October 16, 2015
My life drawing class at The Glassell School of Art had a fabulous behind the scenes field trip to the archives at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. My instructor, Mr. Ken Mazzu, arranged this private viewing for us of selected figure drawings that the museum has in secure climate and light controlled storage. These works are not currently on display at the museum. Prior to this trip, I was not aware that it was possible to have access to these works. Unless the selected works are restricted at the time of the request, a museum curator will pull the works and arrange them for viewing in a private room on the second floor of the museum. We had to leave our bags and purses in lock boxes prior to entry through a controlled access door. We received instructions from the curator with regard to protecting the works from damage. Most of the drawings we saw were not behind glass or any other protective cover. The basic rules were: (1) absolutely do not touch the works, (2) do not to not exhale, sneeze or cough in close proximity to the works, (3) no flash photography was allowed and generally we just had to be very careful and respectful of the work. Some of these drawings were over 500 years old and very fragile. Pretty cool stuff! Mr. Mazzu pointed out the many drawing techniques used by these master artists. It was a learning experience. Thanks Ken, and thanks to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston!