Message from Stephen Braun, 2011 President, Houston-Leipzig Sister City Association

Some of our best programs in the last few years have been when our board member Dr. Helga Aurisch invited us to the Museum of Fine Arts for a tour of the stunning exhibits she has curated over time. Last November she introduced us to the German impressionists, all of whom had been influenced by the artistic developments in Paris despite the political tensions between France and Germany at the time. Now we can see first-hand the masterpieces by the French artists who were the masters of impressionism and the period immediately following.

We are delighted that Dr. Aurisch will guide us in the appreciation of “50 of the finest Impressionist and Post-impressionist paintings from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.” Dr. Aurisch curated the exhibit with the NGA, and we are privileged to see originals by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and others – paintings usually only seen in coffee table art books. The period of the last 40 years of the 19th century and extending into the 20th has been called “one of the greatest periods in European art.”

Claude Monet, Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and her Son, 1875; Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The National Gallery of Art


Dr. Helga Kessler Aurisch joined the MFAH as assistant curator of European art in 2004. She received her BA from Smith College in 1975 and her MA and PhD from Albert-Ludwigs Universität, Freiburg, Germany, with honors, in 1978 and 1988 respectively. In 2010, she was promoted to Curator of European Art.

Our meeting at the museum will be on Thursday, May 19, 2011, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a reception, to be followed by a presentation by Dr. Aurisch. Registration begins at 6:15 p.m., so please be early! Please come to the Jamail Meeting Room, Mezzanine Level, Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005. The meeting fee is $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers, and $5 for students, regardless of whether you participate in the reception. Parking is available in the museum’s garage on Binz between Fannin and San Jacinto – there is a big yellow arrow to direct you. Please RSVP to Angelika Schmidt-Lange.  We are eagerly anticipating an exquisite experience.

Stephen Braun
2011 President
Houston-Leipzig Sister City Association

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