If you would like to participate in any of the following tours, please indicate this on your conference registration form.

In order to insure that we are able to reach the minimum registration levels for each event, tour registration must be received by October 1st, 2003.  Also, each tour is limited to fifty-five people, so please register early.


Tour 1 – Houston Museum Tour ($50.00)

This tour includes visits to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Rothko Chapel, and the Menil Gallery.  The bus for this tour will depart at 12:30 in Saturday and return at 5:30.  A box lunch is included in the price of the tour.

Houston Museum of Fine Arts

The MFAH, with more than 45,000 works of art, is an exceptional resource for learning about the visual arts from a worldwide perspective. Each year, the MFAH is privileged to acquire outstanding works of art that reflect a wide variety of geographic regions and historic periods.

A particular strength of American art at the MFAH is 19th-century landscape painting, with fine examples by Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and Frederic Remington, all of which speak to the power of images of the Western wilderness to effect American cultural history.

We are very fortunate that at the time of this year’s WLA Conference, the MFAH will be offering, as its featured exhibit, The Heroic Century: The Museum of Modern Art Masterpieces, 200 Painting and Sculptures.  The MFAH website describes this exhibit (which requires the purchase of a ticket that is not included in the tour price) as follows:

This exhibition consists of 209 works from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, ranging in date from 1885 to 1998. Structured chronologically by art-historical movement, the exhibition will guide the viewer through all the major stylistic developments that define the Modern era. Vincent van Gogh´s The Starry Night, Claude Monet´s Water Lilies, and Salvador Dali´s The Persistence of Memory are but a few of the icons that punctuate this exhibition of the greatest collection of Modern art ever assembled.

The Rothko Chapel

The Rothko Chapel, founded by John and Dominique de Menil, was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate, nondenominational sanctuary. The chapel was designed by Howard Barnstone based on an earlier design by Philip Johnson and houses fourteen Mark Rothko paintings.

The Menil Gallery

The Menil Collection, which is operated by the Menil Foundation, Inc., opened to the public in June 1987 as the primary repository of John and Dominique de Menil’s private collection. One of the most significant of the twentieth century, the collection consists of nearly 15,000 works dating from the Paleolithic era to the present day. Although historically vast, it uniquely resists the conventional museum model of the encyclopedia. Instead, within the four areas that largely define the collection—Antiquity, Byzantine and Medieval, Tribal, and Twentieth-Century Art (with a concentration in Surrealism)—one finds a selective approach to acquisition that yields depth with regard to particular areas and artists.


Tour 2 – Galveston Island ($50.00)

This tour will include a visit to one of Galveston’s many public beaches, a brief driving tour of Galveston Island, and a visit to the Strand.  The bus for this tour will depart at 12:30 in Saturday and return at 6:30.  A box lunch is included in the price of the tour.

The Beach

The tour will stop at one of Galveston’s many public beaches, allowing tour goers to walk in the sand and even go for a swim.  We have arranged access to nearby shower facilities should anyone wish to rinse off after venturing into the water.  Surfing equipment will also be available by individual arrangement.

Driving Tour

Galveston, Texas, was the second richest city in the United States and the leading cotton port in the world until the devastating hurricane of 1900.  The city made a remarkable recovery and is now a fascinating combination of old, restored, and new.  The driving tour will pass several of the landmark historical homes in Galveston, highlighting the glamour and wealth of Galveston in the 1800s.

The Strand

Tour goers will have an opportunity to roam around the “Strand” for refreshments and to browse and shop.  The Strand National Historic Landmark is the finest concentration of 19th century iron-front commercial buildings in the nation.  It was once called the “Wall Street” of the Southwest.  In this lively area you will find antiques, galleries, curios, gifts, and boutiques ranging from an authentic candy factory, to a military surplus store.  There are discount stores and restaurants galore.


Tour 3 – Houston Museums and Folkart Sites – Tour Provided by the Orange Show Foundation ($30.00)

The bus for this tour will depart at 12:30 in Saturday and return at 4:30.  A box lunch is included in the price of the tour.

The Orange Show Foundation is a non-profit organization, founded in 1980 to preserve, present, promote, and popularize the extraordinary artistic expressions of ordinary people.  This is accomplished through the maintenance of The Orange Show monument, an archive and library, and a diverse schedule of cultural and educational programs for children and adults.  Workshops and participatory activities provide the opportunity, means, and inspiration to experience the creative process.  In McKissack’s hands, the mundane tools of daily life became the means to communicate the truths of his life and times, as he saw them.  The Orange Show’s appeal to people of all backgrounds is our strongest contribution to the cultural life of Houston, Texas.  Appreciation of The Orange Show and its programs is not dependent on one’s knowledge of art traditions, but on the attention one pays to it; therefore, it speaks to scholar and child, artist and bricklayer, educated collector and troubled adolescent.