One of the greatest cultural treasures in the state of Texas, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is renowned for its superb collection of American and Texas decorative arts and paintings. Established by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to honor Bayou Bend's founding director emeritus, the David B. Warren Symposium has been presented biennially since 2007. Each symposium addresses different aspects of the theme “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience.”

The 6th Biennial David B. Warren Symposium on American Material Culture and the Texas Experience

Traditions in Transition: Change and Material Culture in 19th-Century Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest

February 24–25, 2017

Register today

Registration for the 2017 Symposium is $30 for MFAH members, $35 for nonmembers, and $15 for students. Price includes a box lunch on Saturday. Register by February 3 to receive a $5 discount (does not apply to student pricing).

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2017 Agenda

Friday, February 24

  • Keynote Address | 6 p.m. Brown Auditorium Theater, MFAH
    “The Paintings of Hermann Lungkwitz as a Type of Texas Material Culture” Speaker: Kenneth Hafertepe, chair of museum studies department, Baylor University
  • Reception follows

Saturday, February 25

  • Welcome & Opening Remarks | 9:30 a.m. Brown Auditorium Theater, MFAH
  • Morning Presentations | Brown Auditorium Theater, MFAH
    ♦ “On the Edge: The Neill-Cochran House, the Late Antebellum Era, and the Changing Face of Texas” Speaker: Rowena Houghton Dasch, executive director, Neill-Cochran House Museum
    ♦  “From the Palaces of Berlin to the Texas Frontier: The Furniture Designs of Prussian Architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel” Speaker: Serena Newmark, PhD candidate, Leibniz Universität Hannover, ​Germany
  • Lunch Break Box lunches included in registration fee

  • Afternoon Presentations | Brown Auditorium Theater, MFAH
    ♦  “Making the Texas Cowboy and the Tools of the Endeavor” Speaker: Bruce M. Shackelford, curator of South Texas heritage, Witte Museum
    ♦ “Portraits of Slaves in a New South” Speaker: Jennifer Van Horn, assistant professor, art history and history, University of Delaware 

  • Reception | 4:30 p.m. Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
    At the conclusion of the symposium, attendees are invited to join the speakers for light refreshments at Bayou Bend. The house, including the Texas Room, is open for the reception. Shuttle buses are available from the MFAH to Bayou Bend and back, or guests may use their own transportation.

History of the David B. Warren Symposium

The inaugural David B. Warren Symposium, “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience,” was presented by Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on February 9–10, 2007. David B. Warren delivered the keynote address, “A Gift of Love: Miss Ima Hogg’s Quest to Bring Americana to Texas.” The second symposium, “American Material Culture and the Texas Experience, Part 2” was presented October 30–31, 2009. The first two symposia placed the pre-1900 material culture of Texas, the lower South, and the Southwest within a national and international context, establishing a tradition that future symposia would follow.

The third biennial David B. Warren Symposium, “The Civil War and the Material Culture of Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest,” was held October 28–30, 2011, and commemorated the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War. The fourth symposium, “Itinerant and Immigrant Artists and Artisans in 19th-Century Texas,” took place October 25–27, 2013, and acknowledged the contributions of foreign-born craftsmen, photographers, and artists to the material culture of the Lone Star State. The fifth symposium, October 23–25, 2015, focused on "Creators and Consumers: Women and Material Culture and Visual Art in 19th-Century Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest."

The David B. Warren Symposium is made possible with  generous support from The David B. Warren Endowment;  Mr. William J. Hill; Mrs. Nancy Glanville Jewell; Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; Mrs. Fred R. Lummis; Bobbie and John Nau;  and The Summerlee Foundation.