'Vision' Quest

A decade in the making, William Middleton’s sweeping de Menil bio dives deep into the lives and passions of Houston’s most famous art patrons.

scan from b&w print

There is no denying that Dominique and John de Menil made an indelible mark on Houston, leaving behind their astonishing collection of art and the museum that bears their name for future generations.


Now, they get the biography they deserve, in the form of Double Vision by William Middleton, published this month by Knopf, a work 10 years in the making. Why so long? “It covers the entire 20th century,” says Middleton. “Paris, New York and Houston; French history, World War I and World War II; two family histories instead of one. And then all of the many areas of interest that were important for the de Menils: antiquities, modern art, non-Western art, architecture, design, civil rights, human rights, religion and spirituality.”

As for why the debonair couple chose to focus their efforts on Houston, Middleton says it was a matter of where they felt they were needed.

“There is no doubt that the de Menils would not have collected in such an ambitious way if they had not settled in Texas,” he says. “I hope the full sweep of their story will give Houstonians a better appreciation for just how dedicated the de Menils were to making the city as good as it could be. They were on a mission in Houston. And, in a very real way, Houston became the muse for the de Menils’ collection. This book will make that clear.”

Art+Culture
Chapman & Kirby Launches Free Concert Series for Spring

Danny Ray and the Atlantic Street Band performs May 31 (photo from dannyrayatlanticstreetband.com)

CHAPMAN & KIRBY, THE premier event destination in Houston’s East Village, is thrilled to announce the launch of its Spring Music Series, kicking off on Friday, April 12. Chapman & Kirby has become synonymous with top-tier events and unforgettable experiences, many attended by celebrities both local and worldwide. With concert ticket prices soaring to hundreds and even thousands of dollars in the last year, this eight-week music series promises to be a welcomed opportunity to engage with live music for free, showcasing an eclectic lineup of talented acts.

Keep ReadingShow less

Chef Royere

IT’S NOT EVERY day that a Houston chef is graced with one France’s most prestigious honors. But that day arrived for The Post Oak’s executive chef Jean-Luc Royere who received the Ordre du Mérite agricol in a private ceremony on April 16. The award is an esteemed honor bestowed to French citizens by the French Republic for outstanding contributions to agriculture and the culinary arts.

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places

Melon Carpaccio and the Strawberry Chill

THE CROWD AT River Oaks’ Relish doesn’t let up as early evening turns into nighttime. To toast the pretty spring weather, a posh set is filling the neighborhood eatery’s airy bar and lush patio.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food