Houston Early Music Festival
Over the last few decades, Houston has been quietly developing one of the most exciting early music scenes in the country. Four of the top early music groups in town—Houston Early Music, the Bach Society Houston, Ars Lyrica, and Mercury (which used to be called Mercury Baroque but now plays music from the 19th century as well)—teamed up last year to launch the Houston Early Music Festival. This weekend's performances include Bach's complete Branderburg Concertos by Mercury, Bach's Mass in B Minor by the Bach Society Houston, and a chamber music concert by Ars Lyrica and Music at St. Philip. See our full story here.
Thru Feb 16. Multiple events and locations—check houstonearlymusicfestival.org
Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 (Feb 14–June 1) & Memories of a Voyage: The Late Works of René Magritte (Feb 14–July 13)
The Menil Collection holds the world’s largest privately assembled Magritte collection, so it makes sense that it would host these simultaneous exhibitions, the first focusing on the beginning of the French painter’s career, the second on Magritte’s late works. See our full story here.
Wed–Sun 11–7. Free. The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St. 713-525-9400. menil.org
Georges Braque: A Retrospective
Braque famously described his collaboration with Picasso as “two mountain-climbers roped together.” Together, the two climbers invented Cubism, the revolutionary style that shattered the idiom of artistic realism and created what we now know as modern art. Since then, Braque has been overshadowed by the more charismatic Picasso, but the 50th anniversary of Braque’s death provides the perfect opportunity to reevaluate his work.
Feb 13–May 11. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7300. mfah.org
Houston suddenly seems to have become a magnet for world-historical artifacts. Last year the Museum of Fine Arts hosted the Cyrus Cylinder, known as the “world's first declaration of human rights,” and now the Houston Museum of Natural Science will be displaying a rare copy of the Magna Carta, the 13th century English document that established the principle of habeas corpus. See our full story here.
Feb 14–Aug 17. Mon–Sun 9–5. $20; children, college students, seniors, and military $15; Thursdays free. The Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr. 713-639-4629. hmns.org
Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas
As most Houstonians know, Austin was only chosen as the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1839, after legislators revolted against being forced to live on the malarial, swampy Gulf Coast. Historian Jeffrey Kerr provides a new account of the city’s birth, focusing on the rivalry between Mirabeau Lamar and Sam Houston, the republic’s first two presidents.
Feb 15 at 2. Free. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet St. 713-523-0701. brazosbookstore.com