LOCAL Houston | The City Guide JULY 2016 - Page 44

“WHO WAS...?” RIENZI JOHNSTON RIENZI | THE MFAH HOUSE MUSEUM Rienzi Johnston Photography courtesy of Westmoreland Civic Association Photography courtesy of The Museum of Fine Art, Houston By Carla Valencia de Martinéz IF ANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN WATCHING THE SHOWTIME HIT BILLIONS, YOU KNOW IT’S NOT EASY TO HAVE A BUILDING OR ANYTHING FOR THAT MATTER (EXCEPT YOU FIRSTBORN CHILD) NAMED AFTER YOU. IN THIS COLUMN WE WILL BRING TO LIGHT THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE PARKS, BAYOUS, BUILDINGS, ROADS AND PUBLIC WORKS AROUND TOWN. The home, designed by Houston architect John Staub in 1952, once belonged to philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III. Today the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston owns it and houses the European decorative arts paintings in it. The residence was named for Harris Masterson’s grandfather Rienzi Johnston (September 9, 1849–February 28, 1926), a newspaperman and Democratic party politician from Houston. Among his trades, he was a drummer as well as a soldier for the Confederate Army; an editor at various papers, leading up to editor-in-chief at the Houston Post; vice president of the Associated Press; U.S. Senator and State Senator. Now you know for whom the stately home in River Oaks named Rienzi is named. www.mfah.org/visit/rienzi/visiting-rienzi 44 L O C A L | july 16