Since its completion in 1972, the original building of the Kimbell Art Museum has been hailed as one of the supreme architectural achievements of the modern era. This spring, the Kimbell will host an exhibition celebrating the work of its architect, Louis I. Kahn. The exhibition will feature models, drawings, photographs, films, and ephemera such as Kahn’s datebook, which will illustrate the life and achievements of the brilliant architect whose reputation gets stronger with each passing year. Organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, the exhibition has traveled to London, Rotterdam, San Diego, and other cities, but the Fort Worth showing will be especially poignant since it will appear in the galleries of the architect’s own masterpiece.
The Kahn exhibition in Fort Worth will also be special because of a unique, complementary exhibition of rarely seen pastels that Kahn made in Italy, Greece, and Egypt in 1950-51. The Kimbell is the sole venue for this exhibition, which was drawn entirely from the collections of Kahn’s children. Seeing the pastels hanging in Louis Kahn’s galleries will be magical.
You will not want to miss the Louis Kahn symposium on March 25. The morning program will feature critic and Kahn biographer Wendy Lesser and William Whitaker, who oversees the Louis Kahn archive at the University of Pennsylvania. The afternoon session will feature Jules Prown, the first director of the Yale Center for British Art, who worked closely with Louis Kahn on its design, and a panel discussion with Kahn’s three children: filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn, painter Alexandra Tyng, and musician Sue Ann Kahn. The symposium and Louis Kahn exhibitions will all be free.
Washington, DC’s Phillips Collection has long been one of my favorite museums, and I am thrilled that highlights from its outstanding holdings in European art will be visiting the Kimbell in late spring and summer. Founded in his home by collector Duncan Phillips as the first museum of modern art in America, the museum displays in its intimate galleries the breadth of modern art while exploring some artists, such as Bonnard and Braque, in depth. Phillips’s personal taste and his love of color are present in every work.
You, our members, are the lifeblood of the Kimbell, and I am pleased that our membership now numbers twenty thousand households. Thank you so much for your patronage. I hope to see you often at the Kimbell in the coming months.
Eric M. Lee