Posts Tagged 'Fair Park'



Summer in the City

Now that Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer have come and gone, I thought it would be fun to look back at some past summers spent in the courtyard of the Museum’s former Fair Park home.

Impromptu music in the courtyard draws visitors outside, circa 1963

Summer class, 1970s

Ladies meeting over boxed lunches, 1970s
(Photography by David Lawrence Photo)

Director Harry S. Parker III (far right) enjoying the courtyard, 1970s
(Photography: From the Collection of the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library)

Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

At the Texas State Fair

From 1936 to 1983 the Dallas Museum of Art was located in Fair Park and usually saw its highest attendance during the State Fair.

Here, with museum guard Teddy Farrell, are two of the more than 90,000 people who visited the Museum during  the 1953 Texas State Fair.

Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

A Gem of a Diamond Anniversary

With the 75th anniversary of the Texas Centennial Exposition around the corner, we decided to dive into our archives and share some of our finds with you. 

Texas Centennial Exposition ticket

Seventy-five years ago, in the summer of 1936, people throughout Texas and the United States traveled to Dallas for the Texas Centennial Exposition. The Exposition, held at Fair Park, was both a world’s fair and a gateway to attractions and events throughout the state celebrating the 100th anniversary of Texas’s independence from Mexico.

The following four photographs are from a set of twenty images  published by John Sirigo, official photographer for the Texas Centennial Exposition, as “Genuine Official Photographs, No. 1.”

Texas Centennial Exposition, Esplanade and Exhibit Buildings

Texas Centennial Exposition, Midway

Texas Centennial Exposition, State Building

Texas Centennial Exposition, Ford Building

Advertised as An Empire on Parade, attractions included the Esplanade of State; exhibit halls and sponsored pavilions focusing on major industries in Texas; The Cavalcade of Texas, a living saga of over four hundred years of Texas history; Sinclair’s Dinosaurs, a prehistoric “zoo” of dinosaur reproductions; The Old West, with replicas of historic buildings; the Midway; and the Civic Center, made up of six units of cultural and educational attractions.

Souvenir Guide

Postcard view of museum building (E.C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee, Wis.)

The Hall of Fine Arts, the largest building in the Civic Center, was the permanent home of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, now the Dallas Museum of Art, for nearly fifty years. For the Exposition, the Museum held an enormous exhibition of paintings, sculpture, and graphic arts, including European art from before 1500 to contemporary Texas painting and everything in between. The exhibition, which filled the whole building, included almost six hundred works of art loaned by ninety-six major museums, galleries, private collectors, and artists.

Texas Centennial Exposition, Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture & Graphic Arts, catalog cover

The French Room at the Texas Centennial Exhibition included works by Manet, Renoir, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec.

Grant Wood's "Amercian Gothic" was in the Contemporary American Paintings section of the Texas Centennial Exhibition.

The Texas Centennial Exposition ran from June 6 to November 29, 1936, and over six million people attended. Exhibit halls constructed for the Exposition still form the core buildings at Fair Park.

Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Sculpture and the State Fair

Today is the day we’ve been waiting for–it’s opening day for Dallas’s annual State Fair of Texas! Every year millions of people visit Fair Park, the home of the State Fair, for culinary adventures, rides, expositions, and other events. But what many visitors don’t know is that the fairgrounds also boast a number of sculptures and adorned structures created by 20th-century Texas artists who are represented in the DMA’s collections.

Several of the artists featured in our current show Texas Sculpture were commissioned to create sculpture for the fairgrounds in the early 20th century. In 1936 the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in Fair Park (a predecessor of the DMA) prepared a landmark exhibition of works by nationally and internationally recognized sculptors for the Texas centennial celebration. That exhibition, as well as the one currently on view at the DMA, included works by Michael G. Owen, Allie V. Tennant, Dorothy Austin, and Evaline Sellors, among others.

If you’re a fan of the State Fair, many of you have seen this:

It’s by Allie V. Tennant (1898-1971), who was commissioned by the Centennial Committee to create the gold-leaf on bronze Tejas Warrior (1936) at the Hall of State in Fair Park. On view in our Texas Sculpture exhibition are two other works by Tennant, Woman’s Head and Negro Head. In 1940 she created the reliefs Cattle, Oil, and Wheat for the Aquarium at Fair Park under the Federal Works Agency.

Allie V. Tennant, "Woman's Head," n.d., red sandstone, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert W. Webb

Dorothy Austin, "Noggin," c. 1933, white pine, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of an anonymous friend

Dorothy Austin, "Noggin," c. 1933, white pine, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of an anonymous friend

Who says fried Frito pie and art don’t go together?


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