Nasher Sculpture Center

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Nasher Sculpture Garden
Inside the museum
Large Horse by Raymond Duchamp-Villon

Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a museum in Dallas, Texas, that houses a collection of modern and contemporary sculpture. It is located on a 2.4-acre (9,700 m2) site adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. The mission of the Nasher is to be an international focal point and catalyst for the study, installation, conservation, and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture.

Founding[edit]

The museum was a longtime dream of the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher (Ray was the original owner of NorthPark Center), who began collecting pre-Columbian sculpture on holidays to Mexico in the 1950s. In 1961, the couple turned to contemporary sculpture with a work by Jean Arp bought by Patsy for Raymond's birthday.[1] They together subsequently formed a comprehensive collection of masterpieces by Harry Bertoia, Constantin Brâncuși, Alexander Calder, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Paul Gauguin, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Ellsworth Kelly, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Richard Serra, and David Smith, among others, which continues to grow and evolve.

Ray was asked by many international museums to allow them to house his collection. In 1987-89 the Dallas Museum of Art built a sculpture garden largely in hopes of winning the works. The National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco also courted the collection by mounting exhibitions in 1987 and 1996, respectively. In 1997, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York devoted the entire museum to an exhibition of the Nasher collection, pieces of which had also traveled to exhibitions around the world.[2] But Nasher decided to build and personally finance the $70 million center in Dallas, where he made his fortune.[3] By placing the facility on what was formerly part of the old Caruth family farm of circa 1850, Ray Nasher began the realization of the Arts District in Dallas, which has since been enhanced by the construction of the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theater.

Architecture[edit]

Renzo Piano, winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1998, is the architect of the Center’s 55,000-square-foot (5,100 m2) building; he had been selected after Nasher met him at the opening of the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, in 1997. Piano worked in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker on the design of the 2-acre (8,100 m2) Garden. The building was constructed by The Beck Group, which also served as associate architect.

The facility opened in 2003 in a 55,000-square-foot building on a 2.4-acre site adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art. The building is made of parallel stonewalls which create the gallery pavilions. Each pavilion is enclosed by low-iron glass façades and roofs that permit 500-foot long unobstructed view corridors from the street, through the building, and across the length of the garden. The museum has an arched glass roof with a perforated aluminum screen in an egg-crate pattern that directs the sun into the galleries, which were laid out in anticipation of the sun’s daily arc from southeast to southwest (but recently has been an issue as the reflective glare of nearby Museum Tower has penetrated through the roof, putting portions of the collection at risk of damage).[4]

The museum has two levels: the ground level houses three galleries, institute offices, a boardroom and a gift shop. The galleries themselves feature polished stone walls and timber floors. A basement, much larger than the superstructure, houses a further gallery for delicate objects, additional offices, an auditorium, conservation workshops, a kitchen, mechanical services and so on. These, too, give on to the garden, which occupies by far the greater part of the centre's site.[5] The garden terraces downward to the auditorium, creating an open air theatre.

Program[edit]

On view in the Galleries and Garden are rotating exhibitions of works from the Nasher Collection as well as special exhibitions drawn from other museums and private collections. In addition to indoor and outdoor gallery spaces, the Center contains an auditorium, education and research facilities, a cafe, and a store.

Monthly events include Target First Saturdays for children and families, Til Midnight featuring Al Fresco dining, twilight strolls, bands and movies, and the NasherSalon series which welcomes distinguished speakers for an evening of discourse on art, architecture, and other cultural topics of interest.

Engagement with Dallas Community[edit]

"X" by Liz Larner. Part of the Nasher Sculpture Center's Nasher Xchange exhibition (2013-2014). Taken on campus at the University of Texas at Dallas

To commemorate their 10-year anniversary, the Nasher Sculpture Center created Nasher XChange, a four month long dynamic art exhibition that placed 10 newly - commissioned public sculptures by contemporary artists at 10 sites throughout Dallas, Texas. Local, national, and international artists contributed their work to this exhibition. [6] A featured piece by Liz Larner called X captures the essence of Nasher Xchange quite literally and the site chosen for it was the Edith O'Donnell Arts and Technology Building at the University of Texas at Dallas.

"Each site chosen is important and distinctive, and each says something different about the past, present – and future – of this city." - Jeremy Strick, Nasher Sculpture Center Director[7]

The exact dates of Nasher Xchange ranged from October 19, 2013 to February 16, 2014. Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick stated that Nasher Xchange is a focus on public art, which engages the people and culture of Dallas. Covering a diverse range of sites and approaches to sculpture, 'Nasher XChange' represents the first citywide, museum-organized public art exhibition in the United States. [8] The Nasher Xchange exhibition was made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, and a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.[9]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°47′17″N 96°48′0.5″W / 32.78806°N 96.800139°W / 32.78806; -96.800139

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jonathan Glancey (July 5, 2004), Oasis, Texas The Guardian.
  2. ^ Randy Kenndy (March 20, 2007), Raymond D. Nasher, 85, Dallas Art Collector Who Built a Museum, Dies New York Times'.
  3. ^ Robin Pogrebin (May 1, 2012), Dallas Museum Simmers in a Neighbor’s Glare New York Times'.
  4. ^ Robin Pogrebin (May 1, 2012), Dallas Museum Simmers in a Neighbor’s Glare New York Times'.
  5. ^ Jonathan Glancey (July 5, 2004), Oasis, Texas The Guardian.
  6. ^ Gibbins, Kristen. "NASHER SCULPTURE CENTER ANNOUNCES HISTORIC PUBLIC ART PROJECT NASHER XCHANGE IN COMMEMORATION OF 10TH ANNIVERSARY". Nasher Sculpture Center. Nasher Sculpture Center Press. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Nasher Sculpture Center. "NASHER XCHANGE 10 YEARS. 10 ARTISTS. 10 SITES. October 19, 2013 – February 16, 2014 CITYWIDE". Nasher Sculpture Center. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Gibbins, Kristen. "NASHER SCULPTURE CENTER ANNOUNCES HISTORIC PUBLIC ART PROJECT NASHER XCHANGE IN COMMEMORATION OF 10TH ANNIVERSARY". Nasher Sculpture Center. Nasher Sculpture Center Press. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Nasher Sculpture Center. "NASHER XCHANGE 10 YEARS. 10 ARTISTS. 10 SITES. October 19, 2013 – February 16, 2014 CITYWIDE". Nasher Sculpture Center. Retrieved 24 January 2014.