The Dallas Museum of Art, established in 1903, got its start as the Dallas Art Association. Artwork was first displayed at the public library, but within six years, the association had its first permanent home in Fair Park. In 1933, the name had changed to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, and, in 1984, when the museum moved into its current building in the Arts District, it took on a new name—the Dallas Museum of Art. With an encyclopedic collection of 24,000 objects covering 7,000 years of history, the DMA is the only general art museum in North Texas.
Designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, the museum is a 370,000-square-foot facility that holds an extensive collection of art from the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia, and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture, decorative arts and design; and contemporary art. Since it opened, the building has had a few additions and expansions, including the Nancy and Jake L. Hamon Building, which added 140,000 square feet in 1993. In 1984, Wendy Reves authorized a gift in honor of her late husband, Emery Reves: an impressive collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, as well as decorative art objects she and her late husband had accumulated. The collection includes Sheaves of Wheat by Van Gogh, plus works by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
The museum typically has several special exhibitions on display at any given time, like 2008’s wildly popular Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, an exclusive tour that presented artifacts from King Tut’s reign and brought record numbers to the museum, or the more recent Jean Paul Gaultier restrospective, a huge exhibit of the French designer’s fashions that garnered attention as one of only two United States stops on its tour. Hungry visitors can stop by the Atrium Cafe, which serves casual fare and brunch on Sundays. On average, the DMA attracts more than 600,000 visitors annually and hosts more than 3,500 educational and public programs each year, including a slew of concerts, classes, lectures, and films.