Decorative Arts in the Age of Victoria presents objects illustrating the dual drives of the British to both historicize and modernize their world. During the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), art and design reflected a desire to learn from European artistic tradition, adapting historic decorative techniques to modern manufacturing processes. Objects on view include porcelain, glass, jewelry, miniatures, wallpaper, and furniture, and more.
Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, is the former home of philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III. Opened to the public in 1999, Rienzi houses a substantial collection of European decorative arts, paintings, furnishings and porcelain, and an extensive holding of miniatures. Rienzi welcomes some 19,000 visitors each year for tours, family programs, lectures, concerts and a variety of special events.