Kimbell Art Museum. Museum in Fort Worth, Texas

Kimbell Art Museum

Museum in Fort Worth, Texas

a sculpture in kimbell museum Photo © Lynn00

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Kimbell Art Museum

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Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX - Kimbell Art Museum
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX - Kimbell Art Museum. Photo by Xavier de Jauréguiberry
Within Fort Worth’s Cultural District lies the Kimbell Museum, a small gallery that contains an art collection of extreme high-quality. Established in 1972, the museum is owned and operated by the Kimbell Art Foundation and is currently directed by Eric M. Lee. The initial exhibits came from the private collection of wealthy businessman, Kay Kimbell, along with his wife, Velma Fuller.

Aside from the main collection, the museum also houses traveling art exhibitions, educational programs, and a substantial library of over 59,000 books and periodicals.

History

The idea of establishing the Kimbell Art Museum came from Kay Kimbell’s interest in art collecting in 1931. In 1935, the couple created the Kimbell Art Foundation, throughout the years, both Velma Fuller and Kay Kimbell amassed a collection of masterpieces made by the “old masters in the Southwest”.

Dedicated to build a museum of the first class, the foundation’s board of trustees appointed Richard Fargo Brown to be the founding director of the museum that will house all of the Kimbell’s art collection. The museum was constructed within the 9.5 acre lot in the Cultural District of Fort Worth. The museum then commissioned Louis I. Kahn in 1966 to design the building.
Richard Brown managed to acquire several artworks over the years, including masterpieces from known artists like Duccio, El Greco, and Dutch Golden Age painter, Rembrandt.

In 1979, Brown died and Edmund Pillsbury replaced him as director of the museum. After a decade, Pillsbury proposed to expand the main building to accommodate more artworks but was denied due to the board’s opposition to altering Khan’s original design. In 2007, a new building designed by Italian Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano (Wikipedia Article), was constructed across the original building. The annex expansion opened in 2013.

Kimbell - Kimbell
	Art Museum
Kimbell - Kimbell Art Museum. Photo by Tim Cummins

Design

The original building of the museum was designed by well-known American architect, Louis Kahn. His design of the Kimbell Art Museum was widely recognized as one of the most significant works of architecture in the 20th century. The annex building, or most commonly known as the Piano Pavilion, was designed by Renzo Piano. The main building was designed to be luminous, or where natural light played a key role in illuminating the gallery’s environment, while the annex building was designed to be simple and concrete.

The Collection

The Kimbell’s private collection comprises of over 350 artworks of excellent high quality. The acquired artworks were from the old masters of Europe and the Southwest. The museum emphasized that its collection is based on excellence rather than its size. The quality of the artwork is prioritized instead of the historical completeness of the collection. The museum houses a number of prestigious artworks made by Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt; Michelangelo, Donatello; Lombardo, Caravaggio; Bourdelle, and Francisco de Goya.

The museum also comprises of antiquities from the Egyptian Old Kingdom, Assyria, Greece, Rome, and Early Christian Church. European Art from the Italian Renaissance. Asian Art that includes paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and decorative art from Japan, China, Korea, and Southeast Asian countries. Pre-Columbian, African, and Oceanic sculptures, ceramics, and art pieces from the ancient civilizations are also included in the Kimbell’s collection.

Some of the museum’s recent acquisitions include “The Torment of Saint Anthony” by Michelangelo and the “Sacrament of Ordination” by Poussin, which is valued at $24 million USD.

Kimbell Art Museum
	HDR - Kimbell Art Museum
Kimbell Art Museum HDR - Kimbell Art Museum. Photo by dslrnovice

Visiting

The museum is open from Tuesday to Thursday 10AM – 5PM, Friday 12PM – 8PM, Saturday 10AM – 5PM, and Sunday 12PM – 5PM, while it is closed every Monday and on holidays. The admission to the museum’s permanent collection is free, but there is an admission fee when visiting the special exhibitions (which is usually held at the Renzo Piano Pavilion). Adults are charged $ 18 USD , seniors and students with ID are charged $ 16 USD , $ 14 USD for children age 6 – 11 years old, while children under 6 are free. During Tuesdays, from 10AM to 5PM, and Fridays, after 5PM, the admission for the special exhibitions are half price.

Library

The library is situated inside the Piano Pavilion (the annex building). Its collection of books is mainly about the European art from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century, Asian and western medieval art, Mediterranean antiquities, and other relevant topics about the history of art in other countries. The library serves as reference and area of study for docents, art historians, teachers, and grad students.

Kimbell Art Museum - Kimbell Art Museum
Kimbell Art Museum - Kimbell Art Museum. Photo by Ricardo Ruiz de Porras

Getting There

The museum is located at 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard, within the Cultural District. From the Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport, head to I-30 West towards the University Drive exit. Turn to Lancaster, then to Van Cliburn Way. Signs along the Cultural District will help you along the way. Guests can also take the T Bus going along University Drive. The bus routes heading to Kimbell Art Museum are 2, 7, or 57.

Nearby Landmarks

Situated within the Fort Worth’s Cultural District are other museums just like the Kimbell. These are the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Amon Carter Museum of Armerican Art, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

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Author: radiantan. Last updated: Jan 18, 2015

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