Archive | Arts & Culture


For the City

Houston History celebrates its twentieth anniversary with its fiftieth issue in the fall of 2023. The issue also marks the culmination of the three-year grant project: 100 Years of Stories – Documenting a Century at the University of Houston highlighting the way the university, its programs, and individuals have impacted the community.

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JUlian Schnabel

50 Years of Blaffer Art Museum

By Pete Gershon Installation view of Julien Schnabel’s work, entitled Crows Flying the Black Flag of Themselves, 1988. Photo courtesy of the Blaffer Art Museum. In the early 1970s, Houston was shaking off its mid-century identity as a provincial backwater. The Johnson Space Center directed regular flights to the moon. The city’s major league ball […]

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coming up taller

Blaffer’s Education Programs

By Katherine Veneman Katherine Veneman and YAAP participant Jessica Flores accept the Coming Up Taller award from First Lady Michelle Obama, November 4, 2009. Photo courtesy of Steven E. Purcell. The Blaffer has a particular energy, sparked by intellectual freedom and curiosity that motivates the best programs. Programs often begin with a simple query, “What […]

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Christine Ha Four Senses head shot (Varner Productions Ltd)

“The Blind Cook,” Christine Hà

By Katherine R. Galland Christine Hà had plans to go into business and finance before discovering her love of cooking and losing her sight. Today she is defying the odds as a renowned chef and restaurant owner. Photo courtesy of John Suh.  Imagine cooking without seeing the ingredients, the measuring utensils, knives, pans, or burners […]

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A Pioneer of Local Diversity: University of Houston’s Muslim Student Association 

By Laura Mullis Brown  UHMSA poses with their trophies after winning first place for the 2022-23 school year at the state-wide MSA Showdown. MSA organizations from across Texas compete in sports, Nasheed (singing), fashion, and more. Photo courtesy of UHMSA marketing coordinator Zuhayr Haq.  If you visit the University of Houston’s Student Center South on […]

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Scott Burton, Benches_edited

Public Art of the University of Houston

By Mercedes Del Riego Benches by Scott Burton, pink granite (1985). Best known for blurring the boundary between utilitarian objects and art, Burton was a minimalist sculptor inspired by the Bauhaus and abstract movements. This set of two benches sit nondescriptly in front of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design. All photos […]

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A Surprise Discovery: Making Art History Public Art

By Mercedes Del Riego 22 February 1916 “Sunday Evening in a Village in the Ardennes.” Says “Dear Irma, many heartfelt thanks and greetings, your Otto. Have had no mail from you for days.” All photos courtesy of Irene Guenther. Peter Guenther and his wife, Andrea, died a few short months apart. “I should not have […]

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Making Memories at Miller Outdoor Theatre: A Centennial of the Arts

By Samantha de León Miller Outdoor Theatre during a summer symphony night. All photos courtesy of Miller Outdoor Theatre. In February 1969, forty-six years after Miller Outdoor Theatre opened and a year after moving into its new facility, Houston Chronicle fine arts editor Ann Holmes questioned what was next for the outdoor amphitheater. Nestled in […]

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