Welcome to the Griffoun Society

A Cooperative Association of Artists, Writers, and Students of the Humanities


The Griffoun Society was first established in 1967. It was known then as the Griffin Roundtable and consisted of fewer than a dozen members who met weekly in the coffee shop of the old Griffin building in Dallas, Texas, to discuss not only art and literature but also alternative lifestyles and non-traditional forms of marriage, free schools, utopian experiments, humanistic and existential psychology, rational philosophy, secularism, and even liberal non-theistic religion.

Upon relocating to Austin in 1971, the club's name was changed to Gryphon Society. Only later was it learned that a debate club at Oxford University was using that same name. We then decided to change our spelling to Griffoun Society.

During the 1970s club membership grew to over one hundred; by 2001 membership numbered almost two hundred.  A clubhouse near the main University of Texas campus featured a luxurious reading room and a plush saloon bar, where non-alcoholic beverages, including Near Beer and alcohol-free wines, were served and conversation could be enjoyed in a cozy, civilized atmosphere.  In the 1980s a spa and several cooperative art and photography studios were added to that facility.

Unfortunately, after the dawning of the new millennium, our clubhouse suffered two fires. The first was costly, but recovery seemed possible. The second fire totally destroyed the building, and membership quickly declined.

Today we are making a glorious comeback in Houston.   We should dearly love for you to have a part in that comeback.

Groups within the Griffoun Society
While it is clearly advantageous for individuals with different skills and disparate interests to become better acquainted and to explore the possibilities of collaboration, it is also helpful for those who have in common a particular passion to be able to share theories,  insights, discoveries, and ideas with one another.  Such is the logic behind the many smaller groups within the Griffoun Society.  Mind you, these groups come and they go.  They exist only for as long as they are useful.  Various groups that have existed in the past include ones dedicated to photography and videography, sculpture, glass craft, painting, printmaking, ceramics, modeling, drama, music and dance, and of course, creative writing (always the most popular group).  Members hoping to create a special group can be assured of having a comfortable meeting place accessible almost anytime by appointment.

 Raison d’être

The Griffoun Society has no political or religious agenda.  Our mission is fourfold:

1.  to provide our members the opportunity for friendly social interaction in a comfortable environment conducive to intellectual and artistic growth,

2. to encourage cooperation and mutual assistance between members,

3. to facilitate collaborations between individuals in complementary fields,

4. and to publish (without consideration for commercial appeal) literary works with genuine artistic merit. 

Activities of the Griffoun Society have traditionally included salons and discussion groups, lectures and demonstrations, dinner parties, picnics and outings, art exhibitions, concerts, and poetry readings.

New Club Headquarters

As of January 1, 2017, Mark Roden assumes the leadership of the Griffoun Society.  Through Mark the club gains a new meeting place and a home for our nascent library  at the JoMar Visions Studios and Gallery.   The address is 5247 Langfield Rd., Houston, TX 77040

Roundtable: This monthly salon discussion group is the club's oldest tradition, dating back to 1967.  Members are urged to bring guests, and all are invited to share anything of interest (articles, short stories, poems, or artworks).  Coffee, tea, and pastries are served.  Contact Mark Roden for details.

Library Reading Room Hours: Our club library is currently undergoing renovation.  Regular reading room hours have been suspended.  Nevertheless, arrangements for members to access the books and media can be made with Mark Roden.

Special hours for special events will be posted on our Facebook page, and invitations will be sent out by email and telephone.  On the Contact Us page you may leave a message asking that your name be added to our mailing list.  While you are at it, ask to be listed as a member. 

JoMar Visions Open Studios:  On the third Saturday of every month, the Griffoun Society Clubroom will be open to the public from 3 pm till 7 pm, and works by member artists will be on display and for sale. 

Site Manager: Xiomara Antonia Roma

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