European Decorative Arts and Paintings

Katherine S. Howe et al

    ISBN: 978 1 85759 505 5

    Size: 280 x 254 mm / 10 x 11 in.

    Binding: Hardback

    Pages: 240

    In association with:

    Date published: November, 2008

    UK £25 /US $45


  • The first book documenting the Rienzi and its highlights
  • Features essays on the house and its gardens, and beautiful colour reproductions of its highlights


Rienzi, the centre for European decorative arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, was given to the Museum through the estates of arts patrons Harris Masterson II and his wife, Carroll Sterling Masterson, in 1997. This chronicle of the house and collection is published in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the donation of Rienzi to the MFAH. Rienzi comprises a remarkable art collection, a house and gardens. Harris Masterson was a born collector with a keen interest in European art, especially British painting and decorative arts, which he began to acquire while in England during World War II. His collecting interests were diverse, ranging from eighteenth-century English ceramics, French and English furniture and portraiture, to small, precious objects by jewellers such as Jean Schlumberger and David Webb. This book is the first to document Rienzi and its collections. It presents an illustrated biography of the Mastersons and their role as collectors, written by Katherine S. Howe, who has served as the Director of Rienzi since its dedication. This is followed by essays on the design and history of the house and the gardens at Rienzi, alongside beautiful colour reproductions of highlights from the collection.

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