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.

Black and white photo of Casa Mañana.

Casa Mañana, built in 1936 for the Texas Centennial. Photo courtesy Casa Mañana.


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.

Black and white aerial photo of the Carter Museum site and Cultural District.

Planned location of Amon G. Carter Sr.’s museum (known today as the Amon Carter Museum of American Art), ca. 1959.


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