Dallas Fort Worth is full of cultural surprises, and that’s especially true when it comes to its bustling arts scene. It holds bragging rights to being home to one of the largest art museums in the U.S. and the largest arts district in the country. Whether you’re interested in modern art or art from Asia, here’s your guide to exploring one of the most underrated arts destinations in the U.S.
NorthPark Center is a large mall in Dallas known for offering high-end luxury shopping and 235 stores, restaurants, and department stores. It opened in 1965 as a premiere shopping destination in Texas that welcomes 26 million people every year. However, today, NorthPark Center offers more than just a shopping center. It holds a stunning collection of 20th and 21st century art that includes work by Andy Warhol, Joel Shapiro, Frank Stella, Beverly Pepper, and Antony Gormley. It’s also home to the only indoor work of Mark di Suvero, a 48-foot tall sculpture titled Ad Astra (2005).
There are nearly 3,000 works of art at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Chartered in 1892, it’s the oldest museum in Texas and one of the oldest in the Southwest. While the focus of the museum has changed over the years, today, it presents only art created after World War II, with a strong collection of works that fall under the trends of pop and minimalism, and German art of the 1970s and 1980s. While it costs a fee to visit the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, it’s free for children under the age of 12, every Sunday, and half price on Wednesdays. There’s also a gift shop and café on-site.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art opened in 1961 and offers visitors the opportunity to experience exhibits and programs that relate entirely to American art. It was originally established to house a collection of works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell collected by Amon G. Carter Sr. Today, the collection has expanded to include work by Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, and Stuart Davis. There’s also sculptures, illustrated rare books, 900 watercolors, and over 45,000 photographs by a variety of artists. Admission to the museum, as well as rotating exhibits, is free.
The African American Museum was originally founded in 1974 at Bishop College, a historically black college that has since closed. It began operating independently in 1979 and was soon moved to Fair Park, where today, it houses one of the largest African American folk art collections in the U.S. There are four galleries with a wide range of exhibits that include African art like masks and textiles, African American fine art that dates to the 1800s, 100 historical photographs, and historical and political archives in a library. The museum also presents events such as theatrical performances, live music, and rotating art exhibits. Admission is free except for special events or exhibits.