This WAS Contemporary Art:
Fine and Decorative Arts in Houston 1945–1965
Thursday, July 14–Saturday, October 15, 2016

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.

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.

Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy
January 27–March 5, 2016

The Heritage Society presents “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy,” an exhibition created by the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

In the early 1970s, noted Texas historian Joe Frantz offered Bill Wittliff the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit a ranch in northern Mexico where the vaqueros still worked cattle in traditional ways. Wittliff photographed the vaqueros as they went about daily chores that had changed little since the first Mexican cowherders learned to work cattle from a horse's back. Wittliff captured a way of life that now exists only in memory and in the photographs included in this exhibition.

The exhibition features over 60 striking black and white photographs with bilingual narrative text that reveal the muscle, sweat and drama that went into roping a calf in thick brush or breaking a wild horse in the saddle.

Nothing brings to mind the Old West like a traditional cowboy on his horse.  This exhibit will highlight the importance of the vaquero to Texas cattle ranching just as the thousands of trail riders roll in to Houston for the kick-off to the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.Vaquero: Ge

Asian Americans in Houston: A Kaleidoscope of Cultures
October 1, 2015–January 16, 2016

The focus of the exhibition is on Asian Americans in Houston and their many contributions to the city and its culture. Topics include an overview of Asian immigration, a Buddhist temple, and stories of Houstonians who trace their ancestry to China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. The exhibit brings to life stories in the fall 2015 issue of Houston History magazine by featuring artifacts, photographs, and documents representing a cultural bridge between Asians and Houstonians.