November 12-16, 2004: A Trip to Palm Springs with Greg
October 22-31, 2004: A Trip to Florida
Return to Index for 2004


November 9, 2004
A Visit to the Nasher Sculpture Center


 


Today, Tuesday, Barbara Reynolds has asked me if I would like to accompany her and a friend of hers (whose name I have forgotten, it has been so long translating these pictures into this album) to the Nasher Sculpture Center in the Arts District downtown. I have never been there, but both Barbara and her friend are members, and so I gladly agreed to go.

The Dallas Arts District consists of three major attractions- the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center- plus a number of smaller museums and theatres. They are all located in the blocks between Ross Street and the Woodall Rogers Freeway, and St. Paul Street and Interstate 45. The area has been under development for many years, and in another five or six years there are plans for a new Performing Arts Theatre, a home for the Dallas Opera and other arts-related organizations.

I have been to the Museum of Art four or five times and, of course, Fred and I have season tickets to the Dallas Symphony, with its 7-times-yearly performances in the Myerson. But in the years since the Nasher was built, I have not been there; perhaps sculpture just has not been high on my list. So, today I will remedy that oversight.



The Nasher Sculpture Center was a donation to the city from Raymond D. Nasher. Ray Nasher, born in Dallas in 1921, had a long career in finance and real estate development. After World War II, he returned to Dallas to make a fortune first in banking and finance and then in real estate. His alliance with the Caruth Family, who owned a huge tract of land along what would eventually become Central Expressway, allowed him to build NorthPark Center, one of the largest of the new breed of shopping malls popping up across the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. NorthPark Center was the largest in Texas and one of the most luxurious anywhere, with all the major Dallas stores as tenants. NorthPark became THE place to shop, if you weren't going downtown to do so, and it also became the focal point for the development of the entire Preston Hollow corridor, which eventually became home to the city's most expensive residential neighborhoods.

Early on, Nasher had begun his collection of sculpture, and some of the larger pieces were displayed within NorthPark. In 2000, construction began on the Sculpture Center to be the permanent home for the Nasher Collection.

(Note: This album page is being written in 2008. Raymond D. Nasher, one of Dallas' most influential civic leaders and philanthropists, died last year.)



 

Inside the Nasher Sculpture Center


The Sculpture Center consists of a series of connected sculpture halls and a large sculpture garden. The halls contain the smaller pieces and artwork, while the larger works, those designed to weather the elements, are in the garden outside. We toured the inside halls first. Barbara and her friend used the audio guides, while I just walked around looking at each of the works, and taking pictures of those that interested me.

I took a few movies, too, but they are not included in this album. The reason is that I found out that movies should not be taken with the camera held vertically, as this camera stores all its movies in a horizontal format. So, if I included them, you'd have to look at them sideways. Perhaps I could find some software now that would rotate them, but since there weren't very many of them, and since I have so many other pictures to include, I won't try that.

For most of the pictures in this album, I have been able to offer some description of what is being depicted (usually because it is some group of people whom I know or some location I have been to). But here, I am not able to do that. I do not have available a guidebook or some other source that has explanations of the various pieces that I saw, and I did not take the time to jot down notes. So, all I can do now is to simply present the pictures to you and allow you to look at the ones that interest you.

Some of the pieces may be familiar to you; some are quite famous. But most of them I present just for your enjoyment. The Nasher does have a web site, and, if you are interested in a particular piece, perhaps you could check that source for more information. But for now, I have simply included below thumbnails for the pictures I took inside the Sculpture Center building. To look at the full-size image, just click on its thumbnail:


 

The Sculpture Garden at the Nasher


The other part of the Nasher is the sculpture garden, where the large sculpture pieces are set amid walkways and a series of fountains along the back (west side) of the garden. There are two main walkways that traverse the garden, and the sculpture pieces are arranged on either side. Just outside the doors leading to the garden there is a little cafe where people can sit and have coffee or a snack during their visit. There are also a couple of larger sculpture pieces and a mosaic, as you can see in this picture of Barbara and her friend.

On the aerial view of the garden at the right, I have marked some of the art pieces that can be seen from the air and which can also be seen in some of the pictures that I took. Perhaps this will help you orient yourself in the garden (or perhaps it adds little to the pictures themselves). In any case, below are the thumbnails for the pictures that I took in the Nasher Sculpture Garden. To see the full-size images, just click on those thumbnails:

I also took a couple of movies here in the sculpture garden. The first one is of the double row of metal human figures and the other is of the fountains at the back of the gardens. You can see these movies using the players below:


The Metal Figures

The Fountains


 

The Trammel Crow Asian Art Collection

Across the street from the Nasher, as you can see in the aerial views above, sits the high-rise Trammel Crow Center (the Crow family being heavily involved in real estate and one of the wealthiest families in the city). On the ground floor of the tower is the Trammel Crow Asian Art Museum, a small affair but with reportedly high-quality pieces. We did not go in because both Barbara and her friend needed to have lunch and then get back up to McKinney, but we did spend a few minutes admiring the fountain at the entrance to the Museum.


 

Lunch at the Dallas Museum of Art

Our last stop of the morning was to have lunch at the Dallas Museum of Art, to which Barbara also belongs. The three of us had some sandwiches and pleasant conversation. I had not been in the dining room here for some time, and there was apparently a new installation of either just some decoration for the floor-to-ceiling windows or perhaps an art piece, but in any event I took a picture of the dining room's colorful window art.



November 12-16, 2004: A Trip to Palm Springs with Greg
October 22-31, 2004: A Trip to Florida
Return to Index for 2004