Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a museum in Dallas, Texas, that houses a collection of modern and contemporary sculpture. It is located on a 2.4-acre (9,700 Sq mi) site adjacent to the Dallas Museum Of Art in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. The Mission of the Nasher is to be an international focal point and catalyst for the study, installation, conservation, and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture.
The museum was a longtime dream of the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher (Ray was the original owner of NorthPark Center), who began collecting pre-Columbian sculpture on holidays to Mexico in the 1950s. In 1961, the couple turned to contemporary sculpture with a work by Jean Arp bought by Patsy for Raymond's birthday. They together subsequently formed a comprehensive collection of masterpieces by Harry Bertoia, Constantin Brâncuși, Alexander Calder, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Paul Gauguin, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Ellsworth Kelly, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Richard Serra, and David Smith, among others, which continues to grow and evolve.
Renzo Piano, winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1998, is the architect of the Center’s 55,000-square-foot (5,100 Sq mi) building; he had been selected after Nasher met him at the opening of the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, in 1997. Piano worked in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker on the design of the 2-acre (8,100 Sq mi) Garden. The building was constructed by The Beck Group, which also served as associate architect.
The facility opened in 2003 in a 55,000-square-foot building on a 2.4-acre site adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art. The building is made of parallel stonewalls which create the gallery pavilions. Each pavilion is enclosed by low-iron glass façades and roofs that permit 500-foot long unobstructed view corridors from the street, through the building, and across the length of the garden. The museum has an arched glass roof with a perforated aluminum screen in an egg-crate pattern that directs the sun into the galleries, which were laid out in anticipation of the sun’s daily arc from southeast to southwest (but recently has been an issue as the reflective glare of nearby Museum Tower has penetrated through the roof, putting portions of the collection at risk of damage).
Engagement with Dallas Community
To commemorate their 10-year anniversary, the Nasher Sculpture Center created Nasher XChange, a four month long dynamic art exhibition that placed 10 newly - commissioned public sculptures by contemporary artists at 10 sites throughout Dallas, Texas. Local, national, and international artists contributed their work to this exhibition. A featured piece by Liz Larner called X captures the essence of Nasher Xchange quite literally and the site chosen for it was the Edith O'Donnell Arts and Technology Building at the University of Texas at Dallas.