is realizing its ambition to become
one of the country's premier cultural destinations.
content with being the largest business and banking center in
the Southwest, the home to six professional sports teams, a
food lover's paradise having more restaurants per capita
than any other U.S. city (some of the nation's best as
well) and a mecca for luxury shopping (Neiman Marcus's
base) – Dallas has been working to add “major cultural
destination” to its list of bragging rights.
the Trinity River reflects the buildings that give Dallas
its striking skyline.
The Dallas Museum of Art.
throne hall in the Mansion of Heavenly Purity from the
DMA's Splendors of China exhibit.
kimono from the From Geisha to Diva: the Kimonos of
Ichimaru exhibition at the Crow Collection of Asian
Many years in the planning, the Dallas Arts District, a 17-block,
60-acre neighborhood in the northeast part of downtown Dallas,
is billed as “the largest urban arts district in the nation.”
The District is home to some of the most exciting art collections
in the country as well as one of the best acoustically designed
concert halls in the world. Its prominent cultural institutions,
which are designed by the who's who of the architecture
world, help carve out Dallas's distinctive downtown skyline.
Any visit to the District should begin at The Dallas Museum
of Art (DMA), which was the first institution to inaugurate
the District in 1984. Designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, the
museum is known for its stellar collections of pre-Columbian
art, European and American paintings, American and international
contemporary art and an impressive lineup of visiting shows.
Currently on view through May 29 is the spectacular Splendors
of China's Forbidden City, a landmark exhibition
of 400 artifacts from 18th-century imperial China that have
never been seen in the U.S. Many have never even left China.
This past February, the museum made front-page news with the
announcement of a donation of three major private collections
containing more than 800 works, solidifying its position as
one of the most important centers for contemporary art.
Next door to the DMA is the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection
of Asian Art, where an imposing 17th-century Chinese bronze
statue of a seated Confucius greets visitors at the entrance.
The museum displays more than 300 works of art from China, Japan,
India and Southeast Asia dating from 3500 B.C. to the early
20th century. While the collection encompasses the finest examples
of Buddhist sculpture, Japanese crystal spheres and screen paintings,
its highlights are the noted collection of Chinese jade ornaments
and a rare sandstone façade of an 18th-century Indian
residence. Also not to be missed is the lovely sculpture garden
at the adjacent Trammell Crow Center, with 20 French masterpiece
bronzes – including works by Rodin, Maillol and Bourdelle.
Across the street lies the District's newest addition
– the Nasher Sculpture Center, home to one of the world's
best private collections of modern and contemporary sculpture
(see interview with Raymond Nasher in The Collector
column). Current special exhibitions include: David Smith:
Drawing and Sculpting, 15 seminal sculptures and 70 drawings,
many of which have not been displayed previously; and, on loan
from the artist Jonathan Borofsky, the dramatic Walking
to the Sky, which soars 100 feet into the sky, towering
75 feet above the trees and building at the Center.
Two blocks east of the museums is the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony
Center, home to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Wind Symphony,
Turtle Creek Chorale and the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei, the 2,062-seat
Center set a new standard for acoustics when it opened in 1989,
and is one of the world's top symphony halls. Particularly
noteworthy and the visual focal point of the Center's
Eugene McDermott Concert Hall is the Herman W. and Amelia H.
Lay Family Concert Organ, one of the largest ever built for
a concert hall.
Not exactly resting on these laurels, The Arts District has
embarked on a new phase of development. The Dallas Center for
the Performing Arts, an ambitious $275-million project scheduled
to be completed in 2009, will provide state-of-the-art performance
spaces for opera, theater and dance. The new venues will include:
the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, to be designed by
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster; and the Dee
and Charles Wyly Theatre, to be designed by Pritzker winner
Rem Koolhaas. Upon completion, Dallas will have the distinction
of being the only city in the world with four buildings designed
by Pritzker Prize-winning architects located in one contiguous
Impressed yet? You will be when you see it for yourself. You
can experience a big dose of Texas-size Southern hospitality
during the weekend of June 10 - 12 as Dallas launches its 2nd
annual CityArts Festival. Celebrating the city's performing,
visual and culinary arts, the festival features special museum
events, outdoor concerts, multicultural performances, a visual
artist showcase and cooking demonstrations. See you there.
is justifiably famous for its fashionable, extravagant hotels,
distinctive Southwestern cuisine and superb shopping.
Mansion on Turtle Creek
2821 Turtle Creek Boulevard
$400 - $2,400 per night
A perennial on the list of the world's best hotels,
this legendary establishment in one of Dallas's most
fashionable residential neighborhoods is a paragon of elegance,
luxury and service.
400 Crescent Court
$375 - $3,000 per night
Conveniently situated in the heart of the Arts District
and resembling a French château, the hotel is famous
for its Spa at The Crescent – an opulent 22,000-square-foot
facility offering 77 unique treatments – which is
considered one of the best urban spas in the country. The
Crescent's already celebrated dining experience will
be enhanced in June with the opening of the Dallas branch
of the acclaimed Japanese restaurant Nobu.
2332 Leonard Street
$185 - $1,350 per night
Dallas's new hip hotel has attracted a celebrity clientele
that includes Jerry Seinfeld, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears
and Jon Bon Jovi. In addition to the original Helmut Newton
fashion photography adorning the hallways and a seductive
Mediterranean décor, the hotel features 13 extravagantly
designed Concept Suites with such diverse themes as Out
of Africa, West Indies, Zen and Bohemia.
4511 McKinney Ave.; 214.559.3111
Three art-filled dining rooms, a European-style theatre
kitchen and an elegant clientele set the scene for award-winning
chef Kent Rathbun's eclectic mix of Mediterranean,
Cajun/Creole, American, Pacific Rim and Southwestern cuisine.
Along with its signature dish – lobster shooters –
the restaurant is well known for its inventive, delicious
and very decadent desserts.
2332 Leonard Street; 214.468.8399
Mediterranean- and Asian-inspired menus designed by celebrity
chef Stephan Pyles are artfully presented in a luxurious
tented dining room.
on Turtle Creek
2821 Turtle Creek Boulevard; 214.559.2100
This restaurant, housed in the grand 1925 Italian Renaissance-style
Sheppard King Mansion – with its hand-carved fireplaces,
marble floors and inlaid wood ceilings – features
the remarkable Southwestern cuisine of Dallas's most
renowned chef, Dean Fearing, including his signature dishes,
Warm Lobster Taco with Yellow Tomato Salsa and Tortilla
13355 Noel Road; www.galleriadallas.com
Luxury purveyors such as Gianni Versace, Gucci and Louis
Vuitton are in this elegant mall, which is inspired by Milan's
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
47 Highland Park Shopping Village; www.hpvillage.com
Located in the exclusive Highland Park neighborhood, this
charming shopping area features high-end boutiques such
as Chanel, Hermès and Jimmy Choo – along with
beautiful, Mediterranean-style architecture.
1030 NorthPark Center; www.northparkcenter.com
Built by developer and art collector Raymond Nasher, NorthPark
Center boasts both world-class shopping – at Neiman
Marcus, Tiffany & Co. and Burberry, among other stores
– and a world-renowned collection of modern sculpture.
500 Crescent Court; www.stanleykorshak.com
Luxury apparel and accessories for men and women with an
emphasis on personal service.
Clockwise from top left: the Crescent Court Hotel; the living
room of the ZaZa Suite at Hotel ZaZa; the grand staircase at
the Mansion on Turtle Creek restaurant; the Bar area at Abacus
Meadows Museum with Santiago Calatrava's Wave
(2002) in the foreground.
Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez, Female
Figure (Sibyl with Tabula Rasa), circa 1648, oil
Hidden Gem of Spanish Art
Meadows Museum of Dallas is a hidden treasure that should
not be missed. Located on the beautiful campus of Southern
Methodist University, which is a ten-minute drive from the
Arts District, the museum houses one of the largest and most
comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain,
with works dating from the 10th to the 20th centuries. Highlights
include masterpieces by El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera,
Murillo, Goya, Miró and Picasso. The museum also has
an impressive sculpture collection, including Wave by Santiago
Calatrava, which greets visitors at the museum's entrance,
as well as works by Rodin, Maillol, Giacometti and Moore,
Under the direction of its innovative director Ted Pillsbury,
the Meadows Museum is expanding the scope of it exhibitions.
“Over the next eighteen months the museum will continue
to augment and refine its unique founding collection of Spanish
art while mounting major exhibits devoted to African-American
art of the Deep South, Spanish painting from Fortuny to Picasso,
Juan van der Hamen and the Royal Court, as well as the art
of Jerry Bywaters, O'Neil Ford's architecture
and the fashion of Balenciaga,” says Pillsbury.
Crafting Traditions: The Architecture of Mark Lemmon
The Art of the Book: A Centennial Tribute to Stanley Marcus,
From Drawing to Painting: Roger Winter's Subway Series
and Beyond – A Seventieth-Birthday Tribute
Through July 31
main performance hall inside the Meyerson Symphony Center.
& the Performing Arts
Museum of Art
Splendors of China's Forbidden City:
The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong
Though May 29
Gordon Parks, Half Past Autumn: Selections from the Collection
of the Corcoran Gallery of Art
June 6 – September 4
H. Meyerson Symphony Center
David Smith: Drawing and Sculpting
Through July 17
Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art
From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru
Through May 15
image 1: Courtesy of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.
image 2: Courtesy of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.
image 3: © Palace Museum, Beijing. image 4: Courtesy of
the Crow Collection of Asian Art. image 5,6,7,8 clockwise from
top left: Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Courtesy
of Hotel ZaZa, Courtesy of Abacus, Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels
& Resorts. image 9: Carolyn Brown. image 10: Courtesy of
Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Algur
H. Meadows Collection. image 11: Courtesy of the Dallas Convention
& Visitors Bureau.