PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2023

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Page 43 of 115

" You don't look a day over 30." Who doesn't love that observation. Well, the same could be said for one of the grandes dames of the art world, the Kimbell Art Museum. Beginning last fall and for an entire year, the hallowed institution is celebrating a milestone. A golden one. Behold its glorious architecture — the original structure, which opened in 1972, was designed by Louis I. Kahn. It's widely considered one of the most significant works of modern architecture and has influenced museum design for five decades. In 2013, an expansion by Renzo Piano was added across a great expanse of lawn and a colonnaded pavilion so that the two would complement rather than compete. The Kimbell Art Founda- tion, which oversees the museum, was established in 1936 by entrepreneur Kay Kimbell and his wife, Velma, together with Kay's sister and her husband, Dr. and Mrs. Coleman Carter. The focus then was on collecting British and French portraits of the 18th and 19th centuries. When Kay passed in 1964, 260 paintings and 86 other works of art (including Hals' Rommel-Pot Player and Gainsborough's Portrait of a Woman) had been amassed. The plan was that a museum be built so that Fort Worth residents and visitors to the city alike could appreciate these masterpieces. Fast forward to 1969 and the ground breaking for the Kahn building. The Kimbell opened to the public on October 4, 1972, and crowds came to behold the building and collection comprised of works of undeniable artistic quality and importance. A glittering gala was held, like the recent one to toast the 50th anniversary (see page 34), and welcomed many of the Kimbell family, as well as political dignitaries and artists from around the world. The institution's first traveling exhibition in 1973, "Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings from the U.S.S.R.," marked the first time many of the included works had traveled outside of the Soviet Union. It was a triumphant success and helped cement the museum's popularity by welcoming record crowds from a five-state regional audience. By Billy Fong Golden Jubilee The Art of the PHOTOS IWAN BAAN Louis I. Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum has influenced museum design for 50 years. 42

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