Pros: The exhibits spans different time periods and places around the world.
Cons: Strange building layout, expensive parking.
My dad and my brother from Sweden are currently visiting us and I decided to take them to the Dallas Museum of Art last Friday. One of the reasons was that the Dallas Museum of Art is currently hosting the legendary Tutankhamun exhibit. The Dallas Museum of Art will host the Tutankhamun exhibit until May 17 of 2009, so if you live in Dallas or in Northern Texas and have not seen the Tutankhamun exhibit yet you should do that soon. Another reason for us to visit the Dallas Museum of Art is that it is also an interesting Art Museum. I should add that we've visited the Dallas Museum of Art several times before, but not with my dad and my brother. I think it is interesting to find out what overseas visitors think of the Dallas Museum of Art. The conclusion was that they both liked it and they were impressed by the Dallas Museum of Art.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
What makes the Dallas Museum of Art quite interesting (in my opinion) is the large range of different kinds of art. The exhibits range from ancient art to contemporary art, and include sculptures, paintings, furniture, decorative art, home utilities, as well as special exhibits. Examples of exhibits include African Art, Ancient American Art, Asian Art, Art from the Pacific Islands, Ancient Mediterranean Art, European Art, the Reves collection (1,400 pieces), Decorative Arts, contemporary art, a sculpture garden, and a number of temporary exhibits. Most of the featured artists and works were unknown to me but I am not an art connoisseur (however, I would recognize the Mona Lisa). I should add that the Reves collection features some artists that I recognized, for example, Eduard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Camille (his last name is a blocked word on epinions), and Claude Monet.
The contemporary arts gallery, the Atrium Café, and the Tutankhamun exhibit are on the first floor. On the first floor they also have the sculpture garden where my dad sat for about half an hour resting and enjoying the garden, the sculptures, and the sunshine while my brother and I continued visiting the exhibits. On the second floor they have European paintings and sculptures as well as the "Seventeen Seventeen" restaurant. On the third floor they have the Reves collection and the decorative arts section, as well as the arts of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. On the fourth floor they have the Arts of the Americas.
My brother and I thought that the Quadrant Galleries on the first floor were quite interesting and unusual. One of these galleries was a room which you entered through a kaleidoscope looking tunnel. Once you were inside the exhibit your colors vanished. Using special frequency limited lighting the room turned into a place where colors could not be seen. My blue shirt became dark grey and it became impossible to distinguish between blue, green and red. It was interesting to experience how a color blind person sees the world. It was not all that bad, just a lot less colorful.
The Dallas Museum of Art features some notable art and artists and the mix of different kinds of art make it an interesting art museum. I personally find it to be a good museum in comparison to other art museums that I've visited (excluding, for example, the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum). Friends of mine who are artist agree that the Dallas Museum of Art is a "prominent" Art Museum so that is not just my uneducated opinion. Another thing I like about the Dallas Museum of Art is that there is a sufficient amount of places to sit and rest. People with poor health and older people need places to sit and rest whether it is shopping malls, parks, or museums. Unfortunately too many art museums do not have enough comfortable seating for the elderly in their exhibits. For example, when I visited the Louvre there were hardly anywhere to sit and rest. Even though the Dallas Museum of Art is pretty decent in this regard I still would like to suggest that the Dallas Museum of Art add a few dozen comfortable sofas. Let tired people sit and enjoy the art in all exhibits while they are resting. One thing I do not like about the Dallas Museum of Art is the layout of the floors. The four floors are not sandwiched on top of each other and connected by a central set of stairs and elevators. Instead there is a little bit of floor two there, and a little bit of floor three here, and at the northern end there is some of floor four. There are stairs between floor four and three and elevators in a different location between floors one and two etc. I find the layout to be a little bit confusing, and it is a challenge to know what floor you are on and how to get to the other exhibits.
The Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant
The Atrium Café is like most other museum café's, however, the "Seventeen Seventeen" restaurant was a pleasant surprise (despite the corny name). The "Seventeen Seventeen" restaurant was more upscale then the Atrium Café but it was not too expensive. The décor was beautiful, the service excellent, and they served good food and wine. Many of the dishes were clearly inspired by the Stephan Pyles cuisine and some of them were Stephan Pyles signature dishes. If you know who Stephan Pyles is, you know that means classy, tasty, and artistically decorated dishes. My dad is the meat stew and boiled potato kind of guy. He prefers Swedish "husmanskost" and would not go near Chinese, Japanese, or most French food, and he does not like some American food either. However, we found a shrimp and bacon sandwich which he loved. My dish was Filet Mignon slices on top of a walnut and blue cheese salad, a glass of wine, and a shiner bock. For all that I paid around $20.00 (my wine was complementary).
The Tutankhamun exhibit was the highlight of our visit, however, as I mentioned it is only going to be hosted at the Dallas Museum of Art until May 17th. Tutankhamun was nine years old when he became Pharaoh and he was nineteen years old when he died. He died unexpectadly and was buried in a tomb that may have been prepared for someone who was not royalty. This was probably one of the reasons robbers did not find his tomb, which is why it still contained all the gold and other treasures when it was discovered in 1923. There has been speculation that he was murdered, however, a thorough CT scan and detailed investigations performed in 2005 showed that there were no signs of foul play.
The Tutankhamun exhibit featured a large amount of various artifacts that were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Artifacts included were, for example, the face mask of his great grand mother (Tjuva), a large golden sarcophagus for his great grand mother (Tjuva), small sarcophaguses containing internal organs like Tutankhamun's liver, a sarcophagus that contained his stillborn baby, as well as 130 pieces of art, jewelry, furniture, garments and clothing. His mummy and his face mask are still left in Egypt. Both I and my brother and my dad were quite astonished by what we saw at the exhibit, however, my dad got a little tired from all the walking. The Tutankhamun exhibit will continue to San Francisco next. If you live in Northern Texas I suggest you go see the Tutankhamun exhibit and see the Dallas Museum of Art at the same time.
The admission to the Dallas Museum of Art is $10.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors, $5.00 for students, and children under 12 go free. The hours of operation are:
Tuesday and Wednesday: 11:00AM to 5:00PM
Thursday: 11:00AM to 9:00PM
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 11:00AM to 5:00PM
Closed Mondays, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas
These hours of operation are sometimes extended. Last Friday (when we visited) the Museum was open until midnight.
You can park in the parking garage right in front of the front entrance (north entrance). This costs $15.00. There is also valet parking for $30.00 by the western entrance (close to the sculpture garden). I should add that there is also parking for just a few dollars on Ross Avenue. The museum is located in the Dallas Arts district on 1717 North Harwood. There are many other attractions in the Arts district, for example, the Nasher sculpture center, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Performing Arts Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, a few churches, and Stephan Pyles restaurant one the most exquisite and classy restaurants in the American South.
The Dallas Museum of Art is an interesting Art Museum because it is not specialized and it has a variety of art from various time periods in history and from around the world, as well as some interesting special exhibits. The Dallas Museum of Art is currently hosting the Tutankhamun exhibit which is a good reason to visit the Dallas Museum of Art within the next couple of months. My brother and my dad thought this was a fun thing to do even though they are not that interested in Art. Therefore I think the Dallas Museum of Art could be a good place to take foreign visitors. Like most Art Museums the Dallas Museum of Art might be boring to children.