As the Kimbell Art Museum (3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-332-8451) celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, we’d like to point out several reasons the Cultural District institution is considered one of the best museums in not only North Texas but the entire Southwest. For starters, it’s because we said so.
By “we,” I mean the hive mind that is the Weekly’s Best Of editorial team. Last week marked the publication of the 26th annual awards edition in which the museum won yet another award, this time for the 200-plus piece show The Language of Beauty in African Art. Sourced from private and public collections across the globe, “the array of sculptures, masks, and textiles was noteworthy for its vastness and for the respect paid to the culture that created them.”
Weekly self-promotion aside, the Kimbell also has excellent taste in acquisitions. And lawyers. The museum is battling the entire country of France over Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin’s “Basket of Wild Strawberries.” Kimbell recently won the oil painting at auction for $26.8 million, then the French government swooped in, declaring the work to be a national treasure, which afforded France’s famous Louvre Museum a chance to purchase the piece instead.
According to French law, the Louvre has 30 months to find a sponsor to match the winning bid. Like two polite ladies who lunch, perhaps they will agree to share. “Who wants the last jalapeño popper? You take it. No, you take it. Let’s split it!” The piece will probably spend exhibition time on two continents. At least, that’s the word on the street. Go to FWWeekly.com and search for our “Fort Worth vs. France” story to read more.
The third (and possibly the most important) reason the Kimbell is still the best after 50 years is its ability to connect with the community and reach new potential art patrons with exciting events. One of our recent favorites was Dog Day, when dozens of doggos and their parents gathered at the museum for the opening of “Dog Guarding a Basket of Grapes” (1836) by Austria’s Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller which was recently acquired for the permanent collection. Local celebrities Tony Green and Nancy Lamb judged a dog costume contest, and it was as adorable as you could imagine.
Now for its 50th anniversary celebration, the Kimbell is hosting an exciting event this weekend. From 1pm to 5pm Sat, enjoy light refreshments and family-friendly activities, films, and performances, and at 4:30pm, Fort Worth’s now world-famous soul/hip-hop/blues artist Abraham Alexander and local electro-popsters Cotinga will perform on the main stage on the Kimbell lawn. This event is free to attend, but tickets are required. For more info and tickets, visit KimbellArt.org.