Black and white photograph of a sitting man sculpture at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas. In the background, a new highrise building is being erected. This photo was taken on March 1, 2012.
Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a museum in Dallas, Texas, that houses a collection of modern and contemporary sculpture. It is located on a 2.4-acre (9,700 m2) site adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. The mission of the Nasher is to be an international focal point and catalyst for the study, installation, conservation, and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture.
The museum was a longtime dream of the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher (Ray was the original owner of NorthPark Center), who began collecting pre-Columbian sculpture on holidays to Mexico in the 1950s. In 1961, the couple turned to contemporary sculpture with a work by Jean Arp bought by Patsy for Raymond’s birthday. They together subsequently formed a comprehensive collection of masterpieces by Harry Bertoia, Constantin Brâncuși, Alexander Calder, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Paul Gauguin, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Ellsworth Kelly, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg,Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Richard Serra, and David Smith, among others, which continues to grow and evolve.
Ray was asked by many international museums to allow them to house his collection. In 1987-89 the Dallas Museum of Art built a sculpture garden largely in hopes of winning the works. The National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco also courted the collection by mounting exhibitions in 1987 and 1996, respectively. In 1997, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York devoted the entire museum to an exhibition of the Nasher collection, pieces of which had also traveled to exhibitions around the world. But Nasher decided to build and personally finance the $70 million center in Dallas, where he made his fortune. By placing the facility on what was formerly part of the old Caruth family farm of circa 1850, Ray Nasher began the realization of the Arts District in Dallas, which has since been enhanced by the construction of theWinspear Opera House and the Wyly Theater.