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Menil Collection Bookstore to Reopen Following Renovation

HOUSTON – The Menil Bookstore will reopen to the public on the first day of September. The unveiling follows a two-month renovation and introduces Bookstore Manager Paul Forsythe, a well-known figure in Houston’s literary and art circles.

Visitors to the Bookstore will find a newly brightened bungalow, filled with an assortment of art books, as well as special gift items (including museum posters) – all selected with a curatorial eye and with museumgoers in mind. A children’s section will feature games, puzzles, and toys, as well as illustrated books for young readers.

Forsythe – who earned his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design before arriving in Houston as a Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts – began his bookselling career at Brazos Bookstore, managing that esteemed establishment from 1990 to 2005. He then started his own rare books enterprise, Exquisite Corpse Booksellers.

The Menil Bookstore is unusual among its peers in that it is located not within the museum but occupies its own free-standing structure – one of the gray bungalows that give the Menil neighborhood its residential (some would say magical) character. A deck, added to the east side of the Bookstore two years ago, has become a favorite with patrons, as a well-shaded spot to peruse their purchases, rest between galleries, and enjoy a cold drink.

Forsythe considers the Menil Bookstore an integral part of the museum experience. “We will present a wide assortment of books on the history, themes, and art that visitors will have experienced in the galleries,” he said. “It will be a destination for the Houstonian who is interested in staying abreast of what is current in the art world.” Included in the inventory are many significant catalogues – the Menil’s as well as those published by other museums around the world. “We will accentuate several of the wonderful shows coming this fall,” said Forsythe, citing the forthcoming Kurt Schwitters and Vija Celmins exhibitions, “by offering other important books of interest on these artists in addition to our own exhibition catalogues.” In November the Bookstore will feature a major new arrival – “ART & ACTIVISM: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil,” the first book to examine and explore the couple’s wide ranging interests over half a century.

Throughout the year Forsythe will also display and sell the work of local artists. For the opening he has selected the collages of Russell Prince and the surrealist-inspired works of David Lackey. Resonating with the Menil, the enchanting work of both artists underscores the new connections between museum and bookstore.

The Menil Bookstore is open during museum hours, Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Image: Menil Bookstore

1515 Sul Ross Street
Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 713-525-9400

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