Houston Woman Wire

NEWS MFAH announces major acquisitions for new gallery

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, today announced three significant acquistions of Medieval art, now on view in the European Art Galleries of the museum's Audrey Jones Beck Building. A large, rare Hebrew codex, known as The Montefiore Mainz Mahzor (circa 1310-20); a rare surviving silver-gilt and enamel Spanish provessional cross (circa 1400); and one of the a handful of surviving architectural drawings for Rouen cathedral, attributed to its architect, will form the core selection for a newly conceived presentation of Medieval art. Each was a purchase, funded through dedicated MFAH acquisitions endowments.

"These three remarkable objects, in tandem with our significant and growing holdings of art from Asia and the Islamic worlds, will enhance the museum's ability to tell the story of pre-modern art and culture across cultures and continents," commented Gary Tinterow, MFAH director."I am delighted to announce these exceptional additionals to the collections, from among the hundreds we acquired during the last fiscal year."

The new acquisitions will be presented with a late-15th-Century Flemish tapestry depicting Hercules slaying Laomedon, which was acquired two years ago, and a number of artworks that have long been in the collection but that have not been on view in many years, including liturgical objects given in the 1930s by Annette Finnigan, Houston philanthropist and suffragette, and a reliquary monstrance from the Guelph Treasure, acquired by then-director Phillipe de Montebello in 1970.

For more information, please visit http://www.mfah.org/.

EVENT Romney to speak at Rice

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will visit Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy on Monday, Oct. 1 for a conversation on leadership, public service and the responsibilities that come with both. The event starts with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Romney was the 2012 Republican nominee for president and was a candidate for the 2008 nomination. He served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, and he is currently running for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah.

The cost of attendance is $15 for the public, and registration is at www.bakerinstitute.org/events/1964. This event is part of the Baker Institute’s 25th anniversary commemorative programs featuring its centers and research.

The Baker Institute at Rice University is located at 6100 Main Street.

NEWS Houston City Council approves new budget in record time

By unanimous vote and in record time, Houston City Council today approved Mayor Sylvester Turner’s first City budget. In stark contrast to budget discussions of years past that lasted into the wee hours of the next morning, the vote came just before noon today and nearly a month ahead of the normal schedule. 

“Passage of this budget sends a strong message to the credit rating agencies about the importance we are placing on City finances,” said Mayor Turner. “This was accomplished not by putting hundreds of hard-working City employees in the unemployment line or by cutting critical services that Houstonians rely on and deserve. Instead, it was done via shared sacrifice and laser fine attention to fiscal management.”

Cost increases, voter imposed revenue limitations, a broken appraisal system and the economic downturn combined to create a $160 million budget shortfall, the worst fiscal challenge the City has faced since before The Great Recession when hundreds of City workers had to be laid off. The mayor’s budget eliminates the shortfall, maintains the City’s healthy savings account and cuts overall spending by $82 million, when compared to the current budget year. Library and park services were maintained and there were no layoffs of police and fire fighters. There is also funding for an additional police cadet class, for a total of five classes, the most in recent memory. For the first time in years, the number of police officers at HPD is starting to inch up.

“Each City department, the employee unions, City Council, the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones and various other parties worked together to identify cost savings and efficiencies while also minimizing employee layoffs and maintaining the critical services our residents rely on and deserve,” said Turner. I want to thank everyone for coming to the table to work together.”

Early in the budget process, Mayor Turner asked City Council not to tinker with his budget proposal, warning that even one small change could upset the delicate balance achieved as a result of shared sacrifice and put the City at risk for a credit rating downgrade.  In the spirit of working together, council heeded his request, submitting very few amendments, none of which had a budgetary impact. This also contrasts with previous years when there have been dozens of amendments put on the table.

The budget adopted today is for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2016. 


NEWS Pulitzer Prize winner Sheryl WuDunn to deliver commencement address at Rice

Rice University’s 103rd commencement will be held on May 13 and 14. On Friday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m., undergraduate students will cross the stage to receive diploma tubes and be congratulated. The Friday evening event will be the only opportunity to photograph the students crossing the stage and will culminate in a fireworks display.

The commencement address will be presented Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., and degrees will be conferred to the group as a whole.

Sheryl WuDunn will deliver the commencement address during the Saturday morning ceremony. Named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake the World,” WuDunn became the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize when she and her husband, New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof, shared the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for their coverage of the mass movement for democracy and its subsequent suppression in China.

Currently the co-founder of FullSky Capital and a senior managing director for Mid-Market Securities, WuDunn raises capital for men and women entrepreneurs in new media, media technology, health care and social enterprise and advises several growth companies.


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