I recently visited the Menil Collection in Houston (for the first time), and I am now sort of obsessed with Dominique de Menil. Ok, obsessed is a little strong, but I am so taken by this woman, her taste, her vision, and her unwavering progressive stance on social and humanitarian causes. What an amazing contribution she and her husband, John, made to Houston.
The artwork that the de Menils collected is extraordinary for a private collection and the museum she built with Renzo Piano is stunning. I was so inspired by the building, the light, the flow, and spent as much time looking down at the gorgeous dark stained wood floors (with HVAC vents, how smart, Renzo!) as I did the art on the walls.
I came across an article about the de Menils in Lonny, a magazine that is new to me that has some stunning images of the de Menil home in Houston. I thought the museum was the gem, but it turns out the house is equally amazing. Designed by Philip Johnson and decorated by celebrated fashion designer Charles James, the result is delicious, uniting "a taste for radical simplicity with a worldly, bohemian spirit."
There's also a great article in the New York Times about the house (the first of it's kind in Texas) that embarrassed the de Menil children enough not to invite friends over. It's so scandalous! I love it when parents embarrass their kids with modern architecture!