KIMBELL ART MUSEUM
Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture
Exhibition: March 26 - June 25, 2017
On view in the Louis I. Kahn Building
The American architect Louis I. Kahn (1901--1974) is regarded as one of the
great master builders of the 20th century. With complex spatial compositions
and a choreographic mastery of light, Kahn created buildings of archaic beauty
and powerful universal symbolism. Among his most important works are the Salk
Institute in La Jolla, California (1959--65), the National Assembly Building in
Dhaka, Bangladesh (1962--83) and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas
(1966--72). The exhibition Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, organized by
the Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein, Germany), is the first major retrospective
of Kahn's work in two decades.
The exhibition encompasses an unprecedented and diverse range of architectural
models, original drawings, photographs and films. All of Kahn's important projects
are extensively documented----from his early urban planning concepts and
single-family houses to monumental late works such as the Roosevelt Memorial in
New York City (1973/74), posthumously completed in October 2012. The view of
Kahn's architectural oeuvre is augmented by a selection of watercolors, pastels
and charcoal drawings created during his travels, which document his skill as
an artist and illustrator. Highlights of the exhibition include a 12-foot-high
model of the spectacular City Tower designed for Philadelphia (1952--57), as
well as previously unpublished film footage shot by Nathanial Kahn, the son of
Louis I. Kahn and director of the film My Architect. Interviews with architects
such as Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor and Sou Fujimoto underscore the
current significance of Kahn's work, which is being rediscovered and made
accessible to a wide public audience with this exhibition.
This exhibition is organized by the Vitra Design Museum, Germany, in collaboration
with the Architectural Archives of The University of Pennsylvania and the
Netherlands Architecture Institute, part of the New Institute, Rotterdam. The
exhibition is globally sponsored by Swarovski. Additional support is provided
by The Beck Group.
Syria, 5th century,
c. A.D. 400, Mosaic,
22 1/4 x 21 1/8 in.
The identity of this image of a bearded man is unknown. His iconic, frontal
pose and serene expression perhaps indicate that he is meant to represent a
biblical figure, though not all church decoration at this time was overtly
Christian in iconography.
The Kimbell's permanent collection is small in size, comprising fewer than 350
works of art, and is distinguished by an extraordinary level of artistic quality
and importance. The idea of building a choice collection of representative
masterpieces was established by the Board of Directors of the Kimbell Art
Foundation in consultation with Museum's first director, Richard F. (Ric)
Brown, in a Policy Statement of June 1, 1966:
The dominating principle involved in the acquisition process is that the
stature of the Museum depends more upon the quality of the definitive objects
that it contains than on the historical completeness of its collections. A
prospective addition to the collections, therefore, is to be judged from the
standpoint of aesthetic quality and typicality, and whether it defines a master,
period, school, style, or area. The goal shall be definitive excellence, not
size of collection.
Leaving to older and larger institutions the role of collecting broadly and in
depth, the Kimbell has continued to pursue quality over quantity. Its holdings
range from the third millennium B.C. to the mid-20th century and include major
works by Duccio, Fra Angelico, Caravaggio, Poussin, Velázquez, Bernini,
Rembrandt, Goya, Monet, Cézanne, Picasso, Mondrian, and Matisse. The
collection comprises Asian and non-Western as well as European art, and extends
only to the mid-20th century in recognition that this is where the collection
of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth begins, and omits American art since
this is the focus of another neighboring institution, the Amon Carter Museum.
The Kimbell's select holdings of antiquities range from the Egyptian Old Kingdom
of the third millennium B.C. through ancient Assyria, Greece, and Rome, and to the
Early Christian Church in the fifth century.
The collection of European paintings and sculpture is remarkably rich in works
of the Italian Renaissance, although its fullest and most celebrated holdings
are in Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Flemish works of the 17th century.
The Asian collection comprises sculptures, paintings, bronzes, ceramics, and
works of decorative art from China, Korea, Japan, India, Nepal, Tibet, Cambodia, and Thailand.
Precolumbian art is represented by Maya works in ceramic, stone, shell, and
jade; Olmec, Zapotec, and Aztec sculpture; and pieces from the Conte and Wari cultures.
African and Oceanic Art
The African collection consists primarily of bronze, wood, and terracotta
sculpture from West and Central Africa, including examples from Nigeria, Angola,
and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Oceanic art is represented by a Maori figure.
About The Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum, owned and operated by the Kimbell Art Foundation, is
internationally renowned for both its collections and for its architecture.
The Kimbell's collections range in period from antiquity to the 20th century
and include European masterpieces by artists such as Fra Angelico, Michelangelo,
Caravaggio, Poussin, Velázquez, Monet, Picasso and Matisse; important
collections of Egyptian and classical antiquities; and Asian, Mesoamerican
and African art.
The Museum's building, designed by the American architect Louis I. Kahn, is
widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the
modern era. A second building, designed by world-renowned Italian architect
Renzo Piano, is scheduled to open November 27, 2013, and will provide space
for special exhibitions, allowing the Kahn building to showcase the permanent collection.
For additional information please contact:
Jessica Brandrup, Head of Marketing and Public Relations
Barbara Smith, Public Relations Coordinator
call: (817-332-8451) ext. 248 or
log on to http://www.kimbellart.org
Kimbell Art Museum hours
Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.;
Fridays, noon - 8 p.m.; Sundays, noon - 5 p.m.; closed Mondays.
For general information, call 817 - 332-8451. Web site: