Amon Carter Museum

Fort Worth, TX



Amon Carter Museum Expanding Its Space, "Coming Attractions" Last Exhibition before Closing


The Amon Carter Museum will close to the public on Sunday, August 1, 1999, to start a building expansion program that will more than triple the size of the galleries to display the Museum's collection of American art. The Museum's collection has grown from 400 works of art to more than 300,000 since it opened in1961.

Rick Stewart, director of the Museum, said construction will begin in September 1999, and the expanded Museum will reopen to the public in the fall of 2001. Project costs are estimated to be $36 million. The Museum's board of trustees is developing a capital campaign to fund the expansion program.

Stewart said that the Museum will open a storefront gallery in downtown Fort Worth in September 1999 in order to maintain a community presence. The Museum's administrative offices, library and archives, and educational services will remain in operation at an interim facility. Locations of the downtown gallery and the interim administrative facility will be announced at a later date.

"Because of the comprehensive nature of the construction, the Museum will have to relocate all operations to other sites," Stewart said. "During construction, the public will also be able to visit our Web site ( to access information about our collection, educational programs, Teacher Resource Center, library and archives, publications, Museum Store, and other services."

Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Architects, New York, in collaboration with Carter & Burgess, Inc., Fort Worth, designed the new Museum so that it will complement the original shellstone building, which opened in 1961. The timeless beauty of the original building, which Mr. Johnson designed, will remain intact.

To maximize the use of the land on which it stands, the entire structure to the rear of the1961 building will be removed and replaced with a larger, multilevel structure in a rich brown granite. The centerpiece of the expansion design is a two-story atrium-topped by a low, sweeping dome-that will serve as the transition from the street-level galleries and interpretive spaces to the upper-level galleries.

Ruth Carter Stevenson, president of the Amon Carter Museum's board of trustees, said, "My brother (the late Amon G. Carter, Jr.) and I built the Amon Carter Museum to memorialize our father and to house important examples of American art. Now, our collections far exceed present spaces. Philip Johnson, together with his partner Alan Ritchie, has designed a remarkable expansion of the original building, which will not only be an ideal setting to display art but also one that will become one of Fort Worth's most memorable public spaces."

Stewart said, "The Museum has grown from one man's vision into a vital national institution. Successful completion of the Museum's expansion program will enable it to continue to realize that vision and fulfill its mission to collect, preserve, and interpret the finest examples of American art."

The expanded Museum will encompass over 107,000 square feet, presenting a solid solution to the Museum's critical space requirements. The galleries will expand from approximately 9,000 feet to over 27,000 square feet. The Johnson/Ritchie design also provides for a 170-seat auditorium, a paper conservation laboratory, improved and expanded library and research facilities, a larger retail space, and an additional public entrance on Lancaster Avenue.


Special Exhibition Prior to Closing

For its last exhibition before closing, the Museum is presenting Coming Attractions through August 1, 1999. As the title implies, the spring/summer exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum presents an exciting preview of the galleries in the proposed building expansion. Models of the expansion and atrium-along with architectural renderings, computer-aided design stills, and proposed site elevations-are currently on display in the main gallery.

Coming Attractions features the primary components of the Carter's outstanding collection of American art--paintings, sculpture, photographs, and works on paper. This exhibition reveals the promise that increased gallery space will offer for showing the depth of the Carter collection. Composed of approximately 135 works by 100 artists, this selection includes almost a dozen each of oil paintings, works of sculpture, and drawings. In addition, there are more than 30 watercolors, 20 prints, and 50 photographs in the exhibition.

Coming Attractions displays exceptional pieces that are rarely seen, including pastels and watercolors, twentieth-century prints, works from historical collections, and a captivating section spotlighting art of the American West.

Visitors accustomed to seeing Masterworks of the Photography Collection in the west gallery will find many of their favorite photographs included in this impressive exhibition.

Images from top to bottom: Francis A. Silva, An August Morning, 1876, gouache on paper, 13 1/8 x 20 inches, 1989.18, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth Texas; Friedrich Richard Petre, Plains Indian Family on Horse - and Muleback, c. 1852-57, graphite watercolor, pen and ink on paper, 7 1/4 x 6 7/8 inches, 1988.34, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth Texas; Karl Strauss, Bebe Daniels (the Siren - Fantasy Sequence from the film Male and Female, gelatin silver print, 1919, 9 1/8 x 7 3/8 inches, P1983.23.169, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth Texas, Karl Strauss Collection; Henry Roderick Newman, Kaaterskill Falls, 1869, watercoloe and gouache on paper,10 3/8 x 10 inches, 1998.26, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth Texas, purchased with funds provided by the Council of the Amon Carter Museum

Read more about the Amon Carter Museum in the Resource Library

For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 10/18/10

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