Houston, September 11, 2012 ? Cutting the ceremonial ribbon in 1987, Dominique de Menil opened the doors to the museum that
bears the family name with these welcoming words, "Houston, this is your museum."
That auspicious occasion also marked the completion of the first U.S. building by the acclaimed Italian architect Renzo Piano, who designed, with his client, a home for art, free of charge and open to all.
In the quarter-century since that inaugural day, the Menil Collection established itself not only as a uniquely Houston treasure – an organic component of the Museum District residential neighborhood, surrounded by green space and bungalows ? but as an international destination for all who love art and architecture. The Menil is a local and global treasure.
Join us in celebrating the Menil's 25th birthday on Saturday, September 22 with a neighborhood party, free and open to all.
Festivities begin at 3:00 p.m. with a promenade performance by the legendary, award winning Kashmere Reunion Stage Band (of "Thunder Soul" fame) and continue with the renowned TSU Jazz Ensemble. Each band will include in their performance their own distinctive version of Happy Birthday!
The outdoor festivities continue with improvisational jazz dancing on the lawn (thank you, City Dance Company!) and a Scavenger Hunt for children.
From the City of Houston, a Mayor's Proclamation honoring the Menil will be presented to museum director Josef Helfenstein.
Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the music, dancing, treasure hunt ? and of course, birthday cake and ice cream – until the final notes (and birthday candles) are blown out at 6 o'clock!
About the Menil: Housing a world of art from the prehistoric era to modern day, the still growing Menil Collection began as the private art collection of Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil. From war-torn Europe, the de Menils arrived in their adopted city in 1941. Long before John's death in 1973, they began planning a museum that would hold their dynamic collection of art, in spare, light-filled galleries (a building not unlike their welcoming, Modernist home) and embody their ideas about art as an essential part of life that should be made available all to experience. Pease join us in the celebrating the museum's first quarter century and commemorating the legacy of its founders.