Suzanne Deal Booth has been committed to the recognition, preservation and conservation of visual arts and cultural heritage for more than three decades. A native of Texas, Deal Booth graduated cum laude with a degree in art history from Rice University followed by a Master of Arts in art history and conservation from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and Conservation Center. As a work/study student at Rice and NYU, she had the opportunity to work directly under the tutelage of humanist, art collector and philanthropist Dominique de Menil. This marked the beginning of a meaningful exposure to sophisticated cultural patronage and has served as an ongoing inspiration throughout Deal Booth’s career and life.
Deal Booth has worked at several notable institutions including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Kimbell Art Museum, The Menil Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Trust. In 1998 Deal Booth founded The Friends of Heritage Preservation (FOHP), as a small charitable giving group. The FHOP has successfully participated and contributed to more than 80 preservation and conservation projects in 18 countries around the world, including an architectural retrofit of a Napoleonic coffee house on the Grand Canal in Venice and the preservation of Donald Judd’s concrete sculptures in Marfa, TX. FHOP also addresses intangible cultural heritage, including a stone carving training program in Jordan for Syrian refugees and the documentation of the civil rights movement by the last of its participants in an Oral History project in Alabama with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
In 2001, Deal Booth and her family established the Suzanne Deal Booth Rome Prize for Historic Preservation and Conservation at the American Academy in Rome, and in 2012, she realized James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace at the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion at Rice University. She established the Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize (now expanded and renamed the Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize) in 2016 at The Contemporary Austin, which is a biennial, unrestricted award of $100,000 to be given to an artist selected every two years. In September 2020, the Suzanne Deal Booth Welcome House at Houston’s Rothko Chapel opened following an extensive renovation of the nondenominational, contemplative space.
Among Deal Booth’s broad support for leading as well as innovative cultural and visual arts organizations, the following are of special note: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Menil Collection, Ballroom Marfa, The Contemporary in Austin, TX and the Calder Foundation in Paris. She is an arts advisor to The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, Rice University, the University of Chicago and the University of Texas at Austin.
In 2010, Deal Booth acquired the legendary Bella Oaks Vineyard in Napa Valley, and in fall 2021 will introduce the estate’s first wine under the Bella Oaks label, a 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. Bella Oaks Vineyard combines one of Napa Valley’s most historic and revered vineyards with the dedication to cultural heritage projects that characterizes Suzanne Deal Booth’ vision, work and life.