If you are planning to be in Dallas for a day trip or longer and you are looking for how best to use your time, let me suggest visiting the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center.  Both amazing institutions are part of the Dallas Arts District, one of the largest in the country.   The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is also one of the top ten largest museums in the US having one of the most comprehensive art collections that reflects the entire globe and surprisingly, admission is free all the time (pretty cool).

 If you happen to be traveling and have a layover at the Dallas airport for over 5 hours, jump on an Uber and head out to the museum for several hours of pleasure and enjoyment.  The museum is massive, with over 370,000 square feet of gallery spaces containing every form of art from ancient to contemporary, with plenty of rooms for educational programs engaging both children and adults.  The place was packed with families, couples of all ages, and plenty of youth of every race and ethnic group.   It has a lovely sculpture garden, a nice cafe to eat and is next to the Nasher Sculpture Center, which is home to over 300 modern and contemporary sculptures from renowned world artists. Admission fee is $10.00 unless you happen to be there on the first Saturday of the month.

  What I Liked about DMA

Generally, when I go to a museum for the first time, I review the floor plan and prioritize what I like with the goal of covering as much ground as I can before closing time or my back gives out. I always like to check out what new shows they may be promoting  or have a short-term window. The museum had at least ten current exhibitions encompassing almost every possible interest. There is something here for everyone to discover. Two exhibitions that I found to be quite interesting, yet opposite in every way, are noted below:

Slip Zone (not sure what the title means) focused on paintings and sculptures during the mid-20th century.   The show highlighted the crucial contributions of artists who pursued innovative ways in advancing abstract art from America, South America and East Asia countries, including influences by Black and women artists.   There were over 90 pieces from international countries following World War II that helped shape what we know today as contemporary abstract art.

Spirit Lodge: Mississippian Art from Spiro is a truly wonderful tribute to art and culture of the Mississippian peoples a 1000 years ago.  The Spiro Native Americans were a unique thriving society equal to that of the Aztec, Maya, and Inca, yet nearly forgotten in our history books (one of the reasons I love museums is that they pick up where our school system has failed).  The exhibition contained close to 200 pieces of archaeological works from the Mississippian peoples and their descendants from various collections across the country.   First time an exhibition of the Spiro people has ever been shown.  Sadly, there are never enough opportunities to learn about Native American culture and history. This exhibition was quite impressive and especially important to Native American indigenous communities to learn about their ancestry.  I love it!  If you like to learn more about the Spiro people, click here for a video.

If you have a longer stay, there are other museums and performing art centers in the district, including places to eat. My photos are mostly of these two exhibitions and a few from the Nasher’s Sculpture Center.

Don’t forget to click the center of the photos for a full view.

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