The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is back. The museum reopens on September 14 after a three-month closure, which capped off a year-long renovation project — one that brings a new layout and an improved experience for visitors, while preserving the vision and legacy of founder Amon G. Carter Sr. and his daughter Ruth Carter Stevenson.
New features at the galleries include:
- hardwood flooring
- LED lighting that evokes daylight while preserving the collection
- a modular wall system that moves around for new exhibitions
- broader galleries and generous sightlines
- a more continuous experience fusing the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions
- bigger photography vaults with the latest advances in climate control, to accommodate a growing collection
- an integrated ramp system that increases accessibility to the front entrance and grounds
Executive director Andrew J. Walker says in a statement that the enhancement project "is the result of a desire to provide the best experience to our community to discover American Art." The release says that they're expanding the context of their collection by juxtaposing pieces from their collection with the work of living artists, which they'll regularly rotate.
A series of new permanent collection galleries have been organized around media and themes important to a particular place and time:
American Roots. America’s story, from first presidents to scenes of exploration and the American landscape, drawn primarily from 19th-century holdings.
Opulence and the Everyday. Photography and paintings underscore the contrast between the wealth and splendor of the late 19th century versus the effects of industrialization and consumerism.
America as Landscape. Early American artists who found inspiration in the wild landscape include everything from Thomas Cole’s 1845 painting The Hunter's Return to a recent acquisition: Justine Kurland's 1993 photograph Twelve Point Buck.
Legacy Galleries: Remington and Russell. One of the greatest collections of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell whose images of cowboys and the Wild West have captured popular imagination for generations.
Modern America. Artists translate the 20th century's explosive growth in technological advances and city development.
Make it New. American artists experiment with new forms and materials or seek ways of reinventing old ones.
Works on Paper. This gallery space will be dedicated to regularly changing exhibitions that draw from the Carter's collection of nearly 10,000 works on paper, beginning with Seeing in Detail: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas.
Photography. The Carter houses one of the world's best collections of American photography, from the 19th century to today.
Upon entering the museum, visitors will be greeted by Seven and Seven Flower (1998), a large-scale hanging sculpture on loan to the Carter for two years. Created by internationally renowned sculptor James Surls, the steel and wood work is suspended in space, offering a complex portrait of land, self, and family, as the number of blossoms and petals symbolize his seven daughters.
In addition to its permanent collection galleries, the museum has consolidated more than 7,000 square feet of space for special exhibitions, giving the museum new opportunities to host large-scale traveling exhibitions like the nationally touring Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950.
Additional exhibitions in the new space include Set in Motion: Camille Utterback and Art That Moves, an interactive digital installation presented in conversation with works by prominent female artists drawn from the Carter's collection and private collections.
Puente Nuevo by Justin Favela, a site-specific commission by the Las Vegas-based artist, will be featured on the first floor.
Carter members are the first to see these changes with members-only preview days from now through September 13.
On Saturday, September 14, the museum will host an extended celebration of its fifth annual "Party on the Porch" from 10 am to 10 pm. Visitors are invited to explore the new galleries and exhibitions and participate in new programming, including art-making in the galleries, themed self-guided tours, and a family pop-up space. Celebrations continue outdoors beginning at 6 pm with performances by The Band of Heathens and Abraham Alexander, local food trucks, and more.