Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 12/22/14-1/4/15


Holiday Hours
HMNS Hermann Park
From December 20 to January 4, the Museum will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Museum will be CLOSED Christmas Day.

HMNS at Sugar Land 
From December 19, 2014 – January 5, 2015, HMNS Sugar Land will be open for Monday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Sunday: Noon – 5:00 p.m.
HMNS at Sugar Land will be closed Christmas Day. The Museum will be open New Year’s Day from Noon – 5 p.m.

At HMNS Hermann Park, check out our special exhibitions Samurai: The Way Of The Warrior, Fabergé: From A Snowflake To An Iceberg, Shark!, Battleship Texas & Gemstone Carvings.

Don’t miss the third and last installation of the Night at the Museum trilogy, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, now playing at the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre. 

At HMNS at Sugar Land, check out the newly opened special exhibition Crystals of India



F-stops and Fabergé: Getting snap happy at HMNS Pixel Parties

After-hours at the Museum on November 2, we had another one of our exclusive Pixel Parties — where we open select exhibits just for photographers (both amateur and professional). This time around, we gave our photographers access to our newly re-opened Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg exhibit.

And here’s a sampling of what they gave us in return:


Photo by Kirsten Tucker.



Photo by Eddie Abbott Imagery




Photo by Dwayne Fortier


Photo by James Woody



Photo by Allison Buchtien



Photo by Reed’s Photography



To see more photos from around the museum, please visit our HNNS Flickr Group page.


And stay tuned! We’ll be announcing our next Pixel Party date just after the new year.

A fancy Fabergé holiday: Hop on over to HMNS for a regal Easter

Easter has long been considered a time of rebirth and renewal. In late nineteenth century Russia, there was no better way to celebrate this Christian holiday than with the gift of Easter eggs. Family members would often be given eggs with small chocolates or other surprises inside.

But for members of the Russian Imperial family, more was always more. So why would you settle on chocolate when you could give diamonds? Expanding the simple Easter tradition to extravagant extremes, the Russian Imperial family enlisted the help of the House of Fabergé to begin a tradition that would last a generation.

The first Imperial Easter Egg is known as the Hen Egg, and was made of gold coated in white enamel to look like a real egg. When opened, the egg revealed a matte finish gold yolk, containing a hen wearing a miniature crown and pendant.

This gift was such a success that Fabergé and his group of master artisans were given complete freedom over any future designs. Each Imperial Egg was uniquely designed to delight and surprise its owner.

The eighth Fabergé egg, presented in 1892 on Easter morning to Empress Maria Fedorovna, was a gift from her husband Tsar Alexander III. This stunning jadeite egg with rose-cut diamonds contained an ivory elephant surprise tucked inside. The beautiful egg, known as the Diamond Trellis Egg, was kept at the Anichkov Palace until the revolution in 1917. Visitors can now view it on display at HMNS with other Fabergé masterpieces in the Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision exhibition.

Learn more about the history and significance of Fabergé Easter eggs from collector Dorothy McFerrin in a presentation at HMNS on Mon., April 7 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for advance tickets.

Come early to the presentation and do your Easter shopping! From 4 to 6 p.m., the HMNS Museum Store is hosting a special Fabergé Trunk Show. Featuring enameled egg pendants and other Fabergé-inspired baubles —the perfect addition to any Easter basket, ahem, — this Trunk Show includes a reception and book signing of From a Snowflake to an Iceberg with Dorothy McFerrin from 5 to 6 p.m. prior to the evening lecture, “The Splendor of Fabergé Eggs” at 6:30 p.m.


Was Peter Carl Fabergé the ultimate craftsmen or the ultimate copycat?

Every artist seeks inspiration, and this was certainly true for Carl Fabergé. After attending the Fabergé Symposium in January of this year and listening to his great-granddaughter, Tatiana Fabergé, speak, I was initially surprised by what she was showing us. However, once I considered the artist that was Fabergé, her presentation came into clear focus.

Tatiana presented various screen shots of objects found in Dresden, Germany, as well as work completed by Fabergé. What was so shocking, you might ask? It was the eerie similarities of older, famous items to renowned Fabergé pieces. These works of art, side by side, were almost identical. Although to be fair (or maybe a bit biased) the Fabergé pieces were just a little more beautiful.

My first shocking thought was that Fabergé might have made a job out of creating replicas. However, after continued study of the objects in the presentation, I began to see what was unique to Fabergé. It became evident that he did not steal designs; he was inspired by them and created something even more beautiful and, in some cases, more functional. Like any good artist, Fabergé sought inspiration outside of his own sphere, using what he found to create stunning, unique pieces.

Tatiana went on to explain that her great-grandfather had been sent around the world to study the best types of jewelry-making and goldsmithing. However, it was when his family moved to Dresden that Fabergé would find significant inspiration. The city had treasures of baroque art that could stir the imagination of a young artist. One piece Fabergé studied that is of interest to us in particular was a cup made of rhinoceros horn, held by an oriental figure. The Houston Museum of Natural Science, with gratitude to the McFerrin Collection, has the honor of displaying the object that was created from this inspiration.

Faberge's Dresden Inspiration

This particular statuette, a near replica, is made of nephrite and smoked topaz with pearls and small precious stones. It was shown in the 1893 Fabergé Moscow catalog and sold for 4,000 rubles, the same amount the Russian Royal Family paid for a single Imperial Easter Egg. It is uniquely Fabergé, yet German baroque art as well.

Faberge's Dresden Inspiration

Visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision to see this object among others that Fabergé sought to create in his own style.