai with no historical background in art can be similarly paralleled with Houston when holding exhibitions of artists around the world for being a large trade center.

The author also misses other forms of arts when mentioning only the museum of fine arts and the Blaffer Gallery. While the article’s title is Houston’s global art scene the categorization of art forms might be expanded to wider meanings, and therefore include Contemporary Arts Museum, Rice University Art Gallery, Menil Collection, National Museum of Funeral History, Children’s Museum of Houston, and others.

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