The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Family Art Activity: Foil Engraving with Rienzi

Wednesday, May. 6, 2020 – Sunday, May. 31, 2020


Families, get ready for a special art activity with Ryan Hernandez, the learning & interpretation coordinator at Rienzi. Artists of all ages can make a foil engraving just like the work of skillful silversmiths! Check out the how-to video and instructions below.

The collection at Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, showcases an array of artists’ techniques, including excellent examples of engraved silver.

One highlight is Paul de Lamerie’s Ewer, which features an intricately engraved armorial design with eagles, a crown, fish scales, leaves, and shells. Get inspired by the art at Rienzi, then share your work of art using #MFAHatHome on Instagram and Twitter.

• Scissors
• Dull pencil
• Marker
• Glue or glue stick
• Cardboard
• Paper
• Aluminum foil
• Tape


Instructions (follow along with the video)

1) Trace the cardboard piece onto paper to create your drawing, then cut into its lines.

2) Apply glue to one side of your cardboard and lay the foil with the shiny side facing up. Fold excess foil over the back of the cardboard and tape down as needed. Gently smooth out the surface as much as possible.

3) Take your drawing with the sketch facing up and tape down the top edge to the cardboard so it won’t move once you start tracing.

4) Trace your image onto the foil using a dull pencil. Don’t press too hard, or you might tear the foil.

5) Remove the sketch and retrace the drawing directly on the foil to smooth out lines and create more dimension.

6) Share your engraving! Use #MFAHatHome on social media.

► Learn more about Rienzi and the Rienzi Collection


  • 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.

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