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Nasher Sculpture Center

February 4, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Jonathan Borofsky, Walking to the Sky, 2004

Last week, I promised a post on our visit to Dallas’s Nasher Sculpture Center two weeks ago. The center is named after Raymond Nasher, a Dallas developer responsible for the shopping mall NorthPark Center, which opened in 1964 on a former cotton field about eight miles north of downtown Dallas in the early 1960s. Along with his wife Patsy, Nasher acquired a major sculpture collection. In 1997, he announced his plan to establish a sculpture garden next to the Dallas Museum of Art. Later that year, he met with the architect Renzo Piano and expanded his vision to include a museum with an integrated garden. The center opened in October 2003, and Nasher died in March 2007. (You can read more about center’s history here.)

Two weeks ago yesterday, my old friend Won, who lives just outside Dallas in Irving and whom we hadn’t seen in over fifteen years, picked us up at our hotel and spent the day with us. He had suggested the day before that we might wish to have lunch at the center. I didn’t give it much thought. I had one priority only, to get to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (about which, more in the next post), and Won assured me that he would take us there. Around noontime, as we were already a bit north of downtown, we headed up to NorthPark Center. Won goes there often, and he assured us it isn’t like other malls. It is, after all, the mall founded by the owner of one of the country’s great sculpture collections. As a result, it is itself home to many great sculptures. I have to say, wandering around a mall and seeing art like the sculpture pictured below is pretty cool.

Corridor Pin, Blue, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

From the mall, we headed down to the Dallas Arts District, adjacent to downtown, and parked across the street from the Nasher Sculpture Center. On entering, we walked straight to the back of the building so we could take a walk in the garden. As we tried to walk through the doorway to the outdoors, we had to squeeze between some older guy leaning against a pillar on the right, just beyond the door, and a photographer on the left. Evidently we had stumbled into the middle of a photo shoot. I didn’t think much of it. I just kept walking. Won, just behind me, mumbled something about the shoot. Only after we took a few more steps did he repeat it, at which point I turned back and, sure enough, that old guy wasn’t just any old guy. It was Robert Duvall! Just another day at the Nasher I suppose. As we wandered around the garden, the photo shoot entourage did as well, adding a little unexpected excitement to our promenade. But let me be clear — the garden itself was excitement enough. Won knew what he was doing in steering us there. And lunch afterwards at the Nasher Cafe was excellent. We could happily have spent another hour or two there. But the Sixth Floor Museum beckoned, and off we went.

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Categories: Art, Movies, Travel
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