Both Rice and metropolitan Houston offer bountiful resources for students and anyone interested in Art History.
Please contact the department if you have any questions:
Nicole Elaine Wade
Chelsley Morell Denny
Visual Resources Collection
The Visual Resources Collection provides digital media, technology and classroom support to the Department of Art History at Rice University. The VRC’s main digital image collection is accessible through Rice University’s hosted collections via ArtStor.
- The Rice Art History Collection contains over 45,000 high-quality digital images of art, architecture and visual culture from prehistoric to modern times. The images are accompanied by detailed metadata records and can be searched by keyword or browsed by a number of categories. The VRC is continually adding images to the collection, mostly selected by the Art History faculty for use in current and upcoming courses
Hours, Location and Staff
The VRC, located in Herring Hall, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, throughout the year with the exception of University holidays. Please contact us if you have any questions:
Kelley Vernon, MA
Curator, Visual Resources
252 Herring Hall
The Visual Resources Collection adds to the Rice Art History Collection at an approximate rate of 500 digital images and metadata each month. These additions generally fall under the following categories:
- Images added for courses at specific faculty request;
- Images added for courses based on general faculty teaching needs;
- Images added to replace or supplement inferior quality images already in the collection,
- Images added from the Department's legacy slide collection that have never been digitized.
The VRC also processes digital images for scholarly and publishing use by the Department of Art History faculty. These research images are not always added to the digital collection. While the Visual Resources Collection makes an effort to be encyclopedic across cultures and time periods, it's primary mission is to serve the teaching and research needs of the Art History faculty and the collection reflects this.
Art History Slide Archive
In addition to the digital collection, the VRC has an archive of over 300,000 35mm slides relating to art, architecture and visual culture from prehistoric to modern times. The VRC stopped creating or purchasing new slides in 2005 but continues to digitize and import images and metadata from the slide archive into Owl-Space IMM as needed by Art History faculty. The archive continues to be an actively-used resource for course development because it contains 6 times as many images as the VRC’s current digital collection (a large percentage of the slide images would otherwise have to be repurchased from vendors as needed) and represents over 40 years of scholarly development.
Houston Area Museums
For an in-depth look at all of the museum opportunities the Rice Art History program offers, see the HART in Museums page.
The Department of Art History encourages interdisciplinary coursework and research through collaborative links between the department and its affiliated faculty who serve as curators in Houston or who teach visual and material culture in other departments at Rice. Our program also benefits from the rich visual culture of Houston. We have special relationships with the MFAH, Menil and Asia Society by way of fellowships, research projects and courses.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston contains an encyclopedic collection of global art from antiquity to the present that includes Bayou Bend, with its collection of American decorative art and painting; the Blaffer Collection of Old Master paintings and prints; the Latin American collections and the affiliated International Center for the Art of the Americas; and an outstanding collection of modern and contemporary works.
Directly across the street from the MFAH is the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, a non-collecting museum that first opened in 1948. Reflecting the full diversity of contemporary art practice, recent one-person shows have included exhibitions by Kiki Smith, Andrea Zittel, Shirin Neshat, and William Kentridge, among many others, and group exhibitions that include, “Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970,” “Fade In: New Film and Video,” and “The Old, Weird America.” CAMH also hosts a wide range of cultural events and artist talks.
The Menil Collection, which opened to the public in 1987, is located in a quiet residential neighborhood about a mile and a half from Rice. Designed by Renzo Piano, the museum houses and exhibits the diverse private art collection of John and Dominique de Menil, in addition to hosting traveling exhibitions. The collection of approximately 15,000 objects features strengths in the European avant-garde, American post-war modernism, and African art, as well as the arts of Oceania and the Pacific Northwest. The renowned collection has important examples of modern painting and sculpture, as well as significant holdings in Antiquity, Byzantine and Medieval, Tribal, and Twentieth-Century Art (with a concentration in Surrealism). The Rothko Chapel, which features fourteen large paintings commissioned by the de Menils in 1964, is a short walk from the main museum building. In 1995 the Menil Collection opened the Cy Twombly Gallery in collaboration with the Dia Art Foundation. The Menil campus also features a site-specific installation of works by Dan Flavin, and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel. In 2015 the Menil Collection broke ground on a Drawing Institute and Study Center dedicated to the acquisition, research, conservation, and display of drawings.
The Texas branch of the international Asia Society is located in the Houston Museum District. Asia Society has eleven locations around the world; the society describes itself as "the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States." Asia Society Texas Center focuses its global mission by way of a local focus that engages the diversity of Houston with "innovative programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach." Their new building, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, opened in 2013.
The area around Rice is home to many more museums including the The Printing Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science, which includes a permanent loan-based exhibiton in Egyptian art, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Holocaust Museum Houston and over a dozen other arts and cultural museums.
The Moody Center for the Arts is a new, internationally focused arts institution on the Rice University campus, built as a free public platform for creating collaborative works of all kinds and fro presenting innovative, transdisciplinary experiences to the public and hte university community.
Humanities Research Center
The Humanities Research Center (HRC) identifies, encourages, and funds innovative research projects by faculty, visiting scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students in the School of Humanities and beyond. This involves fostering scholarly work, facilitating research between the School of Humanities and other areas of Rice University, as well as leading institutional change by partnering with other foundations, centers, research institutions, and universities. Independent initiatives are also taken by the HRC in order to incubate ideas and detect disciplinary changes that shape the future of the university. The HRC has recently launched initiatives in Computational Humanities and in Public Humanities with focus areas in Cultural Heritage and Medical Humanities. Other ongoing programs include research project funding, visiting scholarships, seminars, courses, conferences, workshops, lecture series, practicums, exhibitions, performances, and film series.
Fondren Library (Rice)
Visual Resources Information
- Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Copyright (VRA)
- VRA Core schema
- Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Good Practice (VRA)
- Getty Research Institute
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
- Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)
- Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)
- Visual Resources Association (VRA)
- Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA)
- College Art Association (CAA)
- Museum Computer Network (MCN)
- Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)
- National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH)