Glimpse of Fort Worth Museum District – Part 2

31 01 2010

We started on the South Side of Camp Bowie Boulevard the other day,  so now we’ve crossed the street and are approaching the Kimbell Art Museum.  Perhaps an entire post will be devoted to the actual structure that holds most of the Museum’s treasures, but on this day, I’m taking you around the building.

As we approach from the southwest, the first notable item we meet is:

Kimbell Art Museum

Figure in a Shelter, Henry Moore, bronze 1983.

This is standing alone in the lawn.  I think a lot of visitors miss it.  The Kimbell doesn’t have a large sculpture garden like many fine art museums, but rather has a few eye-popping pieces scattered around the building.  It makes me think of children’s playthings left when they were called in for the night.

Just north of the Moore is this piece:

Kimbell Art Museum

Kimbell Art Museum

Running Flower (La Fleur Qui Marche), Fernande Leger, ceramic 1952.

We’re on a schedule, so let’s get on to our next stop.  Since they’re getting ready for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo across the street, let’s cut through this little space to the south of the Museum.  The limestone steps are crumbling and the water “trough” is clogged with leaves, but let’s continue up toward the building and look back.

Kimbell Art Museum

In all of the years I have been coming to the Kimbell, I have never come down here.  Perhaps because it’s probably really hot here in the summer.  But it took me a while to find the marker in the grass that told me this collection of basalt monoliths is by Isamu Noguchi, who titled them Constellation (for Louis Kahn).

The tower in the background of the photo is known as The Pioneer Tower (208 feet tall) and part of the Will Rogers Memorial Center complex.  If you look closely, you can see the Moore sculpture at the top of the wall on the right.  Behind us is the south wall of the Museum.  We’re going to keep headed east and get reading to cross the street again. But before that, let’s turn around and see what greets guests at the main entrance to the Kimbell Art Museum.

Kimbell Art Museum

Woman Addressing the Public: Project for a Monument, Joan Miro, bronze 1981.

I adore this sculpture.  It seems that she has literally opened her heart to the people coming to the Museum.  She is changeable — walk around her and watch the shadows — come in the morning and see one “mood” and then in the evening another.

As I said earlier, the Kimbell is not known for its outdoor sculpture, but just these four installations are enough to draw you inside.  Another day.





A Glimpse of the Fort Worth Museum District — Let’s Start on the South Side of the Street

29 01 2010

On my way to see two exhibits at the Amon Carter Museum, I walked around to see the recently opened addition to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, as well as the Cowgirl Museum, the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Museum of Science and History

From Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (http://www.fwmuseum.org/) press release:

“The opening of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s (FWMSH) new building Friday Nov. 20, 2009, marks the completion of the latest architectural masterpiece in the city’s Cultural District. Designed by the father and son team of Ricardo and Victor Legorreta of Mexico City, the campus represents a commingling of the architectural styles of Texas and Mexico in a city that takes enormous pride in its Hispanic and Western roots.

“The 166,000 square-foot contemporary and colorful building, replete with state-of-the-art technological exhibit innovations, is the latest example of a Legorreta + Legorreta’s exemplary blend of space, light, color, and water with the use of strong, basic geometric forms.  Built adjacent to a natural plaza, the pedestrian-friendly museum is anchored by the building’s iconic signature attraction: a 76-foot-tall glass and stone tower – the Urban Lantern – which functions as the Museum’s main entrance. This elegant entry, marked by clean lines, invites natural light into the building during the day and softly illuminates the surrounding area in
the evening.”

I want to go back after dark and see the Urban Lantern.

Museum of Science and History

Detail of the landscaping and lighting.

Museum of Science and History

The dome of the new Noble Planetarium. I think my visits to the original Noble Planetarium are what instilled my fascination with the stars.

Museum of Science and History

Another view of the Urban Lantern.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

Adjacent to the Museum of Science and History is the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. http://www.cowgirl.net/ This museum was founded in 1975 and was located in the Texas Panhandle community of Hereford, about 40 miles southwest of Amarillo until June of 2002. From the website:

“Its purpose was to preserve the history and impact of western women living roughly from the mid-1800s to the present — the pioneers, the artists and writers, the tribal leaders, the entertainers, the social activists, and the modern ranchers and rodeo cowgirls.

“Recognizing the increasing interest in the museum and the fact that the available audience for this important program was limited in the Hereford location, the board initiated a search in 1993 for alternative sites that promised greater audience exposure while simultaneously affording the opportunity for an expanded and improved public education program.

“When Fort Worth community and business leaders learned of the possibility of moving the museum to Fort Worth, they sought to make it a reality. They knew that the museum would be a natural fit within the fabric of Fort Worth’s rich western heritage.

“The museum’s decision to move to Fort Worth was met with enthusiasm by the community. The museum was constructed in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District (also home to the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum, the Museum of Science and the Will Rogers Memorial Center).”

It would be easy to assume that this is a place with limited interest to modern women (and men), but that is far from the truth. There are exhibits that will hold the interest of even the most die hard city dweller. And the architecture alone is enough keep you enthralled for a long time. Interior photos will follow, but here is a photo of the life size bronze sculpture, High Dessert Princess, by the artist Mehl Lawson, who is a member of the Cowboy Artists of America and has won gold medals on several occasions at the prestigious organization’s annual exhibition. His work has also achieved numerous awards including the Remington Award at the Prix de West Show at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and the Thomas Moran Award at the Masters of the American West Show at the Autry Museum.

Cowgirl Museum

(Note the cattle barns in the background. They are part of the Will Rogers Memorial Center (http://www.fortworth.com/meetings/convention-center/will-rogers-memorial-center/) where many events, including the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, take place.

Cowgirl Museum

Just a glimpse of the Art Deco styling of the architecture.

Next I’ll take you across the street with glimpses of the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and, finally, my original destination, the Amon Carter Museum. Perhaps there will be a few surprises.