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The Kimbell Museum To Showcase Modern Art Masters

May 11th, 2017 · Tags:Arts · Cities · Wi-Fi




When my family moved to Fort Worth, it was pretty much sight unseen. No worries, right?  Having already lived in one cowtown and one cowpoke town, what could be different about an even bigger cowtown?  That was my limited, outsider’s impression of Fort Worth — The Stockyards, Billy Bob’s, cutting horse competitions, stock shows and cowboy culture.

Ha … I was so comfortable in this errant assessment … that yes, the family moved to Fort Worth with our belongings in a horse trailer.  (Hey … we cleaned it out.)

Culture shock. Our first apartment was in Fort Worth’s “Cultural District” and if I had a cowchip, I could have flung it and hit any of several amazing world-class museums. We were in “tall cotton” as they say.  Before that, I had no clue about the other side of Fort Worth — the grand old oil/gas/cattle empires … the families who invested generous portions of their mega-wealth back into the community … the arts.


The Kimbell

Perhaps the spinning star on the spurs of Fort Worth’s art scene then and now was and is The Kimbell.  The Kimbell Art Museum  —  a rounded off, polished, monolith-like celebration of light and shadow molded by the architectural genius of Louis I. Kahn … the  building itself, a treasure.  Inside — masterpieces from all over the world.

Flash forward just a year after my arrival in Fort Worth and The Kimbell was, in my mind, the best of the best in Fort Worth … So, when I was assigned to illustrate that my corporate employer back then had a growing connection to Fort Worth’s Cultural District, it was a photo of the iconic Kimbell that was selected to print in our booklet to emphasize the point.

Decades later, the museum impresses me more every time I visit.  I jumped at the opportunity to attend a media preview.  The Kimbell is Fort Worth.  It’s still the same, and yet it is so different.  This morning was my first visit to the “west wing” of The Kimbell, The Renzo Piano Pavilion:

Piano Pavilion

Inside The Piano Pavilion, media representatives and patrons gathered for a preview of the latest traveling exhibit — “A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection.”


Female Forms

Of course, I arrived early to check out the Wi-Fi, and view the exhibit with a little breathing room, hopefully inconspicuously … when all of the sudden I heard loud music.  What the!?!  Then I noticed everyone was looking at me.  But I had turned off the ringer on my cell phone in advance, ever so courteously.  Dang it … somehow I had pocket dialed and fired up my iTunes. Ha … Hilarious! … In this creme de la creme-luncheon and high-art preview, a funny novelty song about the evils of smoking cigarettes was roaring from my slacks.

“Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.  Smoke it until you smoke yourself to death…”  I of course fumbled for the phone.   After about three more carcinogen-laced verses I finally subdued and wrestled my phone to the ground.

Ha … I uttered an obligatory “So-o-r-r-r-r-rrry,” to the few people milling through the collection before the official event.  Later I found out that the woman who commented on what she thought was “my interesting ringtone” was actually one of the art historians traveling with the exhibit and was soon to enlighten us on the great works.  Pretty smooth, huh?  You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the cigarette songs out of his iPhone.

But what the heck, while I had the phone out of pocket, I fired off a quick shot of Degas’ “Dancers at the Barre” and via The Kimbell’s fast Wi-Fi, sent the ballet masterpiece to a waiting world of barre/yoga/ physical fitness fanatics as they all thumbed through the latest and greatest photos on Instagram.


Degas Dancers

Silently, I continued. Oh my!  Two of the most iconic paintings of Van Gogh were hanging side by side … any Picasso?  Yes please! The colorful impact of an abstract Miro on a nearby wall … a “selfie,” picture-perfect portrait by Cezanne … and an eclectic, handpicked mix from the country’s first modern art museum — The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. dating back to 1921.


VAN GOGH Menders


Head Juxtaposition 2

After a bunch of photos, I meandered toward the nice buffet and stopped to meet the communications team for the museum.  Comparing the new, light-filled, vibrant, glass enclosed pavilion to the limestone look of the main building, Jessica told me that “The Kimbell is for introverts and the Piano is for extroverts.”

Ha … “Excuse me ma’am.  I’m in the wrong building,” I quipped. I digress …


Miro The Red Sun

After the luncheon, the official tour began, and a pair of experts commented on the diversity of the collection’s traveling exhibit.

What a great analogy … that “choosing the pieces from a collection for an exhibit is like choosing who to invite to a dinner party” … If I may continue the comparison … like a great dinner party, the exhibit features natural companions, diversity, many big names, complementary pieces and even some controversial choices.

Nice …

Phillips Collection At The Kimbell

The exhibit runs May 14 — August 13.

Know what I sayin?