A friend of mine who is a museum director in France once came to visit me in Texas. Before she left, all of her friends, even those who were highly educated themselves, said, "Why go to Texas? There is nothing there but cowboys and desert!" (She returned to France with a far different opinion of Texas.) Of course, Fort Worth, Texas, may seem like an unlikely destination, but in fact the city of Fort Worth has numerous cultural opportunities, so if you are visiting Dallas-Forth Worth, be sure to stop in to see all the museums that Fort Worth has worked so hard to build!

The Kimbell -- if you have time to visit only one art museum, the Kimbell should be your first choice. A small collection (the Kimbell museum owns fewer than 350 works) with wonderful architecture by Louis I. Kahn at the peak of his career, and widely recognized as one of the great classical modern buildings, this jewel of a building is set in the heart of the Fort Worth museum district. In addition to the permanent collection housed at the museum, the Kimbell is famous for its special exhibits, ranging from terra-cotta statues from China to Islamic art to European Renaissance prayer books. A new addition by Renzo Piano, who worked closely with Kahn, has opened in a separate building, adding 85,000 square feet to the facility's exhibition space. If you live or are planning an extended stay in the Fort Worth area, you can get a museum membership that also gives you advantages at other area museums. Admission to the permanent collection, parcel check, and parking are all free (admission is charged for special exhibits, but the admission fee is always half-price on Tuesdays). There are regular classes, symposia, lecturers, and family activities scheduled at the museum; call for information. There is a buffet restaurant open for lunch which is very reasonably priced. 817-332-8451.

Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 
Fridays, noon–8 p.m.
Sundays, noon–5 p.m.

Kimbell Art Museum Get Directions
3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA

The Amon G. Carter Museum of American Art -- A collection of American art, including numerous works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, originally collected by Amon G. Carter, and these works form the core collection of the museum (for more works by these artists, see the Sid Richardson Museum, below). The Carter Museum's collection also includes many rare and illustrated books, photographs (nearly four thousand square feet of the museum is devoted to photographic art), sculpture, drawings, prints, and watercolours. The Amon G. Carter Museum of American Art's building was designed by the modernist architect Philip Johnson and opened to the public in 1961. Since then, the building has been completely redesigned by the same architect. Admission to the museum is always free, and the Amon G. Carter Museum of American Art is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; on Thursdays 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; and on Sundays noon - 5 p.m. Parking is free, and there are numerous activities for families and children. The museum is located at 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, within walking distance of the Kimbell Museum. You can learn more by calling 817-738-1933.

Amon G. Carter Museum of American Art Get Directions
3501 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth -- located at 3200 Darnell Street (next door to the Kimbell), the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth offers a stunning collection of modern art, including works by Albers, Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and many other artists, including a number of works in new media. In fact, the permanent collection comprises well over two thousand works.

The Museum is open on Tuesdays (Feb-Apr, Sep-Nov from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10 a.m. - 5 p.m (First Friday of the month, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.); and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is $10 adults; $4 children and seniors, and free for children under 12.

Starting in September, 2010, the Café Modern reopened, providing brunch or lunch and a coffee bar for those who need a quick break. The restaurant serves lunch on Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and the coffee bar serves Starbucks coffee, snacks, sandwiches, beer, wine, and dessert on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.; on Tuesdays (Feb–Apr, Sep–Nov) from 5 until 7 p.m.; and on Sundays from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Café Modern was named by the now-defunct Gourmet magazine as one of America's best restaurants!

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Get Directions
3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA

The Sid Richardson Museum -- Fifty thousand people tour this facility each year. The Sid Richardson Museum highlights the work of Western artists Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, and is housed in a reproduction of an 1895 building, in Sundance Square, which is made up of restored or reproduced buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s. The museum's collection is small (about a hundred works), and even then not all works are on display at all times. However, if you are a fan of Western art, this collection is not to be missed! Admission and tours are completely free! The Sid Richardson museum is open on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (one of the few museums open on Mondays); on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and on Sundays from 12 noon to 5 p.m. The museum is located at 309 Main Street in downtown Fort Worth, and validated parking is available. 

Get Directions
Sid Richardson Museum, 309 Main Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA

Don't forget all the other great attractions in Fort Worth, too! In addition to all the cultural institutions listed above, Fort Worth has a comprehensive zoo, beautiful botanical gardens (a wonderful way for children to tire themselves out when they have too much energy for indoors), the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Bass Performance Hall, the daily cattle drive, the Stockyards, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (one of the only two places in the country where paper currency is made), the Texas Civil War Museum, the Water Gardens, and many, many other worthwhile cultural, historical, and educational places to visit. While you are there, don't forget to check out Fort Worth's famous trees!

Dallas Fort Worth and the Metroplex: #1 Guide to Addison, Arlington, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Irving, Mesquite, North Richland Hills, Plano, Richardson
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At 411 pages, it's doubtful you will get to everything here. But it is sure fun to try!