The art of Texas

What are Michelangelo’s first painting and Picasso’s first sculpture doing in Texas? In recent years, the cowboy state has roped in some extraordinary artworks, now proudly exhibited in its world-class venues.

First published on Read the full article at: Vacations & Travel Magazine – the talk of texas.
Photo (above) © Louise Goldsbury

In 2009, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, a city most famous for its rodeo and honky-tonk, acquired Michelangelo’s The Torment of Saint Anthony, painted when he was 12 years old. Depicting winged demons fighting the saint in the sky, this well-preserved treasure is one of only four known easel paintings believed to come from Michelangelo’s hand (and two of those were unfinished). 

When I visited the Kimbell last year, nobody else seemed to notice this rare gem hanging alone on a wall – perhaps because the rest of the gallery was so distractingly impressive.

The Kimbell’s permanent collection comprises fewer than 350 artworks but each is distinguished by its high level of importance. Among others, there are masterpieces by Monet, Matisse, Mondrian, Rembrandt and Cézanne. 

Directly opposite, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth picks up where the Kimbell ends: at the mid-20th century. The second-largest modern art museum in the US, after New York’s MoMA, it houses around 2,600 works including pieces by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso. The bold building (pictured above, reflected in a pond) and the Café Modern, are added highlights of an afternoon spent perusing the collection.

Picasso’s first concrete sculpture is located about 40 minutes’ drive away in Dallas, at the Nasher. Standing around three metres tall, Head of a Woman, for all its star power, is probably the least attractive sight in the open-air garden.

Read the full article at: Vacations & Travel Magazine – the talk of texas.


Qantas offers non-stop flights from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth.
• Qantas. 131-313;

The Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa in Dallas is steps away from the city’s arts district and was recently restored to its original Art Deco grandeur through a US$36 (AU$33.5) million renovation. 1-214/871-7111;

arts venues
• Art on 5th Gallery.
• AT&T Performing Arts Center.
• Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.
• The Trammel & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art.
• Dallas Museum of Art.
• Kimbell Art Museum of Fort Worth.
• Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum.
• Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
• Nasher Sculpture Center.
• National Cowgirl Museum.
• The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
• Public ArtWalk Dallas.

further information
For additional tips on making the most of your time in Texas, see, or


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