Gateway to the West: Fort Worth

by Victoria McClendon-Leggett

With Spring Break right around the corner, and the ASPA Conference upon us, we grabbed a quick coffee, piled into the van and departed Huntsville at 12:45–just after our classes ended.  It was a bit tight as we first settled into our seats, but we passed the time chatting and eating a few snacks on the way to Fort Worth, the gateway to the west.  As it turned out, this was not only true geographically, but artistically as well.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art

We arrived at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art at around 3:30pm. Normally, this would make for a limited visit, but on Thursdays, the Museum stays open late, so we were prepared to leisurely stroll through the galleries.

We were greeted by Gabriel Dawe’s Plexus no. 34, which is a large art installation with more than eighty miles of rainbow-colored thread.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Gabriel Dawe

Off to a great start, we meandered through the halls of the museum, observing many different art media, including sculpture, video,and paintings. We saw sweeping landscapes painted by Thomas Cole…

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Thomas Cole

…a colorful mobile by Alexander Calder (with Louise Nevelson on the left)…

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Calder, Nevelson

…Thomas Hart Benton’s Regionalist art…

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Regionalism

…works by Winslow Homer…

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Winslow Homer

…and Childe Hassam…

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Childe Hassam

…and a pair of the vibrant flower paintings that Georgia O’Keeffe is so famous for.  But those were just some of the normal artists that we see and will continue to see on our travels. There were several interesting things like intricately shaped foam pieces, Lebanese-American photographer Rania Matar’s photographs about female identity, and the interesting sculptures by Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach.

Of course, the Museum is most known for and began its permanent collection with Western art.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Frederic Remington

And these exhibits taught us the process for sculpting through the “lost-wax process,” and introduced us to Remington (and Russell’s) sculptures…

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Frederic Remington

…and Russell’s (and Remington’s) paintings.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Charles Russell

Eating in The Great Outdoors

Ravenous when we left the museum, we looked around for a place to eat and decided on a sub shop called The Great Outdoors only a couple of blocks away. Orders among the group ranged from very “fancy” and “new” salads, meatball subs, roast beef sandwiches, chicken sandwiches to corn poblano soup. Everything was delicious, and once again we loaded back up into the van to continue our journey to the hotel. It was going to be a short night, so we needed to get as much rest as possible for the early morning tomorrow to go hiking at Palo Duro Canyon.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth