The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Artist’s Talk: Michael Ray Charles with Cherise Smith

Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 – Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020

06:00 PM – 07:00 PM


Presented by artist Michael Ray Charles and author Cherise Smith

The new publication Michael Ray Charles is the most comprehensive monograph to date featuring the work of an artist who rose to prominence in the 1990s for works that engaged American stereotypes of African Americans.

With a background in advertising and the inquisitiveness of an archivist, Michael Ray Charles (born 1967) makes startling use of found images and offers critiques of the narratives they foster. Michael Ray Charles, by Cherise Smith, celebrates and contextualizes Charles and his role in defining what art is today. Copies of the book are available for purchase.

In this talk, Charles and Smith discuss his practice over the past three decades. Topics range from controversy over Charles’s provocative appropriations of stereotypical racial material to his techniques of sampling pop culture, and from his commentaries on African American men and sports to working with director Spike Lee on the film Bamboozled.

About the Speakers

Michael Ray Charles is the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Painting at the University of Houston. Cherise Smith is associate professor of African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Drop in! This event is free. On Thursdays, Museum general admission is free, courtesy of Shell Oil Company. 

The talk takes place in the American General conference room on the mezzanine level of the Beck Building. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

► Plan ahead for your visit with parking information.


  • Tuesday - Wednesday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Thursday, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Friday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Sunday, 12:15 pm - 7:00 pm
    Monday: Closed (Except Monday Holidays). Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
  • General Admission

    • MFAH Members FREE
    • Adults $15
    • Seniors (65+ with ID) $10
    • Military (with ID) $10
    • College Students (19+ with ID) $7.50
    • Youth (13–18) $7.50
    • Children (12 & younger) FREE
    • Certain special exhibitions are ticketed, with an additional charge.
    On Thursday, general admission is free for everyone.

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Make visiting a snap! Visit mfah.org/parking for complete parking info, including a map you can download.

    Two Parking Garages        

    Parking Garage Hours

    Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Parking Garage Fees

    • Parking payments may be made only with major credit cards, or with MasterCard and Visa debit cards.
    • The first 30 minutes are always free. On Thursday, parking is free for visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
    • For hourly rates, go to mfah.org/parking
    Recommendation for guests with limited mobility: Use the covered drop-off lane at the Main Street entrance to the Beck Building, or use wheelchair-accessible parking in the garage at 1144 Binz Street.

Special Offers / Dining

Paolo Fronza, from Fellini Caffè, runs this sophisticated dining operation. Enjoy an array of Italian-inspired fare with a Texas flair, a European-style coffee bar, a kids menu, and much more at the MFA Café, located on the lower level of the Beck Building.

Events at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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