Houston, TX

Three Centuries of American Art: The Exhibition of Fayez S. Sarofim Private Collection

Jessica Yang

Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonPhotograph by Will Michels

Houston, TX - Highlighting more than 200 works of art, “Three Centuries of American Art” comes from Fayez S. Sarofim private collection of over 60 years aged. His collection represents unique paintings ranging from impressionism through abstract expressionism, minimalism, contemporary, and pop art in America.

This exhibition’s main focus is Sarofim’s devotion to 19th- and 20th-century painting that open through September 6, 2021 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The works included in for views come from John Singer Sergant, Andy Warhol, Mary Cassatt, Helen Frankenthaler, Edward Hopper, Henry Moore, and Lee Krasner among the others.

Born as Christian Egyptian from an esteemed Coptic family that settled in the Southwest later on, Sarofim’s unique heritage is reflected through his vast collection. This Houston-based collector was born in 1928, in Cairo, attended University of California and earned his MBA at Harvard Business School.

As he became a successful businessman just like his father, Sarofim’s art collection increased along with his wealth. While gathering works from various European and American artists from the 19th century onward, Sarofim also collected significant Coptic, Ancient Egyptian, and Southwest Native American art pieces. The highlights for Ancient Egyptian art cover depictions of symbolic fish, cats, and falcons sculptures, funerary figures, along with limestone relief fragments.

Throughout his homes, pieces of art across decades and locales can be found. Aside from works by American artists, art by Joaquín Torres-García, Picasso, Henry Moore, and Old Masters can be seen in Sarofim’s residences. According to Gary Tinterow, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, this exhibition is the huge revelation of what Sarofim has accomplished. “Art furnished his life,” said Tinterow.

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