William Middleton’s newest work, Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil, is the first biography written of the influential couple known as “The Medici of Modern Art.” Dominique and Jean de Menil met at a Versailles ball and lived in Paris before immigrating to Houston in 1941. The Menils created an oasis of culture in their Philip Johnson–designed house with everyone from Marlene Dietrich and Renée Magritte to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns. In Houston, they built the Menil Collection, the Rothko Chapel, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, and the Cy Twombly Gallery, and provided underwriting for the Contemporary Arts Museum. With unprecedented access to private family archives and personal interviews, Middleton has crafted a vivid behind-the-scenes look at the famous couple who shaped Texas culture and the 20th-century art world through civil rights support, art patronage, and public gallery innovations.
William Middleton is a journalist and editor who has written for the New York Times, the New
York Times Magazine, Vogue, Esquire, Texas Monthly, Travel & Leisure, and the International Herald Tribune, among other publications. The former Paris bureau chief of Fairchild Publications and fashion features director of Harper’s Bazaar, Middleton has been researching the Menil family since 2000. After working in New York and Paris, Middleton moved to Houston to be closer to
Menil archival sources and the city that the couple loved.
6:30 p.m. Pre-event tour of modern art in the DMA's collection by iconic artists whose work the de Menils also collected. Tour sign-up will begin promptly at 6:15 p.m. Tour space is strictly limited to 30 people and is first-come, first-served.