Houston Collects: Contemporary Cool in River Oaks

Tuesday, November 7 and Wednesday, November 15, 1:00-3:30 P.M. | Addresses will be given to subscribers. Attendees should carpool where possible because street parking near the homes may be limited. Limited enrollment.

Our fall art tours include four homes, each lovingly renovated over time to showcase growing and dynamic collections of contemporary art.  All four homeowners have multiple children, are actively involved in Houston’s art community, were actively involved in the design and look of their very personal homes, and share a passion for entertaining and supporting artists.

November 7:  We will first visit the collection of a family who took a formal Regency-style home built in the early 1980s and brightened it up to fit their busy lifestyles as a family of five plus two dogs. The collection, begun in the late 1980s while the homeowners were in Georgia, has grown to include paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture from a wide variety of artists, international and local.

Built in 1932 and designated by the City of Houston as a Landmark, the second home was modified in the early 2000s to accommodate a growing art collection and a young family. The vibrant and eclectic collection features local luminaries, emerging artists, craft based work and nationally noted artists.  The owners have been recognized for their patronage and support of the Houston art community and are deeply involved in public art in the city.

November 15: Mr. and Mrs. Haywood Nelms moved into their Norman-inspired house, designed by New York architect Frank Forster, in 1929.  Creative touches throughout the house pay tribute to the original owners’ love of the Robin Hood story.  Many of the timbers, flooring and paneling were purchased in England and France, and are over 300 years old.  Juxtaposed against this traditional European background is a very contemporary art collection focused primarily on living Texas artists such as David McGee, Rachel Hecker, Aaron Parazette, and the Art Guys.  The collection also includes work by Rackstraw Downes, Donald Judd, Mickalene Thomas, Marilyn Minter, Chuck Close and Jeff Elrod. 

A short drive away, we will tour a home which Harold Farb built for himself in 1980.  The home has been renovated by the current owners to maintain its original dramatic mouldings and woodwork, juxtaposed with a highly edited and minimal interior. The updated home offers a unique combination of comfort and practicality for a young family along with a defined setting for art. The art collection focuses on emerging to blue-chip artists, with here and there a little gold-leaf chicken wire and LED display to add an element of surprise.



Happy Holidays! The spring 2019 courses are planned and the brochure is in production. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Spring Study Tour Interest List
If you are interested in traveling to Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy. 


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.