Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Texas, United States
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, also known as “The Modern”, is one of the oldest and most popular museums of art in Texas.
Founded in 1892 as the Fort Worth Public Library and Art Gallery, the museum is the oldest in Texas exclusively focused on fine arts.
Since 2002, the Modern is housed in an iconic building designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is located in the city’s Cultural District close to the Kimbell Art Museum and the Amon Carter Museum, together with which it forms a formidable combination of art and architecture.
A site plan of the northern part of Fort Worth’s Cultural District with, from left to right, the Amon Carter Museum, the Kimbell Art Museum, and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Image courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
Inaugurated on December 14, 2002, the museum designed by Ando consists of a sequence of five 40-foot-high glass-and-concrete pavilions, four of which overlook, and mirror into, a large artificial pond. The pavilions are topped by cantilevered concrete roof slabs supported by y-shaped columns.
In conceiving the museum – and especially its masterful combination of geometry, light, and water – Ando was reportedly inspired by the Byodo-In Temple in Kyoto.
Natural light also plays an important role in Ando’s building, for which the Japanese architect designed a varied set of openings – including large floor-to-ceiling window walls, ribbon windows, and skylights – through which daylight generously pours into the museum’s interior space.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, view from the north. Photo Thomas Hawk.
Doug Aitken: Electric Earth exhibition, 2017, installation view. Photo by Kevin Todora. Courtesy Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
The Modern “is dedicated to collecting, presenting, and interpreting international developments in post–World War II art in all media”.
The collection of the museum comprises over 3,000 artworks, including masterpieces by American and international modern and contemporary artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Ron Mueck, Gerhard Richter, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and Richard Serra, among others.
Works from the collection are usually displayed on a rotational basis through semi-permanent exhibitions.
Anselm Kiefer, Book with Wings,1992-94; Lead, tin, and steel, collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; photo Thomas Hawk.
Frank Stella: a retrospective, 2016, Museum of Modern Art of Fort Worth, installation view; photo Enchiladaplates.
The program of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth includes temporary exhibitions, guided tours, theatrical performances, film screenings, concerts, and special events.
The building of the museum, fully accessible to physically impaired people, also accommodates a book & gift shop and a cafe-restaurant.
A conceptual sketch of the museum by Tadao Ando. Image source: North Carolina State University.
Second-floor plan, elevations, and longitudinal section. Image source: North Carolina State University.
Interior view, photo CTGSF
The auditorium of the museum. Photo Thomas Hawk.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, view from the east across the artificial pond. Photo Chris Frieze.
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