Michael Ennis

Michael Ennis's Profile Photo

Michael Ennis has been a regular contributor to Texas Monthly since 1977. He is the New York Times best-selling author of the historical novels The Malice of Fortune, Duchess of Milan, and Byzantium, which have been published worldwide. He earned his degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley; taught art history at the University of Texas, Austin; and is a former John D. Rockefeller III Foundation Fellow. His nonfiction writing, on subjects ranging from military preparedness and national politics to art and architecture, has won several national awards; been included in the curriculum of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and has been published in a number of books and anthologies as well as magazines such as Esquire, ARTnews, and Architectural Digest.

Art |
April 30, 2002

Moving Pictures

At Houston's FotoFest 2002, digital art took center stage as never before-and proved that the Next Big Thing might really be the next big thing.

Art |
April 1, 2002

Small Stuff

The Hyde Park Miniature Museum in Houston is an outsized testament to one man's love of his life's little treasures.

Art |
January 1, 2002

Amon High

With a massive addition to its gallery space and a host of new exhibitions in the works, Fort Worth's Amon Carter Museum is back in the saddle.

Art |
September 30, 2001

Best Western

Frank Reaugh was one of the state's greatest artists. So why does his name draw so many blanks?

Art |
July 31, 2001

Thoroughly Modern

Denton's Toni LaSelle has a perspective on the modernist movement like no other artist. That's because she witnessed it first-hand.

Art |
June 30, 2001

Image Conscious

Meet two prominent Houston artists who are at the forefront of digital art—and the debate over what virtual reality means for reality itself.

Art |
April 30, 2001

The Reign of Spain

If you're searching for the splendor of Spain's golden age, look no further than the Meadows Museum in Dallas and the Alamo in San Antonio.

Art |
July 31, 2000

Master Builder

From Fort Worth's Amon Carter Museum to Houston's Pennzoil Place to Dallas' forthcoming Cathedral of Hope, architect Philip Johnson's grand vision for Texas is set in stone.

Art |
February 1, 2000

Northern Exposure

With Fort Worth’s Michael Auping as a curator and nine of the state’s artists participating, this year’s Whitney Biennial puts a New York spotlight on the art of Texas.

Art |
November 1, 1999

Time of Nic

Sixteen years after rocketing into the Whitney Biennial, Dallas photographer Nic Nicosia is still on the cutting edge.

Art |
April 1, 1999

Master Class

How a collection of paintings and drawings coveted by Sotheby’s and other art world Goliaths ended up at the University of Texas at Austin.

Art |
March 1, 1998

The Return of the Native

With a major retrospective of his work at three Houston museums, Robert Rauschenberg is once again the talk of Texas. What’s he been up to? A portrait of the artist as an old man.

Art |
January 1, 1998

Joan of Art

Less than a decade ago, she was a homemaker and an arts volunteer, but today the Arlington Museum of Art’s Joan Davidow is the most imaginative and adventurous museum director working in Texas.

Art |
July 31, 1997


The boom in “outsider” art that began in New York, Chicago, and Atlanta has finally come to Texas, driven by true visionaries whose images conjure worlds that may have never existed but are invariably inhabitedby penetrating psychological truths.

Art |
May 31, 1997

Shock Therapy

By employing stereotypes like Sambo and Aunt Jemima, Austin painter Michael Ray Charles hopes to master the art of racial healing.

Style & Design |
April 30, 1997

On With the Shows

Now that both its building and its mission have been renovated, Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum is ready to win back the public and reestablish its eminence.

Art |
March 1, 1996

The Mod Squad

Long mocked for making unrecognizable pieces of junk, Texas Modernists strike back in a superb exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Art |
December 1, 1995

We Are the World

An ambitious new exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston suggests Texas is becoming less like itself and more like everyplace else.

Art |
November 1, 1993

All American

The Dallas Museum of Art spent $55 million on a splendid new wing—and redefined itself in the process.

Art |
June 30, 1993

Moving Pictures

A provocative San Antonio exhibit captures the flash and fervor of the Chicano movement in art and politics.

Art |
November 1, 1992

Raw Visions

A Houston show introduces new black Texas artists in works that range from personal vision to political agitprop.

Art |
June 30, 1992

Southern Exposure

At Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Mexican photographers portray their culture with rare empathy and a sense of wonder.

Art |
February 1, 1992

Long Shot

Bert Long comes to Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum by way of the Fifth Ward, the Marines, haute cuisine—and the Prix de Rome.

Art |
November 1, 1991

Double Visions

Melissa Miller’s latest paintings are a dark departure from her past; a Rauschenberg retrospective examines his youthful eye.

Art |
September 30, 1991

Buried Treasures

Sifting through stored collections, the Dallas Museum of Art discovers a tradition of spiritual subtlety among Texas artists.

Feature |
April 1, 1991

Looking at Mexico

Visitors may suffer from culture shock upon seeing the artistic riches of “Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries.”

Art |
April 1, 1990

Bold Strokes

Drawing from its extensive Texas art collection, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts has assembled a concise survey of a vast subject.

Art |
December 1, 1989

Images at War

A Fort Worth exhibit of scenes from the Mexican War shows that fanciful lithographs outgunned the realism of nascent photography.

Art |
August 31, 1989

New World to Conquer

For years, the Dallas Museum of Art sought prestige by following the mainstream. The new director thinks it’s time to change course.

Feature |
July 31, 1989

Parish the Thought!

FYI: The Houston Post’s new society sleuth has great connections, a phone in her purse, and the complete attention of Houston’s haut monde.

Art |
May 31, 1989

Soviet Idealism

In a Fort Worth exhibit of Russian and American paintings, two groups of artists use the same vocabulary to express profoundly different views of life and art.

Feature |
April 1, 1988

Wonder Plane

Up in the sky, it’s a plan, it’s a helicopter—no it’s a tiltrotor, the Texas hybrid that will soon revolutionize air travel.

Architecture |
March 1, 1988

Pleasant Under Glass

The exuberant crystal towers above San Antonio’s botanical conservatory have captures everyone’s attention. Inside, it’s even better.

Art |
December 1, 1987

Lost Horizons

An exhibit at Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum contends that before the cowboy became America’s hero, Indians and mountain men were the icons of a vanishing frontier.

Art |
July 31, 1987

Subjects of the Realm

Hans Holbein’s life drawings are a tantalizing glumpse into the lusty court of Henry VIII. And courtesy of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, they’re on view at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.