A Sure Beachfront Bet
By Megan Larson
SUNNY DAYS PREVAIL NEARLY YEAR ROUND on the Texas coast, so a trip to Corpus Christi is never out of the question. This time of year, the salty air may be a bit blustery, and the bay water might be too cold for swimming, but you can always head indoors for a few hours at the newly renovated and expanded Art Museum of South Texas.
In the 1960s, philanthropists Patsy and Edwin Singer selected internationally-known architect Philip Johnson to design the museum’s original building. Already famous for his connection to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (he was the first director of its Architecture Department), Johnson brought his modern aesthetic to Texas, too. Even from the Harbor Bridge or on Shoreline Boulevard, you’ll recognize the Johnson building by its distinct, white rooftop pyramids, which Johnson created to look like sails on sparkling Corpus Christi Bay.
And now, thanks to the new William B. and Maureen Miller Building, the museum is even bigger and better. Ricardo and Victor Legorreta, father-and-son architects from Mexico, designed the new addition, which doubled the museum’s size. They continued the sailing theme with copper-paneled pyramids on the rooftop, and created an innovative, adjustable lighting system for the exhibit halls.
Together, the two buildings house an expanding permanent collection of more than 1,250 artworks, including sculptures, prints, drawings, paintings, collages, and photographs. You’ll also find many things that defy easy categorization, such as Fort Worth artist Janet Tyson’s structures made out of LEGO blocks. Call 361/825-3500; www.artmuseumofsouthtexas.org.
From the January 2007 issue.