TRAVEL HERE: DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART CONNECTS TO THE ARTS DISTRICT
OK, so I’ve been a little hard on the DMA as of late. I loved Bouquets and Body Beautiful, but while I found other exhibitions, like International Pop interesting, I was less than in love. What’s more, as I traveled around enjoying delicious meals in other museums, I bemoaned the culinary choices at the DMA. I won’t even talk about how I was contemplating a change of membership to the Kimbell Art Museum.
Things Have Changed
The last few times we visited the museum we had to maneuver our way around construction. I was glad to see the renovation going on. The shrubs along the north side had overstayed their welcome, but I had no idea just how amazing the face-lift was going to be.
Klyde Warren Park is one of the best things to happen to Dallas in a long, long time and now the DMA has plugged into the vibe. The construction re-directed traffic in front of the museum and opened the Atrium up with patio seating for their Atrium Cafe and a new outdoor cafe. The DMA got there before the rest of the Arts District, but had sort of fallen out of the energy flow. I think this new patio will breathe in some much-needed life.
As we entered the museum’s driveway, the first thing I noticed was the patio, but when we got inside we were really able to appreciate it. The gorgeous Chihuly hanging in the window is one of my favorite pieces on exhibit, but it seemed like a boundary between the museum and everything else. Now the atrium spills out onto the new patio through a door beneath the Chihuly and there’s a line of sight to Klyde Warren Park. We were drawn outside into the Eagle Family Plaza and I’m sure others will be drawn into the museum from the park.
And There’s More
The opening up of the Museum doesn’t end at Klyde Warren Park. What used to be the rear of the DMA gift shop is now a wide-open counter space connecting the Atrium with the Fleischner courtyard, which faces Flora Street. Glass doors in a glass wall between the cafe counter and the gift shop allow traffic to flow between them. I’m hoping
Connecting the Atrium to the outside from two directions is genius, but so far the museum has decided not to take advantage of the possibilities. One hopes this is a temporary situation. The museum used to charge for admission, so they limited the points of access. Now general admission is free, so it makes sense to provide entry to the museum that intersects with the traffic in the Arts District. The museum is still fairly inaccessible from St. Paul Street, but I guess they have to have someplace for loading and unloading art – both new acquisitions and pieces for exhibitions.
Some Things Haven’t Changed
Modern art continues to be an emphasis at the DMA. As a one-time director pointed out, by the time the DMA came along, pretty much all the Old Masters already had a home, so we had to look elsewhere for ways to cover our walls. I accept this, even if I wish it were not true. I’ve been listening, so I know why all this modern art is important, but I haven’t quite developed a taste for it. To borrow an old saw, I try to eat the meat and ignore the bones.
My husband is a little more vocal about his distaste. Prominently featured on the Eagle Family Plaza is a sculpture by Rebecca Warren. While it’s not my cup of tea. Bill thinks someone should get after it with a bulldozer. I think the sculpture is safe. Last time I checked, Bill wasn’t up to speed on operating heavy machinery.
Here’s a few more shots we took. I hope they’ll inspire you to go down to the Dallas Art District for a visit.