PRINT September 2002


the new Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

To us snotty east coast aesthetes, the designation “Texas’s oldest art museum” might have a ring equivalent to “Montana’s premiere mime troupe.” But hold on; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (also known by the unfortunate acronym MAMFW, or “mam-fwuh”) was founded as the Fort Worth Public Library and Art Gallery way back in 1892, decades before many larger cities got their own robber-baron palaces turned public showplaces. A mere dozen years later, the institution made its first purchase for the permanent collection: Approaching Storm, 1875, by George Inness. Not bad. By 1954, the museum (by then called the Fort Worth Art Center) had relocated to a Herbert Bayer–designed building in the city’s official Cultural District. Again not bad, especially for a city doubly cursed with the epithet “Cowtown” and the lingering, not so subliminal oppression wreaked by the glamorous televised existence

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