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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Hidden Layers: Painting and Process in Europe, 1500–1800

Saturday, May. 26, 2018 – Monday, Sep. 3, 2018

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This exhibition celebrates the Museum’s new Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation, opening later this year. Hidden Layers: Painting and Process in Europe, 1500–1800 highlights recent technical findings for European paintings in the Blaffer and MFAH collections.

The imaging techniques of x-radiography and infrared reflectography have uncovered preparatory layers and underlying changes in the paintings. Now, the materials throughout the entire depth of a painting, or just below the visible surface, can be seen.

Sometimes major, spectacular transformations are revealed, with entirely different compositions underneath. Other examples show the brilliance of an artist’s underdrawing, or subtle alterations of line as the design is refined and developed. In all of them, details of the artists’ working methods—as well as clues to original and changing artistic intention—are made clearer by discovering what lies in the hidden layers.

Hidden Layers also features important Old Master prints from the Blaffer Collection that show wonderful interpretations of the artist at work in the studio. Some of the images are allegorical, and some are straightforwardly descriptive, but all are superb works of art in their own right.

HOURS & ADMISSION

  • 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 Adult-$15 ($14 Online); Senior (65+) $10 ($9 Online); Youth (13-18) $7.50 ($6.50 Online); Child (12 & younger) FREE; Military (ID Required) $10; Student (ID Required) $7.50 Ticketed exhibitions require an additional admission charge. Free Hours: FREE THURSDAY 10 am - 9 pm

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Make visiting a snap! Enlarge the map to see main-campus parking options, or download the PDF

    Parking update: A new underground parking garage, located on Montrose Boulevard, is now open!

    • The outdoor parking lot on Bissonnet, across from the Law Building, is closed permanently.
    • Parking is available in two garages: an above-ground garage at 1144 Binz Street, and a new underground garage at 5101 Montrose Blvd.
    • Guests with limited mobility: We recommend that you 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.

    Parking Garage Locations

    • 1144 Binz Street
    • 5101 Montrose Boulevard

    Parking Fees*

    Parking payments may be made only with a major credit card. Also accepted: MasterCard and Visa debit cards.
    MFAH Members Visitors
    0–30 minutes FREE FREE
    31 minutes–4 hours $6 $10
    4–12 hours $10 $18
    12–24 hours $35 $35
    *Parking is free for MFAH visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursdays. General admission to the Museum is free on Thursdays, courtesy of Shell.

    Hours

    Both parking garages are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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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