With spring officially here and summer around the corner, lots of folks are making vacation (and staycation) plans. Museums, since they are usually gloriously climate-controlled and require no slathering of sunscreen to enjoy, make great escapes when the mercury rises, and their offerings are more diverse than you might imagine. For example, most museums these days complement exhibits—whether they present art, history, science, or other disciplines—with film screenings, lectures, art demonstrations, kids’ activities like storytimes and DIY crafts, and even themed dance parties. Not only does this expanded focus bring the museums new audiences, but it also helps make the collections more relevant and accessible to visitors who may have previously thought they weren’t “museum types.”
When you get down with your funky self amid a collection of modern sculptures, or meditate in a gallery filled with Japanese antiquities, it’s easier to find a visceral, lasting connection with the museum-going experience.
I have had some memorable museum experiences in my life: a foggy night encounter with a Rembrandt in East Berlin, a red wine and squid-fueled afternoon cooing over Degas at the Prado. But recently I was gifted with perhaps the single most perfect day I have ever spent in the company of great art: a balmy afternoon wiled away at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.
Nestled in downtown Dallas’ burgeoning arts district, the Nasher Sculpture Center marks its fifth anniversary in October. To celebrate that landmark, the center mounts an exhibition called In Pursuit of the Masters: Stories from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection . The exhibition runs September 20 through January 4, 2009
“This exhibition is all about the backstory of the collection, about Ray and Patsy’s passion for collecting,” says acting chief curator Jed Morse. “We’re telling the story of their warm relationships with artists like Henry Moore, Andy Warhol, Beverly Pepper, and Mark di Suvero; and what it was like for the Nashers to live with some of those incredible works of art.”
Some of the pieces, such as Jean Arp’s sculpture Torso With Buds (1961), which Patsy bought for Ray as a birthday present, have never before been shown at the Nasher Sculpture Center. “The main thing that comes through,” says Morse, “is that the collection was a labor a love. They started off collecting very modestly, things they could afford.”
For more details visit The Nasher Sculpture Center or call 214/242-5177.