Bookmark and Share
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

BAYOU BEND

BAYOU BEND. Bayou Bend, the estate of Ima Hogg, which now contains the Bayou Bend Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is located at 1 Westcott Street in the Homewoods section of River Oaks in Houston. The fourteen-acre estate slopes to the north from Lazy Lane, the street from which the grounds were entered during Miss Hogg's residence, down to a broad oxbow curve of Buffalo Bayou. The two-story, twenty-four-room house and an adjacent two-story garage and service building were designed and built between 1926 and 1928 for Ima Hogg and her two unmarried brothers, William C. Hogg and Michael (Mike) Hogg, the developers of River Oaks. John F. Staub was the architect, Birdsall P. Briscoe the associate architect, and Christian J. Miller the general contractor. The house cost about $217,000 to build. It is of tile block construction, finished externally with pink stucco, with a raised-seam copper roof. The house is tripartite in composition, with a central block and flanking wings. A double-height tetrastyle Tuscan portico is centered on the north elevation of the house, on an axis with a terraced lawn that steps down toward the Diana Garden and the bayou. The house is modeled stylistically on early-nineteenth-century English precedents, though many of its details were inspired by eighteenth and early-nineteenth-century houses of the American South. The result is an eclectic amalgam that Ima Hogg called "Latin Colonial" and considered especially appropriate to Houston. Houston landscape architect Ruth London designed the East Garden, and the north terrace and Diana Garden were the work of the firm of Fleming and Sheppard, also Houston landscape architects.

After the marriage of Mike Hogg in 1929 and the death of Will Hogg in 1930, Ima Hogg occupied the house alone until 1965. Beginning in 1920 with the purchase of an eighteenth-century American Queen Anne armchair, she gradually acquired an extensive collection and filled the house with seventeenth, eighteenth, and early-nineteenth-century American furniture, paintings, and artifacts. In 1956 she offered the estate and its contents to the Museum of Fine Arts, which accepted the gift in 1958. Conversion of the house into a museum began in the mid-1960s, though the principal rooms in the center of the house retain the character they had during Miss Hogg's residence. The Museum of Fine Arts opened the collection to the public on March 5, 1966. David B. Warren was the first curator of the collection.

The Bayou Bend Collection of American decorative arts and paintings is one of the finest such collections in the United States. It comprises works produced from the 1660s to the 1860s and is displayed in twenty-four settings within the house. Also included is a small collection of decorative arts that pertain to the Mexican War (1846–48). Located in the former garage and service building are a decorative-arts research library of some 3,000 volumes, a bookstore, and offices. The gardens are maintained under the supervision of the River Oaks Garden Club. The Friends of Bayou Bend, a members' support group, sponsors lectures and symposia. The house and gardens are open to the public by reservation. Bayou Bend was marked with a Texas Historical Commission marker in 1973 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Howard Barnstone, The Architecture of John F. Staub: Houston and the South (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Houston Museum of Fine Arts). David B. Warren, Bayou Bend: American Furniture, Paintings and Silver from the Bayou Bend Collection (Boston: New York Graphic Society for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1975).

Stephen Fox

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Stephen Fox, "BAYOU BEND," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lbb01), accessed September 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.