Free in Fort Worth/Architecture Steals the Show?

(note: I’m in the process of uploading the corresponding pictures.)

I spent the day today in Fort Worth, Texas.  I was dropped at the Providence airport eeeearly this morning by the lovely (and very peppy for 5:15am!) Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky.  After arriving in Dallas and renting a car (insert picture here), I drove to Fort Worth to see the Kimbell Museum.  My original plan didn’t include a stop here – I was only going to go to the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art before heading off to Houston- but my adviser, Jim Lawton, said I needed to see the Kimbell, not only for its collection, but specifically for the architecture of the building itself, and the lighting in the galleries.  He was pretty insistent about it.  So, I went.

When I pulled up in front of the museum, this is what I saw.

Kimbell Museum

Kimbell Museum

My first thought (sorry, Jim!) was, What was Jim thinking?!  This place looks like a concrete tomb…. immediately followed by, Well, at least I got free parking on the street.  Yep.  Real nice of me, huh.  But I went inside and looked around at the pieces on the entry level.  I liked quite a few of them.  Here are some pictures from that area:

celadon bowl

Koryo Dynasty celadon bowl at Kimbell

Eastern Han Dynasty

Standing Dog, Eastern Han Dynasty, at Kimbell

I’m going to post more pictures from this entire trip on my facebook page.

I then started climbing the staircase to the main galleries.  About halfway up, I looked up.  Oh!  I understood immediately what Jim had been talking about.


Kimbell lighting

long view

long view of one of the main rooms

It’s beautifully done.  Simple but stunning.  Once I got over that surprise (which, to be totally honest, I never really did – I think I took at least three pictures of the ceiling in each separate room up there), I got to work looking at everything else.  They’re undergoing some major construction and they’re switching around their shows right now, so 1/2 of the museum was closed.  They had several great pieces from their permanent collection on display though.

After the Kimbell, I scampered across the street to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.  On the lawn is a giant Richard Serra piece.  I found it a lot more compelling close-up than I did from a distance.  Serra’s work has the ability to just sort of tell everything else to “hush up.”  The closer you get to the piece, the quieter everything becomes, like it’s peeling off distractions, one by one, and then chunks and clumps of them at a time, until you’re immersed in the beauty and monumentality of what has been created.  I admire that very much.

The Modern was free today, as was the Kimble (actually, the Kimble is free every day).  The architecture of this building was amazing as well.  I’d never seen a building surrounded by a low pool of water like this before.  I don’t feel like I got pictures that do it justice. (insert)

Here are some pieces I saw at the Modern:

Then, I traipsed up to the Amon Carter Museum (also free!).  En route, I walked past the cordoned-off construction site for the Kimbell’s new building.  I decided I needed to find something to stand on to try to see over the barriers.  Success!  (insert pictures)  It’s going to be huge!  I’d like to come back someday when it’s all finished.

The Amon Carter has a lot of Remington and Russell paintings and bronzes.  I was surprised – I found that I wasn’t really interested in looking at much of the work here.  Maybe I just don’t understand it well enough.

At any rate, I grabbed a sub and a fantastic strawberry shake and went to the Botanical Gardens, which are about 5 minutes away from the museum area.  It was fairly toasty outside, so I only stayed about 40 minutes.  It was pretty, though!

Trumpet Creepers

Trumpet Creepers, FW Botanical Gardens

Pink Flower

Pink Flower, FW Botanical Gardens


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