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The Dallas- Fort Worth metroplex is always an exciting destination for art viewing.  Rather than
being a “Best Picks,” this article is more an art travelogue meant to encourage the reader to
experience one of this country’s best museum destinations.
Fort Worth
Forth Worth is the 16th largest city in the US (San Diego is number 8).  It takes about 3 hours to fly to DFW
and under an hour to then drive to either Dallas or Fort Worth.  Fort Worth is one of my top five art cities in
this country.  There are three museums there (all neighbors) that can easily occupy a three day visit.
Modern Art Museum
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth just celebrated its 10th anniversary in the impressive concrete and
glass edifice designed by Tadao Ando in 2012.  It is located in Fort Worth’s Culture District in which there
are six museums representing art, history, and science.
Tadao Ando
Ando’s museum consists of 5 long pavilions surrounded by a reflecting pond that enclose 53,000 square
feet of exhibition space and are home to a collection of 2,600 artworks.  The progenitor art institution, which
ultimately evolved into the current Modern, The Fort Worth Public Library and Art Gallery, was granted its
charter in 1892.
Nicholas Nixon
Nicholas Nixon (born 1942) has produced a annual photograph taken of his wife and her 3 sisters since
1975.  The Modern owns the complete set of images produced to date (37 images).  The “Brown Sisters” is
a wonderful chance to observe the collective spirit of these four women in addition to their aging.
David Bates 1995
Experiencing this museum is a wonderful, elevating experience.  Despite being concrete and glass, there is
an intimacy and warmth given filtered natural light that enters the galleries.  
This sculpture by David Bates (born 1952) sits by itself in a soaring gallery surrounded by the reflecting
pond just outside glass walls.
Sean Scully 1983
The museum owns the complete “Catherine Series” of paintings produced by Sean Scully (born 1945).  
Each year Scully selects one painting produced in that year to be included in the Catherine Series (named
after his first wife).  So the series is a way to observe the artist’s stylistic evolution.
Jenny Holzer 2012
It seems now that every museum has to own a Holzer.  The Modern is no exception.  What elevates this
Holzer is the hall of mirrors effect that, from inside the museum, makes the words flow out over the water
outside.  The Japanese sensibility of a “floating world” is the empowering spirit in which this museum
executes its task.
Amon Carter
The Modern lies at the base of a long sloping hill - on the crest of which lies the Amon Carter Museum of
American Art.  Amon Carter made is fortune as publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  In the early 20th
century that newspaper had the largest circulation in the South.  In any case, Carter was a big civic booster
and had beaucoup bucks.  This museum was designed by Philip Johnson (1906-2005).
Charles M. Russell 1920
Amon Carter had a definitive collection of Charles Russell (1864-1926) and Frederic Remington (1861-
1909).  I used to think that was what this museum was about - Western art.  Amon died in 1955.  In the mid
1960s the museum broadened its collecting scope and it can certainly be called a museum of American art.  
Amon’s daughter, Ruth Carter Stevenson has been president of a board that included Philip Jonhson, Rene
D’Harnencourt (director of MOMA), John de Menil, and Richard F. Brown (director of LACMA).  This is a
really powerful institution.
Frederic Remington 1895
The Amon Carter has been functioning as a museum for six decades.
Since the mid 60’s, the museum has assembled a remarkable collection of American masters including
Arthur Dove, Charles Sheeler, Demuth, O’Keefe, Hartley, Martin Johnson Heade, Stuart Davis.
Grant Wood 1939
Grant Wood (1891-1942) paints Parson Weems pulling back the curtain on young George Washington and
the cherry tree.  Weems created that fable in his book of 1806.
Marsden Hartley 1932
I learned that Hartley (1877-1943) was prone to mystical thinking.
Everett Spruce 1937
Spruce (1908-2002) was a Texas Regionalist.  He combined Surrealism with the local landscape.  As a long
time faculty member at UT Austin he influenced many artists.
Otis Dozier 1939
Spruce and Dozier (1904-1987) were labeled as members of the “Dallas Nine”.  In the 1930s and 40s these
artists favored looking to the land and its people for inspiration as opposed to the European move toward
abstraction.  Such was the mandate for Regionalism in all the regions of this continent.
Alexandre Hogue 1932
Hogue (1898-1994) painted this during the Depression.  Texas Regionalism and one of the “Dallas Nine“.
William M. Harnett 1878
This is an unusual Harnett (1848-1892).  He normally painted trompe l’oeil still lifes much like his peer John
Peto (also well represented in the Carter collection).  
Stuart Davis 1928
Seemingly the full historical range of Davis’ oeuvre is presented in this museum.
Visiting this American museum has been a real treat.   A superb collection is presented with cohesive and
engaging scholarship.
Posted in the museum is this quote from John F. Kennedy (who was assassinated 50 years ago in Dallas):
“We must never forget that art is not a form of proganda; it is a form of truth…In serving his vision of the
truth the artist best serves his nation.  And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fates of
Robert Frost’s hired man, the fate of having nothing to look back to with pride, and nothing to look forward
to with hope.”
The Kimbell
The Kimbell Art Museum sits between the Modern and the Amon Carter.  The super-rich Kimbells were the
original collectors and their foundation supports the building plan and operations of the museum.
The museum’s collection only numbers about 360 pieces - but they are exquisite.  The collection includes
antiquities from every continent and artworks by the famous from Michelangelo (his first known painting and
the only one by him to be found in the Americas) to the early 20th century. This photo shows the original
Kahn Kimb
ell with its vaulted roofline and the new Renzo Piano addition (facing the Kahn across a broad
lawn) that just opened this year.
Louis Kahn
The low slung, vaulted roofline of the Louis Kahn designed Kimbell opened to the public in 1972.  This
building (along with Kahn’s Salk Institute in La Jolla) are considered his finest designs.
Kahn Kimbell
Kahn’s design to allow diffused natural light to illuminate the galleries is considered by many to be a
“system without peer in the history of architecture”.  The silvery light that suffuses the galleries is flawless.
Renzo Piano
It took the Kimbell Foundation a long while to sort out how to expand the museum given the small size of
the original Kahn museum.  Renzo Piano was an excellent choice given that he worked for Kahn as a
young architect, designed the de Menil in Houston, and the Nasher in Dallas.  I think Piano is the finest
museum architect of our time (my favorites being the Paul Klee Museum in Bern, Switzerland, the addition
to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Broad at LACMA, the Menil, and the Pompidou).
This dark, cold, cloudy view from the front of the  Piano shows the low-slung profile of a contemporary
building that, while having its own integrity, repects and updates the gestalt of Kahn’s original.
Edvard Munch 1904
As stated, the collection is small.  The quality of the works is without equal.  Considering that the Kimbell
continues to acquire works (on average one per year) and given their historical focus, their purchasing
purse is large and powerful.
George Stubbs 1766
I recently used George Stubbs (British 1724-1806) in my definition of what landscape art is in presenting my
collection “Outside” exhibition at OMA.  This is a portrait.
Giovanni Bellini 1500
Another unique experience at the Kimbell is the beautiful restoration of their artworks.  And --- they do not
use glazing to protect the paintings.  The surface of the paintings is completely visually accessible as
compared with the current practice of isolating important surfaces from the “terrors” of public view.
George de la Torre 1630
George De La Torre (French 1593-1652).  One does not need to go to Europe to see the finest of Western
art.  There are plenty of great museums in this country that house the finest Europe has to offer.
Wari Empire
This very small amulet is wood covered with stone and shell inlay.  It was produced on the south coast of
Peru in the Middle Horizon (600-1000 AD).
Jacques Louis David 1819
The two Kimbell museum buildings realign the public entrance to its programming.  This is art museum
experience of the highest order.
Richard Thompson 2010
Despite the broad excellence of art and connoisseurship in its institutions there is almost no gallery scene
in Fort Worth.  There are three “galleries” and only one worth noting.  William Campbell is on Byer Ave.
(not far from the Cultural District).  In 1980 I bought a painting by Richard Thompson from his “Terrible
Death Desert Storm” series from Ed Lau of Space Gallery in LA.  In 1981 Thompson was included in the
Whitney Biennial.  Thompson is represented by Campbell and I had a wonderful time reviewing his career
and work.
Dragon Street
The contemporary gallery scene in Dallas is much stronger than in Fort Worth - but that does not mean it
is vibrant.  I went to over a dozen galleries and was not impressed.  Most of the galleries are near the
Trinity River in an area referred to as the Design District.  Dragon Street is where most galleries are
concentrated.   The galleries occupy nice, big, contemporary modified warehouses.
Matt Devine
Prominently displayed in the Laura Rathe Gallery is Matt Devine's sculpture.  Matt’s style is pretty
unmistakable.  This San Diego sculptor’s  career is going very well - and he deserves it.
Tom Holland
For those who are familiar with Tom Holland’s work when he was prominently evident in Los Angeles County
- he is still actively at work in his Berkeley studio.  The Samuel Lynne Gallery represents his work in Dallas.
Dallas Art Museum
The DAM was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes (1915-2004).
This museum was considered one of his great buildings; he was awarded the American Institute of
Architects Gold Medal in 2007.  It isn’t possible to to get a whole view of the museum from street level.  Its
four levels “cascade” down the shallow hill it occupies.  From the street it looks like it is just one story .  The
flow from gallery to gallery within the museum is wonderful.  It is very easy to start anywhere and end up
walking easily from collection to collection within this encyclopedic museum.
DAM Galleries
This is nothing like a Daniel Libeskind building.  Everything is orthogonal and a series of interconnected
boxes.  The spaces are heroic giving great elbow room while honoring the objects.  The DAM’s collection
numbers 24,000 objects.  Witness this great room with David Smith, Clyfford Still, Sam Francis, Rothko, and
Diebenkorn - all masterworks.
Philip Guston 1975
The DAM collection, as said, is encyclopedic.  To me it shares a great deal of homology with the LACMA.  
But the viewing experience at the DAM is exemplary.
Leonora Carrington 1954
Not frequently seen is the work of Leonora Carrington (1917-2011).  British-born she ended up ultimately
living and working in Mexico City due to displacemnt from Europe by WWII.  She was a true Surrealist and
the last surviving artist of the original group of Surealists from 1930.
Donald Judd 1984
I never knew Donald Judd (1928-1994) designed practical things.  He designed this chair which was
manufactured by a Dutch firm in the mid 80s.  The DAM has an impressive design collection.
John Singer Sargent 1900
American-born Sargent (1856-1925) trained in France and spent much of his productive artistic life in
Britain.  It is hard for me to accept calling him American.
Ernest Blumenschein 1926
In 1915, Blumenschein (1874-1960) founded the Taos Society of Artists.  He was one of the pioneers who
established Taos as an important regional art center.
Jerry Byers 1937
Jerry Byers (1906-1989) was one of the Dallas Nine - a very active artist.  In addition he was the Director of
the Dallas Art Museum for 21 years (beginning in 1943).  This may help explain why the DAM collection so
favorably embraces the art made in Texas.
Piet Mondrian 1917
The DAM has an enviable collection of Mondrians that document his stylistic evolution from Post-
Impressionism to Abstraction.  Having just returned from the Gemeente Museum in den Hague (which has
the world’s definitive collection of Mondrian (1872-1944), I testify that a student of Mondrian can learn all
they need to know about him by seeing this museum’s collection.
Nasher
The Nasher’s 300-work sculpture collection (along with temporary sculpture exhibitions) resides in a
building designed by Renzo Piano.  The Nasher Sculpture Center is located on the other side of the street
from the Dallas Art Museum.  The temporary exhibition up now is called “Return to Earth”.  It surveys the
ceramic sculpture of Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), Fausto Melotti (1901-1986, Joan Miro (1893-1983),
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) that they produced between 1943 and 1963.  
Seen in this picture are Miro and Noguchi.
Lucio Fontana 1948
Until this exhibition, I was not aware of Fontana’s ceramic sculptures.  They are otherworldly with metallic
glazes.  We all know his slashed (Spatialism) canvas paintings.  His ceramic sculptures are terrific.  This
survey of ceramic work is elegant and supports the thesis of the primacy of ceramic sculpture.
David Smith 1950
The Nasher displays its contents in both the 55,000 square foot Piano building and a 1.4 acre adjoining
sculpture garden.  What a luxury to have a large garden in the middle of this city.  
James Turrell
The Dallas Art District (which includes these two museums) sprouts many glass high-rise buildings.  There
has been significant conflict over the solar reflections that some of these glass behemoths cast.  The
Nasher sculpture garden has a James Turrell Sky-Room -- which is now closed with the above explanation.
Barbara Hepworth 1963
It has taken me 4 days to enjoy the art museums of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.  I am again reminded
of how much rich visual art experience is here.  I look forward to my return chance to be exhilarated and
enthralled.
Wishing us all a vital 2014.
Get out, look at art, have fun.
Doug Simay December 2013
doug@simayspace.com
Piano Kimbell
The museum’s subsystems are all 21st century.  The lighting system updates and respects the intention of
Louis Kahn - allowing natural light to illuminate the galleries.  It is a beautiful sanctuary that glorifies its art
collection.
Jerry Bywaters 1939
One of the Dallas Nine.