The Amon Carter Museum of American Art reopens to the public on September 14 after a three-month closure that completes a year-long renovation project. The museum building and galleries feature a new layout that provides an improved experience for visitors while preserving the vision and legacy of founder Amon G. Carter Sr. and his daughter Ruth Carter Stevenson. The September 14 grand reopening celebration begins at 10 a.m. with daylong events during our annual Party on the Porch featuring live music, food trucks, and cash bars. Members will have exclusive access now through 13 during the museum’s Members-Only Preview Days.
Visitors will experience a new Carter when they see the results of the renovation project that began in October 2018. Galleries now feature state-of-the-art technology including hardwood flooring, LED lighting that evokes daylight while preserving the collection, and a modular wall system that allows ease and efficiency when bringing new exhibitions to the museum. The layout has changed to offer broader galleries and generous sightlines, resulting in a more continuous space for visitors to explore the Carter’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. The photography vaults have been expanded to allow for decades of future collection growth and to preserve these holdings with the latest advances in climate control. And finally, our main campus and front entrance features an integrated ramp system that increases accessibility to the front entrance and grounds.
“The enhancement project is the result of a desire to provide the best experience to our community to discover American Art,” stated Andrew J. Walker, Executive Director. “Over the past year, we have undertaken a project that addresses not only the spaces visible to the public, but the elements that help ensure the preservation of our prestigious collection for future generations to enjoy.”
“While the physical transformation of our galleries has created an elegant stage for our collection, equally important are changes to the way the collection has been interpreted and installed” said Brett Abbott, Director of Collections and Exhibitions. ‘The hang aims to be elegant, dynamic and thought provoking, and as a result our artwork is singing in ways it has never done before.”
Through an entirely new installation of our permanent collection, we’ve reconceived how our visitors interact with and draw inspiration from our superb holdings of American art. We have made a commitment to expanding the context of our paintings and sculptures collection by putting those works into conversation with examples from our deep collection of photographs and works on paper as well as juxtapositions with the work of living artists. These fresh connections will be regularly rotated, ensuring continued dynamism in our space and more of our rich holdings accessible to the public. A series of new permanent collection galleries offer fresh perspectives on American creativity with art organized around media and themes important to a particular place and time:
- American Roots – Step into America’s story. From first presidents to scenes of exploration and the American landscape, the way artists chose to represent the icons, ideals, and values of the early U.S. set the stage for the way we understand the past today. Drawn primarily from our nineteenth-century holdings, here you will find curatorial pairings that spark conversations about how the preoccupations of that era persist today.
- Opulence and the Everyday – Artistic production blossomed in the wealth and splendor of the end of the 19th century, but the era’s beauty and prosperity was accompanied by less glamorous tales, too. Dig deeper into the effects of industrialization and consumerism when you encounter works from our photography collection hanging alongside masterworks from our painting collection.
- America as Landscape – Early American artists found inspiration in the wild landscape. These artists were some of the first environmentalists and profiteers, capturing a vision of the U.S. that influences artists to this day. Here you will find Thomas Cole’s 1845 painting The Hunter’s Return hanging alongside a recent acquisition—Justine Kurland’s 1993 photograph Twelve Point Buck—whose imagery evokes the long history of art about American settlers’ struggles in and against nature.
- Legacy Galleries: Remington and Russell – Explore one of the greatest collections of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell while you consider how these images of cowboys and the Wild West have captured popular imagination for generations. Encounter these artists’ western sculptures in new ways through dynamic presentations, and learn more about how these bronzes were made through a regularly rotating presentation of archival papers from the Roman Bronze Works—the most important foundry in 19th-century America
- Modern America – The 20th century ushered in explosive growth in technological advances and city development. Responding to these dramatic transformations, American artists translated modern trends into artistic expressions, some embracing the creative possibilities of the modern city, others turning to an ideal of unspoiled nature.
- Make it New – Consider on how American artists searched for a distinctive voice at the dawn of the new century. Facing changes during the first half of the 20th century, Americans experimented with new forms and materials or sought ways of reinventing old ones.
- Works on Paper – The Carter’s collection includes nearly 10,000 works on paper. Experiments on paper can serve as catalysts for artists developing their style, or as canvases for the most intimate expressions of creativity. This gallery space will be dedicated to regularly changing exhibitions that draw from our collection of works on paper, beginning with Seeing in Detail: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas.
- Photography– The Carter pursues a robust program of exhibitions devoted to American photography and houses one of the world’s best collections of its kind that span the history of the medium from the 19th century to today. Given the delicate nature of the medium, photography installations rotate regularly throughout the galleries and in our newly renovated temporary exhibition spaces, meaning visitors can always find examples of the best American photographs on view at the Carter.
The updated galleries and thematic installations offer opportunities for temporary loans to bring new light to the permanent collection. Upon entering the museum, visitors will be greeted by Seven and Seven Flower (1998), a large-scale hanging sculpture on loan to the Carter for two years. Created by the internationally renowned sculptor James Surls, the steel and wood work is suspended in space, offering a complex portrait of land, self, and family, as the number of blossoms and petals symbolize his seven daughters. Featured in the Main Gallery, Seven and Seven Flower provides a stopping point for visitors to marvel at Surls’ otherworldly vision and consider the work in relation to the Carter’s masterworks of early 20th-century sculpture.
In addition to our permanent collection galleries, the museum has consolidated over 7,000 square feet of space for special exhibitions, giving the museum a new opportunities to host ambitious, large-scale traveling exhibitions like the nationally touring Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950. Additional exhibitions in the new space include Set in Motion: Camille Utterback and Art That Moves, an interactive digital installation presented in conversation with works by prominent female artists drawn from the Carter’s collection and private collections. Puente Nuevo by Justin Favela, a site-specific commission by the Las Vegas-based artist, will be featured on the first floor. Finally, Seeing in Detail: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas, featuring the collaborative watercolor series of Texas birds by these beloved Fort Worth artists, inaugurates a new regularly rotating gallery devoted to displaying works on paper from our permanent collection.
Carter members are the first to see these exciting changes with members-only preview days from now through September13. In addition to experiencing the galleries before the public, members will be able to view the live installation of Puente Nuevo by Justin Favela and to attend exclusive events such as family program member previews and a young professional happy hour with artist Favela.
On Saturday, September 14, the museum reopens to the public with an extended celebration of our fifth annual Party on the Porch from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Beginning at 10 a.m., visitors are invited to explore the museum’s new galleries and exhibitions and to participate in an array of new programming including art-making in the galleries, themed self-guided tours, and a Family Pop-up Space. Celebrations continue outdoors beginning at 6 p.m. with performances by The Band of Heathens and Abraham Alexander, local food trucks and more.
About the Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art explores the breadth and complexity of American creativity through an important and dynamic art collection. The Carter opened in 1961 to benefit its community by sharing the wonder of American art, fostering the growth of a vibrant cultural spirit, and stimulating everyone’s artistic imagination. Housed in a building designed by Philip Johnson (1906–2005), the Carter features one of the great collections of American art including masterworks of painting, sculpture, and works on paper by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, John Singer Sargent, Frederic Church, Thomas Eakins, Grant Wood, Alexander Calder, and Stuart Davis. The Carter is also home to a world-renowned photography collection that spans the history of the medium from the 19th century to today. It is also home to Amon G. Carter Sr.’s collection of nearly 400 works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, two of the most significant artists of the American West. Admission is free. Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 12–5 p.m. Closed Mondays and select holidays. cartermuseum.org @theamoncarter