Join us Sunday, September 19, 2021, 2:00pm, at the Museum for a special talk by Mary Jane Victor about her work with the de Menil’s in Houston.

Mary Jane Victor was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. After studying in Mexico City and San Antonio, she graduated with a degree in World History from the University of Houston in 1966. She then continued her studies with a focus on art history at University of St. Thomas in Houston, where she concurrently worked as an art slide library assistant. 


Mary Jane first met the de Menils at University of St. Thomas when Dominique de Menil ran its art department. In 1971, she became assistant to John de Menil in Houston, New York and Paris, and worked for him until his death in 1973. Mary Jane continued on as Collections Manager of the John and Dominique de Menil Art Collection from 1973 until 1985. 


Mary Jane lived in New York City from 1985 to 1996, working on various projects with the de Menil children, the Sackler Foundation Art Collection and as assistant to Sir John Richardson on his Biography of Picasso, Volume Two in 1993. In 1996, she supervised the disposition and removal of art, books, couture clothing and personal possessions of Dominique de Menil’s New York City townhouse, prior to Mrs. de Menil's death in 1997. After relocating back to Houston in 2008, Mary Jane has served as a researcher on Double Vision, William Middleton’s biography of John and Dominique de Menil, published in 2018. She has lectured at the Menil Collection on outsider art, researched the biography of Gertrude Barnstone with author Olive Hershey and served as archivist to the Farfel family in Houston. 


She is delighted, as one of the “Menil Originals,” to have the opportunity to share her story and experiences.

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(left to right) Helen Winkler and Mary Jane Victor in the office at the John and Dominique de Menil’s Houston home.

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Current Exhibitions


Museum of East Texas – Simon W. Henderson, III Education Building Named Brick Fundraiser

Image by Nick Hawkes


We invite you to participate in the funding our new 12,000 sq ft Simon W. Henderson, III Education Building (see the floor plan here). The new building will feature six classrooms, a large multi-purpose room, and a large brick patio. Individuals and families can purchase a brick bearing their name or in memory of a loved one; corporations and business can purchase a larger brick that includes the company logo. Funds will go to fund the building project and outfitting the classrooms with necessary art making equipment


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