Carter Museum Timeline
Amon G. Carter Sr. (1879–1955) purchases his first painting: His First Lesson (1903) by artist Frederic Remington, along with several watercolors by Montana artist Charles M. Russell. Over the next 20 years, Carter goes on to amass a significant collection of western art that will eventually become the foundation of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
During the Texas Centennial celebration, the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum and Casa Mañana, which features a geodesic dome by architect Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983), debut on Lancaster Avenue, the south side of what becomes the Fort Worth Cultural District. Working with city officials, Carter designates a hillside at the corner of Lancaster Avenue and Camp Bowie Boulevard for the museum that he is planning.
Carter, with his former wife Nenetta Burton Carter, establishes the Amon G. Carter Foundation (AGCF) on June 23. A nonprofit corporation, the AGCF is established to further charitable, religious, and educational undertakings. Carter purchases Frederic Remington’s A Dash for the Timber (1889), perhaps the artist’s most recognized work.
Carter purchases an almost complete collection of Charles M. Russell bronze sculptures and models from friend and fellow collector C.R. Smith, CEO of American Airlines.
Carter purchases the Mint Bar Collection of Charles M. Russell paintings, sculptures, drawings, illustrated letters, and memorabilia. (The Mint Bar was a Great Falls, Montana, saloon. The proprietor, Sid Willis, was a friend of Russell and collected his work.)
Amon G. Carter Sr. dies in his home. His will, which provides for the establishment of a public museum devoted to American art, says in part:
“I desire and direct that this museum be operated as a nonprofit artistic enterprise for the benefit of the public and to aid in the promotion of cultural spirit in the city of Fort Worth and vicinity, to stimulate the artistic imagination among young people residing there.”
Philip Johnson (1906–2005) is engaged by the Amon G. Carter Foundation to design the new museum building. He writes a foundation board member on December 1: “I am aiming for a timeless classicism.”
Land for the new museum is deeded to the Foundation by the City of Fort Worth; construction begins with primary materials consisting of Cordova shellstone from a quarry near Austin, pink and gray granite from Maine, Burmese teak, and extruded bronze.
The Amon Carter Museum opens on January 21; Amon G. Carter Jr. (1919–82), master of opening ceremonies, describes the Museum as “one of my dad’s fondest dreams” and credits his sister, Ruth Carter Stevenson (1923–2013), as one of the principals “in getting this museum open.” Raymond T. Entenman, director of the Fort Worth Art Center, is named temporary director.
“With the opening of this museum, Fort Worth will have inherited a cultural legacy of national magnitude.”
Washington Observer (February)
Stevenson is elected president of the Museum’s board of trustees, which also includes Philip Johnson; René D’Harnoncourt, director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; John de Menil, Houston collector and oil executive; and Richard F. Brown, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In June, the Museum acquires five photographs of Charles M. Russell from photographer Dorothea Lange; they are the first photographs to enter the collection.
Mitchell A. Wilder (1913–79), former director of Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and director of the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, is named the Museum’s first director. He remained director until his death in 1979.
Wilder establishes a program of exhibitions, publications, and public programs based on the concept of “westering America.” Wilder says that the phrase, borrowed from historian Bernard A. DeVoto, refers to the great 19th-century movement of people westward across the continent.
The Museum publishes its first book, Paper Talk: The Illustrated Letters of Charles M. Russell, edited by Frederic G. Renner.
Upright Motive No. 2, Glenkiln Cross, and Upright Motive No. 7 (1955–56), a three-part monumental sculpture by Henry Moore, is acquired by the Museum and installed on the eastern edge of the plaza.
The Artist’s Environment: West Coast opens; it is an exhibition of contemporary art by artists working on the West Coast, including Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, Morris Graves, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Mark Tobey.
The Museum announces its first expansion, an addition that will add 14,250 square feet to the facility. The expansion is designed by Joseph R. Pelich, with original architect Philip Johnson serving as a consultant, and includes a ground-level building for added exhibition space and a basement with a vault for art storage; the expanded facility opens in January 1964.
On November 21, works from the Carter, Fort Worth Art Association, and private collectors are installed in Suite 850 at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth for President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy during their overnight stay en route to Dallas.
On April 17, the exhibition The Bitter Years, 1935–1941 opens, organized by photographer Edward Steichen and dedicated to Roy E. Stryker, former head of the Information Division of the Farm Security Administration, and his team of photographers. The show presents more than 200 photographs made during the Great Depression.
Forty rare prints by Edward Weston are acquired, signaling the Carter's tour-de-force collecting practices in photography.
The Photographer and the American Landscape opens in April; curated by John Szarkowski, director of the department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the show consists of works by 19 photographers, including Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward and Brett Weston.
While campaigning for governor of California, future President Ronald Reagan visits the Carter to view the Remington and Russell collection. “It is such a jolt to see these artists’ great attention to detail in contrast to most of today’s art,” he says. “I’ll have to admit I prefer this kind.”
A retrospective exhibition of the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, organized by the Museum, opens with O’Keeffe in attendance; one of only three major exhibitions of her work to that time, the show features 95 paintings and is accompanied by a catalogue assembled by Mitchell A. Wilder.
The Museum receives a grant from the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities to increase focus on education. A 10-county education program begins in January 1967.
The Museum sponsors the Texas Architectural Survey, a contemporary photography project, organized by Blake Alexander of the University of Texas at Austin and photographed by Todd Webb.
American Art 20th Century: Image to Abstraction opens, redefining the Carter’s collecting scope. More than 100 works representing 33 of the nation’s most active artists from 1910 to 1967, the exhibition is assembled from the Downtown Gallery in New York and from the private collection of Edith Gregor Halpert (1900–70), the gallery’s director. Artists include Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin, Joseph Stella, and Max Weber.
American Country Woman: Photographs by Dorothea Lange opens; organized by the Museum with catalogue commentary by photographic historian Beaumont Newhall, the show represents Lange’s final project.
The purchase of E.A. Brininstool and Bureau of American Ethnology collections greatly increases the Museum’s holdings of 19th-century photographs of American Indians.
The Museum acquires Blips and Ifs (1964) by Stuart Davis, a purchase that was a contemporary artwork at the time. “We have found it difficult to separate western art and American art,” Wilder announces. The Carter’s mission will “no longer be limited to western art. To understand the West, the East must also be studied.”
The Enduring Navaho, a body of photographs by Laura Gilpin, goes on view, providing a moving record of the Navaho and their reservations before both were dramatically altered by additional federal intervention, a world war, and reorganization of the tribal government.
The Museum receives another NEA grant to continue its three-year community and Museum education program.
On October 9, President Lyndon B. Johnson and the First Lady attend the opening of the Carter’s exhibition Wild Flowers of Texas. The exhibition features illustrations from a two-volume publication on Wild Flowers of the United States, Volume III, Texas, and is co-organized with the New York Botanical Garden.
In its 10th anniversary year, the Carter is among the first 16 museums in the nation to receive accreditation from the American Association of Museums.
On January 9, the Museum acquires 67 Currier & Ives prints, including many rare examples of work produced by the firm.
The Museum receives an NEA grant to organize and publish a catalogue of the permanent collection.
In July, the Museum acquires Stuart Davis’ New Mexican Landscape (1923): “This picture is important to us because it is very early in the artist’s career and because it is the pattern of the group of pictures he painted before he turned to total abstraction,” Wilder says.
The Museum acquires the Fred Mazzulla Western Photographic Collection, which includes 5,000 photographs of the American West. Wilder describes the collection as “the most valuable photographic acquisition” the Museum has made to date.
The Museum organizes an exhibition entitled The American West, which, under the sponsorship of the United States Information Agency, is exhibited in Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia.
For the occasion of the upcoming American Bicentennial, the Carter organizes The Image of America in Caricature and Cartoon, a visual history of the United States as seen in caricature and cartoon; a catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
A second bicentennial exhibition, The Face of Liberty, features 99 portraits and busts of patriots of the American Revolution; artists represented include John Singleton Copley, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Charles Wilson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, and John Trumbull. “The exhibition provides residents of the Southwest a rare opportunity,” Wilder says. “Not only are they able to see these original portraits of the Founding Fathers, but they’re also able to compare, in one exhibition, the works of the most outstanding artists in early America.”
In April, the Museum announces plans for a second expansion, designed by Johnson/Burgee Architects, that will add 36,000 square feet to the building.
Artist Henry Moore (1898–1986) visits the Museum to view his three-part sculpture on the plaza in situ. “I love to see the sky as a background for my sculpture,” he says. “It’s often a better background than any other.”
A third bicentennial exhibition, America, opens at the Museum on December 17 and features more than 150 landmark documents from throughout the history of the United States; objects include correspondence of explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512) and Spanish conquistadors Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) and Hernando de Soto (1496–1542), the only known copy of the Thanksgiving Proclamation (1789) by George Washington, and the proclamation of the Louisiana Purchase (1803) signed by Thomas Jefferson.
On October 29, the expanded Museum, now with an enlarged library and new theater, opens to the public.
Acknowledging the growth of its American collection, the Museum drops “of Western Art” from its name.
On May 11, Laura Gilpin: Retrospective opens at the Museum; the photographer gifts the 90 prints from the show to the Museum and announces her plan to bequeath her oeuvre to the Museum.
John Brinckerhoff Jackson (1909–96), a leading American landscape historian, is speaker for the inaugural Anne Burnett Tandy Lectures in American Civilization. Jackson’s focus is on the Southern landscape tradition in Texas.
Director Mitchell A. Wilder dies on April 1 at age 65. Wilder is credited with starting the photography collection as well as the publishing program. “He has been the genius behind much of the programs for the last 18 years,” says Ruth Carter Stevenson, president of the board of trustees. Ron Tyler, curator of history and director of publications at the Museum, is named acting director.
Jan Keene Muhlert is named the second director of the Museum and announces she will begin her duties in January 1980. Only eight American museums have a female director at this time.
Photographer Laura Gilpin (1891–1979) dies on November 30; per her request, her collection of 6,000 prints and 20,000 negatives, along with her photographic library, is transferred to the Carter; included is a complete set of the seminal photographic journal Camera Work (1903–17), published by Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946). The Gilpin collection is the first artist archive to enter the collection.
The Carter receives a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to develop programs related to the Museum’s expanding photography collection; the grant helps formulate the development of long-term plans for exhibitions, traveling shows, interpretive publications, media programs, and public symposia.
Two significant photographs enter the collection: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hands (1917) by Alfred Stieglitz and William MacDowell (1884) by Thomas Eakins.
The Carter acquired John Frederick Peto’s painting A Closet Door (1904–06) from the collection of Nelson A. Rockefeller. John Wilmerding, deputy director of the National Gallery of Art, notes: “Closet Door was a summary painting done at the end of the artist’s life, and it’s touching hints of melancholy truly express his poignant creative spirit.”
The Museum acquires the artist archive of Clara Sipprell, which contains more than 2,000 photographic prints and autochromes. More works are added to the Carter collection, totaling 3,252 objects.
The Museum adds a number of major works to its holdings—Eagle Cliff, Franconia Notch, New Hampshire (1864) by David Johnson; Can You Break a Five? (ca. 1888) by John Harbele; Team of Horses (1911–12) by Arthur G. Dove; and Figure B (1912) by Morton Livingston Schamberg. “These acquisitions point out this museum’s commitment to collecting the outstanding achievements of 19th- and early 20th-century American art,” says Muhlert.
The master set of 219 lithographs by George Bellows (1882–1925) enters the collection; the set is the largest existing collection of Bellow’s prints. With this acquisition, the Museum has increased its standing as a major center for the study and enjoyment of printmaking in America.
In the American West: Photographs by Richard Avedon opens to the public on September 14; commissioned by the Museum, the five-year project culminates in this landmark exhibition of 120 portraits chronicling the people of the American West. One of two complete sets of the outsized prints—which are mounted on sheets of aluminum—enters the collection; the other remains with Avedon.
The Museum celebrates its 25th anniversary year.
The Museum acquires Flags on the Waldorf (1816) by Childe Hassam; The Coast at Beverly (ca. 1865–70) by John Frederick Kensett, and Red Cannas (1927) by Georgia O’Keeffe. “The museum’s collection has grown considerably since its founding as an institution devoted to the art of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell,” says Ruth Carter Stevenson. “We have never lost sight of this great strength and have been fortunate to create an important collection of works within our rich understanding of the totality of 19th- and early 20th-century American art.”
On October 31, the Museum opens Eliot Porter, the first major retrospective exhibition of the photographer’s 50-year career. One of a dozen exhibitions organized or hosted by the Museum this year, the show is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue by Porter that is the Museum’s 100th publication since opening in 1961.
The Museum announces the acquisition of an album of 47 watercolor paintings by Heinrich Balduin Möllhausen documenting the first U.S. scientific expedition into the Grand Canyon in 1857.
The Museum acquires Plant Form (1924–28) by Robert Laurent. Laurent was “in the vanguard of a small group of American sculptors working with abstract subject matter early in this century,” Muhlert says.
The Carter, along with the Kimbell Art Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art, agrees to participate in a five-year exhibition exchange program between the United States and Soviet Union, believed to be the most extensive artistic commerce of its kind to date.
The Museum acquires a classic of American painting, Swimming (ca. 1883–85) by Thomas Eakins, from its sister institution in the Cultural District, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The Carter takes the unprecedented step of engaging the community to help keep the painting in Fort Worth—even school children contribute to the cause. Two years later the Museum rediscovers and acquires the painting’s original frame.
Eliot Porter (1901–90), a pioneer of color fine art photography, leaves his photographic estate to the Carter. The artist archive comprises some 7,500 dye transfer prints; 1,800 gelatin silver prints; and more than 90,000 transparencies, slides, negatives, and study prints. The works enter the Museum’s collection in 1990.
The artist archive of photographer Nell Dorr enters the collection.
The Carter celebrates its 30th anniversary year, which includes a live musical performance on the plaza by the then little-known Dixie Chicks.
The first annual Dash for the Timber 5K Run, sponsored by the Museum, takes place; the event continues for the next 12 years.
The Museum acquires the business records of the Roman Bronze Works foundry that produced most of the casts for Frederic Remington’s sculptures, among others. The Museum also receives a grant from the Getty Grant Program to facilitate the processing of the paper files and produce a collection guide.
The Carter partners with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in organizing the exhibition American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885–1915. The exhibition features works by George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, John Singer Sargent, and John Sloan.
On September 22, the Museum announces the appointment of curator Rick Stewart as the third director (1995-2005) following Jan Keene Muhlert’s resignation.
On October 11, the Museum announces the acquisition of one of the most important early paintings by American modernist Stuart Davis: Egg Beater No. 2 (1928). Says Stewart, “The Egg Beater series is a recognized landmark in American painting of the 1920s by one of our most important modern artists.”
On January 21, the Museum debuts its first website.
The Museum announces the acquisition of In the Greenhouse (ca. 1888) by Dennis Miller Bunker, one of the most talented and innovative American Impressionists. Stewart calls the work “an outstanding example of the direct transference of the French Impressionist aesthetic to American art.”
The Museum announces the acquisition of more than 220 prints from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among them important prints by leading early 20th-century printmakers Howard Cook, Mabel Dwight, Rockwell Kent, John Sloan, and Benton Spruance.
In conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service, two of the Carter’s paintings are reproduced on postage stamps celebrating American art: Cliffs of Green River (1874) by Thomas Moran and Long-Billed Curlew (1834) by John James Audubon.
Director Rick Stewart announces plans for a major expansion designed by the Museum’s original architect Philip Johnson.
The Museum acquires A Cloudy Day, Bluebonnets near San Antonio, Texas (1918) by Julian Onderdonk in honor of Lady Bird Johnson for her tireless contribution to the United States and to Texas. “I am very honored,” says the former First Lady. “I am a professional lover of Texas, and [since] my first visit to an art gallery, I’ve been an art lover.”
The Carter opens a downtown exhibition space in preparation for closing the main facility to the public in order to begin an extensive expansion that begins when the Museum closes to the public on August 14.
During the Museum’s closure, major works are added to the collection in anticipation of the grand reopening in 2001, among them:
- American Indian Symbols (1914) by Marsden Hartley;
- two whole-plate daguerreotypes (both ca. 1850) by Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Hawes;
- Alice Vanderbilt Shepard (1888), a portrait in oil by John Singer Sargent;
- [Untitled] (ca. 1942), a mobile by Alexander Calder;
- two sculptures by Louise Nevelson: Untitled (ca. 1935) and Lunar Landscape (1959–60), one of the artist’s “found object” pieces standing over 7 feet tall;
- Self-Portrait (1948–49), a seminal oil on canvas by Will Barnet;
- Bust of the “Greek Slave” (1845–46), a sculpture in marble by Hiram Powers;
- and Chinatown (1912), a landmark painting of the Ashcan school by Stuart Davis.
On October 21, following a two-year, $39 million expansion, the Museum reopens with a public dedication ceremony and celebration of its 40th anniversary. The gallery spaces have tripled and new laboratory space is included for the conservation of photographs and works on paper. The building as a whole is now seen as a singular example of architect Philip Johnson’s work, a project he calls “the building of my career.”
The Museum is awarded grants from both the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (endowing two staff positions for the new conservation lab) and the Henry Luce Foundation (covering the cost of a works-on-paper study room and providing funds for researching and cataloging the drawings and prints collection).
The Museum announces its partnership with University of North Texas Health Science Center in launching An Eye for Detail: The Art of Observation, a workshop where students work on their diagnostic skills by examining paintings and photographs from the Museum’s collection.
The Museum announces the launch of two online projects devoted to two of the major photographers represented in the collection: Eliot Porter and Erwin E. Smith; in addition to thousands of images, the web-based projects include collection guides and teaching materials.
The Museum library is named an Associate of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution—the only satellite archive between the two coasts. “Given the museum’s notable history as a sponsor of serious scholarship in American art,” says Stewart, “this new association is truly a gift for future researchers and our community at large.”
The Museum library, formerly available only by appointment, establishes public hours: “Making the library’s resources more accessible locally supports the museum’s founding principles as set forth by Mr. Carter,” says librarian Allen Townsend.
In October, Rick Stewart announces his intention to step down as director of the Museum and resume curatorial duties.
The Carter collaborates with the Texas Wesleyan School of Law and other area museums on an innovative art law course. “Museums are faced with increasingly complex legal issues in today’s digital world. Art law has become a specialization, and many members of the community find themselves having to study law in order to protect their institutions,” says Courtney DeAngelis Morfeld, the museum’s collections manager and course instructor.
On October 19, the Museum places the Revolutionary War portrait George Washington at Yorktown (1782) by Charles Willson Peale on exhibit. This is the first time the portrait has been on public display since it was painted in 1782 and sent to France. The painting is on loan from a private collection.
The Museum announces the acquisition of Benediction (1922) by Daniel Chester French, a moving commemorative sculpture modeled the same year that French's best-known sculpture, The Seated Lincoln, was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
The Museum acquires a complete set of Camera Notes and Camera Work, the seminal early photography journals established by Alfred Stieglitz.
The Museum announces the appointment of Ron Tyler as the institution’s fourth director (2006-2011). “Ron’s early curatorial expertise was learned at the museum, and the board feels his strengths in scholarship and leadership promise a great future for us,” says board president Ruth Carter Stevenson. “We welcome him back.”
The Museum launches a comprehensive website of 19th-century bird’s-eye views. The site incorporates new technologies that allow users to zoom into the minutest areas of the objects.
Accessibility initiatives are launched with two new programs for groups of adults with cognitive disabilities and for adults with Alzheimer’s.
In conjunction with the exhibition Intimate Modernism: Fort Worth Circle Artists in the 1940s, the art and culture critic Dave Hickey presents the lecture, “Fort Worth: How Cowtown Became a Center for Art in the West.”
The Museum acquires and exhibits Fort Worth Landmarks in the 1950s: Watercolors by Bror Utter; 17 watercolor paintings of some of Fort Worth’s most iconic historic buildings enter the collection.
In what proves to be an exemplary year for acquisitions, the Museum adds the following works to its holdings:
- Joseph Cornell’s Soap Bubble Set (Lunar-Space Object) (ca. 1959);
- Charles Sheeler’s Conversation—Sky and Earth (1940);
- George De Forest Brush’s The Potter (1889);
- William Trost Richards’ Woodland Glade (1860);
- Edward Sheriff Curtis’ The North American Indian (1907–30) with 20 volumes and 722 large photogravures in 20 portfolios.
The board of trustees approves changing the name of the institution to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art to more clearly convey the breadth of the Museum’s holdings. In conjunction, the Museum overhauls its institutional brand, which includes the unveiling of a new logo. An entirely revised website goes live the following year.
In anticipation of the Museum’s approaching 50th anniversary, the AGCF helps fund a comprehensive refurbishment of the Museum building and grounds.
The Carter enters its 50th Anniversary year; in April, a gala event takes place on the museum plaza with more than 400 in attendance. The event culminates with a spectacular fireworks display on the Museum’s eastern property line.
In honor of Ruth Carter Stevenson’s leadership, the Carter acquires Mary Cassatt’s Woman Standing, Holding a Fan (1878–79), created shortly before the artist was to debut her work in the French impressionists’ fourth group exhibition.
The Carter organizes The Allure of Paper: Watercolors and Drawings from the Collection, featuring masterworks from the Museum's works on paper collection that are rarely seen due to their sensitivity to light.
Director Ron Tyler announces his retirement, effective April 1. Dr. Andrew J. Walker, former assistant director for curatorial affairs and curator of American art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, is named the Carter's fifth director (2011-present).
As part of the exhibition The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision (organized by the New-York Historical Society), Thomas Cole’s landmark series The Course of Empire (1835–36) is on display in the Museum’s galleries. The iconic painting Kindred Spirits (1849) by Asher B. Durand, on loan from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, is also on view for most of the year.
In August, the Museum invites the community to celebrate its anniversary. Thousands of area residents enjoy refreshments, food, bands, and a variety of indoor and outdoor activities at the Museum.
To mark the 100th birthday of pioneering printmaker, painter, and educator Will Barnet (1911–2012), the Carter organizes Will Barnet: Relationships, Intimate and Abstract, 1935–1965. Reflecting on his birthday, Barnet says, “All I think about is trying to make another painting because it’s so much a part of my life that it’s like I can’t retire. I will paint because it’s in the nature of the impression, color—and just touching that canvas is a wonderful feeling.” Barnet dies one year later at the age of 101.
The Carter is one of three museums nationwide to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds a professional development conference for Texas teachers, classroom resources, student field trips, interactive videoconferences, and online curriculum.
The Museum receives a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a groundbreaking exhibition, Color! American Photography Transformed, that provides the first major analysis of the creation, transformation, realization, and implementation of fine art color photography in the United States.
The National Endowment for the Humanities gives the Carter a grant to digitalize, catalogue, and publish online its artist archives collections of eight prominent American photographers of the 20th century—Carlotta Corpron (1901–1988), Nell Dorr (1893–1988), Laura Gilpin (1891–1979), Eliot Porter (1901–1990), Helen Post (1907–1979), Clara Sipprell (1885–1975), Erwin E. Smith (1886–1947), and Karl Struss (1886–1981).
The Museum begins a program of exhibiting paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by Texas artists to contextualize the practices of local and regional art from the state within the broader American art historical canon.
Developed in collaboration with the artist, the Museum presents the retrospective Marie Cosindas: Instant Color, the first major exhibition of the artist’s ground-breaking original prints in more than 40 years.
The Museum presents Color! American Photography Transformed, a compelling examination of how color has changed the very nature of photography, transforming it into today’s dominant artistic medium; a fully-illustrated catalogue is published in association with the University of Texas in Austin Press.
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Museum exhibits the artworks installed in the president’s suite at the Hotel Texas during his visit to 1963 Fort Worth in the exhibition Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy. “The story has roots in Fort Worth, and our former Board President Ruth Carter Stevenson was closely involved,” says Andrew J. Walker, Museum director. “She helped activate the city’s cultural leaders to donate great artworks to outfit the presidential couple’s hotel suite so that it represented Fort Worth’s hospitality and cultural sophistication.”
Edwin Booth (1890) by John Singer Sargent enters the Museum’s collection. “Sargent is one of the most important American artists and we are thrilled to add another one of his masterpieces to our collection,” says Andrew J. Walker, director. “We were particularly intrigued by this painting as it is among his most brilliantly conceived full-length male portraits.”
The Museum organizes and exhibits Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River, which is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and accompanied by an exhibition catalogue co-published by the Carter and the Saint Louis Art Museum.
The Museum commissions and presents Meet Me at the Trinity: Photography by Terry Evans, an exhibition of more than 40 large-scale photographs of the Trinity River in Fort Worth by renowned photographer Terry Evans.
The Carter initiates a program of collecting contemporary works on paper, mirroring the efforts in photography and reinforcing the Museum’s connection with living artists. Major acquisitions include Glen Ligon’s Runaways (1993) and Sedrick Huckaby’s The 99% (2012–13).
The Museum presents Texas artist Esther Pearl Watson’s Pasture Cows Crossing Indian Creek, Comanche, Texas, Looking for the old Civilian Fort of 1851, North of Gustine and a mile west of Baggett Creek Church (2015) as the latest in the Atrium series.
The Museum completes a seven-month project replacing the front glass façade with new glass panels designed to maximize light control and return the gallery sightlines to better align with Philip Johnson’s original design. At the completion of the project in September, the Museum celebrates with Party on the Porch, an outdoor community festival that continues for four years.
The Museum acquires 46 photographs by Brett Weston, one of the most acclaimed American photographers of the 20th century.
The Museum commissions Dallas-based artist Gabriel Dawe to create Plexus no. 34 (2016), which is later added to the collection in 2018 with the support of the community on North Texas Giving Day.
The Walton Family Foundation gifts the Carter a generous endowment in honor of the Museum’s longtime President of the Board Ruth Carter Stevenson (1923–2013). The largest gift in the Carter’s history, the endowment supports future exhibition and education initiatives.
The Museum works with living artist Valton Tyler to organize and present Invented Worlds of Valton Tyler, the Texas artist’s first retrospective exhibition, which is accompanied by a signed, limited-edition book.
The Museum acquires Daniel Heyman and Lucy Ganje’s prints In Our Own Words (2015), a contemporary series featuring Native American portraiture.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services gives the Carter a grant to publish online the digitized objects in the artist archives collection. “Stewardship of the archives of photographers who have defined the medium is just as important as adding contemporary works to the collection,” says Andrew J. Walker, executive director. “Sharing their work with the larger community through this support from IMLS is an honor.”
The Carter conserves and installs a rarely exhibited iconic sculpture Diana (ca. 1894) by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This 7-foot-tall cement sculpture was modeled after Saint-Gaudens’s similarly named sculpture created for the top of Madison Square Garden and created by the artist for building’s architect Stanford White. “To bring an icon of American art back to public attention feels like bringing history back to life,” says Maggie Adler, curator of paintings, sculpture, and works on paper.
The Carter announces a building enhancement project beginning October 2018 to refresh Museum galleries, enhance building accessibility, and improve climate-controlled storage. The Museum’s second floor closes to the public October 2018, and the entire Museum closes to the public June through August 2019 for the completion of the project.
The Museum launches the Carter Community Artists initiative, a new program dedicated to working with and supporting local artists with the goal to create opportunities for the North Texas community to connect with the Museum’s renowned collection and artists in the region. Each year, local artists are invited to apply and four are selected to assist with planning and leading programs on-site, off-site, and digitally.
The Carter announces the establishment of the Gentling Study Center to enhance the recognition of two of Fort Worth’s most notable artists, brothers Scott G. Gentling and Stuart W. Gentling. The Center creates an accessible resource where scholars and the general public alike will be able to experience, research, and enjoy their contributions to the field.
The Carter completes a year-long renovation project and reopens to the public on September 14, 2019. The Museum building and galleries feature a new layout that provides an improved experience for visitors while preserving the vision and legacy of founder Amon G. Carter Sr. and his daughter Ruth Carter Stevenson. Galleries now feature state-of-the-art technology including hardwood flooring, custom LED coffered ceilings, and a modular wall system, and the permanent collection galleries are reimagined and reinstalled, presenting dynamic stories and creating new connections between works of art.
The Museum commissions Justin Favela to create Puente Nuevo, a large-scale installation artwork inspired by artwork in the Carter’s collection and made from the material used to construct piñatas. Puente Nuevo is the latest in a series of large-scale, immersive works where the Carter has invited an artist to transform a space and the first of such installations in first-floor gallery that connects the Carter’s original 1961 building to the 2001 extension.
The Museum acquires Ruth Asawa’s Untitled (S.453, Hanging, Three-Lobed, Three-Layered Continuous Form within a Form) (ca. 1957–59), the only known three-layered, continuous form-within-a-form sculpture.
The Museum commissions contemporary conceptual artist Mark Dion to create The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion, a site-specific, large-scale installation created after Dion underwent a series of journeys through Texas retracing the footsteps of four 19th-century explorers in the Carter’s collection.
The Carter organizes and presents two unique exhibitions: Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography, the first in-depth examination of the 19th-century photographic phenomenon of cabinet cards, and Texas Made Modern: The Art of Everett Spruce, the first exhibition in nearly 30 years to highlight the pioneering and inventive career of the Texas artist. Both exhibitions are accompanied by catalogues published by the Carter.
The Museum acquires works by Charles White, Wendy Red Star, Sandy Rodriguez, and Justin Favela, adding significant artworks by a diverse roster of artists to the Museum’s renowned photography and works on paper collections.
Texas artist Natasha Bowdoin is commissioned to create the second large-scale installation in the Museum’s first-floor gallery. In the Night Garden transforms the gallery into an immersive botanical environment and furthers the institution’s legacy of showcasing living artists and exhibiting trailblazing works on paper.
The Carter begins its yearlong 60th Anniversary Celebration with special exhibitions and events that recognize 60 years of scholarship, collecting, community, and American creativity.
In January, the Carter launches its online collection with more than 40,000 artworks, a number that continues to grow. More than 100 of these works feature related educator resources to provide teachers with strategies, prompts for discussion, and activities for their classrooms.
In February, the Carter announces the acquisition of Thomas Moran’s 1879 watercolor Mount Superior, as viewed from Alta, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. The Carter’s annual View and Vote for Collectors Forum members is held virtually in May. After the votes are counted, Robert Pruitt’s Woman with Tiara (2019, printed 2021) and Hank Willis Thomas’ Delta (2014) enter the collection. In August, the Museum announces the acquisition of more than 240 photographs and works on paper from Texas collector Finis Welch, which deepens the Museum’s holdings of American photographic modernism.
The Carter presents seven exhibitions including An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain (April 18–August 8, 2021); Photography Is Art (April 18–August 8, 2021); An Expanding Vision: Six Decades of Works on Paper (April 22–August 22, 2021); Thomas Moran’s Mount Superior (August 28–December 12, 2021); Imagined Realism: Scott and Stuart Gentling (September 25, 2021–January 9, 2022); Anila Quayyum Agha: A Beautiful Despair (September 25, 2021–January 9, 2022), and Sandy Rodriguez in Isolation (December 18, 2021–April 17 2022).
The Carter celebrates its 60th anniversary on September 25 with artmaking activities, food, live music by Shakey Graves, and more than 4,000 of our neighbors during our Birthday Bash party!
After nearly a year and a half of virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carter welcomes guests back to the Museum in late September. The Museum launches a new event for adults, Second Thursdays at the Carter. Featuring music, art making, cocktails, and more, the first event draws more than 180 people .
In November, the Museum continues to celebrate Fort Worth artists Scott and Stuart Gentling with the Gentling Symposium. The day long event features talks by the catalogue essayists on the work of the brothers and tours of the exhibition.