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Fort Worth lassoes a herd of museum culture

Courtesy Kimbell Art Museum

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau bills the Texas city as the City of Cowboys and Culture. In addition to its rich Western heritage, which continues with cowboys in period attire daily driving longhorn steers through the streets of its historic Stockyards District, Fort Worth also has a wealth of museums that are known both for their collections and their architectural beauty.

The Fort Worth Cultural District is home to five museums set in a park-like setting.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History opened its spanking new $80 million facility in November 2009 on the site of its old building. Designed by the internationally acclaimed Mexico City architectural firm Legorreta + Legorreta, the museum has drawn attention with its bright colors, geometric forms and abundant natural light.

The expansion incorporates a major new center for the Cattle Raisers Museum and includes the Noble Planetarium, the Fort Worth Children’s Museum, Innovation Studios, an Omni Imax theater and six glass-walled spaces near the main entrance with hands-on demonstrations.

The striking nine-year-old contemporary building of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, designed by architect Tadao Ando, features five pavilions of concrete and glass on 11 landscaped acres, including a 1.5-acre reflecting pool. Its collection of more than 3,000 works of post-World War II art, one of the largest in the country, includes a 67-foot-tall sculpture by Richard Serra on the grounds made of a half-million pounds of untreated steel that will oxidize and change color over time.
The Kimbell Art Museum, already famous for its 1972 Louis Kahn-designed building, began construction last fall on an addition designed by Renzo Piano. The addition, slated to be open in 2013, will allow the Kimbell for the first time to exhibit most of its permanent collection from the third millennium B.C. to the mid-20th century and host major special exhibitions.

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art marks its 50th anniversary this year in a glass, bronze and Texas shellstone building designed by Phillip Johnson, who also designed a 50,000-square-foot expansion that opened in 2001, which he called “the building of my career.”

The museum exhibits work from the first landscape painters of the 1830s to modern artists of the 20th century, along with a large collection of works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.

The Fort Worth Cultural District also includes the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring women of the American West.

www.fortworth.com

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