The Heritage Society (THS) is organizing This WAS Contemporary Art: Fine and Decorative Arts in Houston 1945-1965 in partnership with Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art (CASETA). The inaugural exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum in 1948 was a show called This Is Contemporary Art. It was a concept, perhaps growing out of a Bauhaus approach brought to Houston by Robert Preusser, emphasizing that both fine and decorative arts should be appreciated and that art was something to bring into all aspects of life.
This was also the era of Handmakers, a cooperative of Houston artists making things for the home. The exhibition will use the 1948 show as a model for a look back at a time when Houston and the Houston art world were in transition from regional to national – even international – significance. Though the art and decorative items in the earlier show were not Houston made, this time, we will be showcasing Houston art and decorative arts and furniture made and/or designed here.