The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, is known world-wide for both its amazing collection of art and its beautiful architecture.
Opening its doors in 1972, the The Kimbell Art Museum is the public continuation of an appreciation of art initially begun privately by Kay and Velma Kimbell in 1935. They were at an exhibition at the Carnegie Library when they saw and decided to purchase a painting by British artist William Beechey entitled “The Artist’s Children.”
Kimbell was a self-made man, having worked his way up from office boy at a grain-milling company to owner of more than 70 corporations at his death. By the time he bought that first painting in 1935, he was already a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Shortly after purchasing this first painting, Kay and Velma Kimbell, along with Kay’s sister and brother-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Coleman Carter, formed the Kimbell Art Foundation, with an aim to promote the arts with a collection focusing on quality, not quantity. Their thought being that a single, definitive piece is a better educational tool than a group of lesser examples.
This focus has paid off with a collection that, while small, contains some of the finest and most significant examples of a particular style, period, or artist. The collection is comprised of works from around the globe, not just Western works, ranges in period from the third millennium B.C. to the mid-20th century, and contains important pieces by Goya, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, Fra Angelico, Velazquez, Bernini, Rembrandt, Mondrian and Matisse. The first known painting of Michelangelo can be found here.
Then there is the building, itself, which is considered one of the most outstanding architectural achievements of the 20th century.
Designed by famed American architect Louis I. Kahn, the Kimbell Art Museum’s use of natural light, space, and materials further accentuates a visit to the collection it houses. Skylights admit natural light to bounce off metal reflectors and softly illuminate the spaces below. Fine craftsmanship and beautiful landscaping complete the contemplative and serene effect.
Visiting the Kimbell Art Museum
3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76107
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