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Rice University 6100 Main Street, MS-549 Houston, TX 77005
Rice University, Art
The Rice University Media Center, an integral part of the arts at Rice University, was founded in 1969 by international art patrons Jean and Dominique de Menil, with scholar Gerald O'Grady as a consultant. The founders' intent was, essentially, that the Rice Media Center building provide a channel through which different peoples of the world could communicate. The legendary vision of the de Menil family was fulfilled by the creation of the Rice Media Center building, the Department of Art and Art History and Institute for the Arts which today exists as the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts , Department of Art History and the Rice Cinema Program.
The Rice Media Center and the Institute of the Arts buildings were designed by Houston architect Eugene Aubrey who, at the time, was partnered with architect Howard Barnstone (Barnstone and Aubrey). During the early design stages, Rice scholar Gerald O'Grady met and consulted with Aubrey on the design of the Rice Media Center building. The de Menil's vision for the center was to use the media of film and photography and art as an educational tool in both research and teaching, and to unite different branches of education. The official opening of the Media Center was held in February 1970. Andy Warhol, during a visit that same year, planted a tree with Dominique de Menil's assistance in front of the Institute for the Arts. The Institute building is now the Glasscock School of Continuting Studies and the Rice Media Center building is now occupied by the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. Both buildings and the Warhol tree remain on the Rice Campus to this day, another tremendous gift to the City of Houston and University, from the de Menils.