This WAS Contemporary Art: Fine and Decorative Arts in Houston 1945–1965 will run at The Heritage Society Museum in downtown Houston from Thursday, July 14 to Saturday, October 15, 2016. The Heritage Society Museum has been a member of AASLH since 2013.


Downtown Houston by Bill Condon , San Antonio Collection

Downtown Houston by Bill Condon , San Antonio Collection

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.

The Heritage Society is funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

About The Heritage Society

The Heritage Society Museum is located at 1100 Bagby Street, Sam Houston Park. Founded in 1954, The Heritage Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to tell the stories of Houston’s diverse history through collections, exhibits, and educational programs. The museum and historic structures are open for tours Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is an admission charge for the historic structure tours with special rates for seniors, students and children. For more information about The Heritage Society call 713.655.1912.