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Art Tracks

By Dena Hill

Contributing Writer

A sampler of Dallas Museums
 

Vincent van Gogh’s Sheaves of Wheat and Frederic Church’s The Icebergs (featured last

year in John Updike’s review of the London

Tate Museum’s traveling exhibition American Sublime) are two of the great pieces on

permanent display in the Dallas Museum

of Art.

Beyond great shopping, dining, and sports events, Dallas’ cultural clout includes a wide range of museums with enough diverse activities and exhibits to engage every member of the family. The recent opening of the Nasher Sculpture Center (covered in last week’s story) adds another jewel to the city’s cultural institutions and deserves mention just as a reminder for consideration in any day of museum excursions.
 

We charted some museum options in and near downtown, starting with some information from the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. Many more ideas can be found on their website at (www.visitdallas.com).
 

Beginning with the Arts District downtown, visitors to the Dallas Museum of Art at 1717 North Harwood can explore the museum’s permanent collection ranging from ancient to contemporary periods, as well as special exhibits and programs. In addition to its ongoing collection, the DMA currently features Passion for Art: 100 Treasures 100 Years, which commemorates the DMA’s 100th anniversary, showcasing the scope of the museum’s collection. Celebrating Sculpture: Modern and Contemporary Works from Dallas Collections will also be on display through April 25.
 

On Thursday evenings, the museum is open later and entrance is free from 5 to 9 p.m. “Things are really happening here,” says Ellen Key, DMA public relations manager, discussing several Thursday evening DMA programs.

“Some of the best jazz artists in Dallas play here on Thursday nights,” she says of the music program held in the Atrium from 6 to 8 p.m. "Art Talk,"

Frederic Church’s The Icebergs

a docent-led program, which Ms. Key describes as “an interactive conversation in the galleries,” begins at 7 p.m. A free sketching class is also available Thursday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and devotees reportedly begin appearing with their sketchpads just before 7 p.m. For more information, call 214-922-1200, or visit

www.dm-art.org.        
                                      

Just up the street from the DMA stands the Crow Collection of Asian Art & Sculpture Garden at 2010 Flora Street. This free museum, dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, is located on the north side of the Trammell Crow Center.

Two current exhibits at the museum are Western Tradition, Eastern Innovations: Contemporary Japanese Quilts (part of Quilt Mania), through April 4; and Tsashi Dele: A Greeting from Tibet, on display through March 21. For more information, phone 214-979-6430 or visit www.crowcollection.org.

A few streets away visitors will find a museum that approximately 500,000 people visit each year, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, at 411 Elm Street. The museum contains a permanent historical exhibition dealing not only with the assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, but also with the life, times, and legacy of John F. Kennedy. Through the first week of June, Remembering Jack: Intimate and Unseen Photographs of the Kennedys is also on exhibit. For more information call 214-747-6660, or visit www.jfk.org.

A short drive away, visitors enter another era at Old City Park: The Historical Village of Dallas, 1717 Gano Street. The history of Dallas is brought to life on the site of the city’s first park with 38 structures, including a bank, print shop, depot, doctor’s office, lawyer’s office, and church, depicting the period from 1840 to 1910. Four areas at Old City Park also have on-site interpreters. The 1860s Living Farmstead also includes live farm animals typical of the era. For more information call 214-421-5141, or visit www.oldcitypark.org.

 

More Dallas history resides at Fair Park, east of downtown. Aside from its well-known yearly stint at hosting the State Fair, the park houses impressive examples of Art Deco architecture and offers visitors access to eight museums and much more year-round.

To tailor a visit to Fair Park’s abundance of museums, visitors should ask themselves what their focus is, advises Betty Artis, who manages marketing and community relations manager for Fair Park. History? Science? Interactive exhibits? It’s all here.

For an overall listing of Fair Park attractions and their websites, visit www.fairparkdallas.com and click on Campus Members. 

“Really there’s so much to see at Fair Park, you need to come back,” says Ms. Artis. The Fair Park Passport admission gives one-time admission to each museum within 90 days.

Museums in Fair Park
Age of Steam Railroad Museum,
1105 Washington Street, 214-428-0101
The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future
214-915-0860
African American Museum
3536 Grand Avenue, 214-565-9026
Dallas Museum of Natural History
3535 Grand Avenue, 214-421-3466
The Science Place, Planetarium and IMAX Theater
1318 Second Avenue, 214-428-5555
 

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