News and Events




Saturday, March 3, 2012
8:30 a.m. Matins
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy
Final Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel

The Byzantine Fresco Foundation and the Menil Foundation invite you to farewell ceremonies marking the return of the frescoes to the Holy Archbishop of Cyprus. Under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver and His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver the Final Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America.

Following the service at the Chapel, a reception with concluding remarks and music will be held at the Menil Collection.


Sunday, February 19, 2012. 7:00 p.m.
Constructions of Art & Faith:
The Byzantine Fresco Chapel and the Menil Collection

A discussion moderated by Menil director Josef Helfenstein
The Menil Collection Foyer
At the heart of the Menil Collection’s mission is the belief that faith and art are powerful forces in contemporary society and central to a shared human experience. The closing of the Byzantine Fresco Chapel provides an opportunity to consider this subject: an art historian, an anthropologist, a theologian, and the director of the Menil Collection will discuss how art and spirituality inform the entire Menil campus. The speakers are:
• Annemarie Weyl Carr, University Distinguished Professor of Art History at S.M.U., who organized Imprinting the Divine: Byzantine and Russian Icons from The Menil Collection (2011), and edited the exhibition catalogue
• Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection since 2004
•Pamela Smart, Professor of Anthropology and Art History, SUNY Binghampton, and author of the book Sacred Modern: Faith, Activism, and Aesthetics in the Menil Collection (2010)
• William Vendley, Secretary General of the World Conference for Religions of Peace
The Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross Street • Houston, Texas 77006


Sunday, February 12, 2012. 5:30 p.m.
Chant • Sonata • Duet
Music for The Byzantine Fresco Chapel

St. Paul’s Methodist Choir, Mark Edenfield, director
Da Camera: Craig Hauschildt, marimba; Eva Lymenstull, cello
Meet in Menil Foyer. Performance in Byzantine Fresco Chapel
Join singers from the St. Paul’s Methodist Choir who, emulating medieval clergy, will chant during their walk from the Menil Collection to the Byzantine Fresco Chapel. The music continues inside the chapel with performances of Bach’s Cello Suite # 2 in D Minor (BWV 1008), and Mariel (2008), Osvaldo Golijov’s duet for marimba and cello.


On Thursday, November 3 at 7pm, the Menil Collection and Byzantine Fresco Chapel presented Cultural Heritage 2.0: Participatory Stewardship, a roundtable discussion with leaders from the arts, science, and industry which explored a broad set of cultural heritage issues, including how local and global concepts of ownership and identity affect the outcomes of biomedical research, the discovery and accessibility of new energy sources, the management of cultural artifacts, and the shaping of public policy.  Click here for more information.


Selected Press Coverage


New York Times – September 24, 2011
“Menil Collection is to Return Frescoes to Cyprus”
Wall Street Journal – September 24, 2011
“Returning From Texas at Age 700”
Houston Chronicle – September 24, 2011
“Houston’s Menil is returning holy artworks to Cyprus”
Houston Chronicle – October 7, 2011
“Menil Keeps a Promise with Frescoes”
New York Times – February 6, 1997
“A Modern Building’s Timeless Soul”
Architectural Review – May, 1998
“Out of this World”
Architecture – April, 1997
“Modern Reliquary”


Further Reading


Goldberger, Paul. “A Modern Building’s Timeless Soul.” February 6, 1997, The New York Times.
de Menil, Susan and Kim Shkapich, eds. Sanctuary: The Spirit In/Of Architecture. Houston: The Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum, 2004.
Constantelos, Demetrios J. Understanding the Greek Orthodox Church, 4th edition. Brookline: Hellenic College Press, 2005.
Engelzakis, Benedict. Studies on the History of the Church of Cyprus, 4th – 20th Centuries. Aldershot: Variorum, 1995.
McGuckin, John Anthony. The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2008.
Hackett, John. A History of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. London: Methuen, 1901.
Hill, Sir George. A History of Cyprus: The Ottoman Province, The British Colony (1571- 1948). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952.
Irvin, Dale T. and Scott W. Sunquist, History of the World Christian Movement, Volume I: Earliest Christianity to 1453. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2001.
Meyendorff, John. The Byzantine Legacy in the Orthodox Church. Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001.
Carr, Annemarie Weyl and Morrocco, Laurence J. A Byzantine Masterpiece Recovered, the Thirteenth-Century Murals of Lysi, Cyprus. Austin and Houston: University of Texas Press and The Menil Foundation, Inc., 1991.
Dqbrowska, Malgorzata. “Byzantine Frescoes from Lusignan Cyprus in Houston.” IKONOTHEKA 21 (2008): 21-32.
Stylianou, Andreas and Judith A. Stylianou, The Painted Churches of Cypress: Treasures of Byzantine Art. Trigraph for the A.J. Leventis Foundation. 1985.