MFAH Showcases Collection of Curator Clint Willour

by Glasstire June 17, 2018
art by Richard Misrach

Richard Misrach, Stonehenge #6, 1976, gelatin silver print with toning, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Clinton T. Willour in honor of S. I. Morris. © Richard Misrach

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) recently opened an exhibition featuring artworks that Houston-based curator Clint Willour has collected and subsequently gifted to the museum over the past 40 years. Willour’s life has long been intertwined with the arts in Houston: he’s run galleries, juried countless group shows, and served a 25-year tenure as curator at the Galveston Arts Center, where he gave many well-known Texas artists their first big institutional exhibitions.

In his collecting, Willour has championed photography and multiples, works he was able to buy from roving print fairs and artists he interacted with. Since 1976, Willour has donated more than 1,300 art and decorative objects to the MFAH, and has given more than 2,500 books to the museum’s Hirsch Library.

art by Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide, Autorretrato de Infancia (Self-Portrait of Childhood), 1984, gelatin silver print, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Clinton T. Willour in honor of Elena Cusi Wortham. © Graciela Iturbide

The exhibition of Willour’s collection, 40 Years of Discovery: Gifts of Clint Willour, is on view in the museum’s Beck Building and highlights his diverse collecting interests. Via the museum:

“The art that appeals to Willour varies in style and media but always demonstrates superior craftsmanship and unique energy. Collecting work by a range of artists, Willour is unconcerned about trends and instead relies on his own judgment and eye, living the adage ‘collect what you like.’ Though he often chooses works with similar subjects, his widespread interests lead to compelling groupings—landscape, portraiture, still life, abstractions—that showcase a variety of artistic visions.”

art by Hilary Wilder

Hilary Wilder, Glacier, 2011, acrylic on Yupo paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by Clinton T. Willour in memory of Isabel B. Wilson. © Hilary Wilder

Artists in the show include John Divola, Graciela Iturbide, Richard Misrach, Dean Ruck, Richard Gordon Stout, and Hilary Wilder, among others.

If you’re interested in learning more about Willour’s life and work, you can watch his video interview with Glasstire below. You can also read Michael Hardy’s 2005 Houston Chronicle article about Willour.

’40 Years of Discovery: Gifts of Clint Willour’ is on view through October 14, 2018.


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