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National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame - One of many treasures in Ft. Worth’s Arts District

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Last week, Pat Lawrence and I drove to Cowtown to have dinner and attend a lecture by Andrew Solomon, the best-selling, award-winning author of “Far From the Tree.”

    We left Sulphur Spprings early, in anticipation of traffic jams and delays. Lo and behold, we made it through the metroplex in record time, arriving some 45 minutes early for our 5 p.m. reservations at Eddie Vs.
    So we did a little reconnaissance.
    The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, where Solomon was to speak, was right where our GPS said it was – 3200 Darnell  St. – just off Van Cliburn Way, nestled in the district between University and Camp Bowie Boulevard.
    The world-reknown Kimbell Art Museum, just  west of the Modern, is currently surrounded by blue plastic tarp as it undergoes extensive renovations. Not sure what’s going on, but I hate to see anything happen to its lovely reflecting pond.
    The Amon Carter, noted for its major collection of Western art, is across a broad expanse of lawn from the Kimbell.
    Just across the street from the Amon Carter, on the same side of Lancaster Street as the huge Will Rogers Memorial Center, is the Fort Worth Museum of Science and Nature.  The museum is hosting a traveling Titanic exhibit through April 28.
    Next to the science and nature complex stands The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, a building that looks like it’s been there since the 1920s. However, the 33,000 square foot museum was opened in 2002.  
    Its art deco exterior blends perfectly with the landmark Will Rogers Auditorium, built in 1936 and designed by architect Wyatt C. Hedrick.
    The museum was designed by architect David M. Schwartz, “its exterior constructed with brick and cast stone with terra cotta finials formed in a ‘wild rose’ motif and glazed in vibrant colors. A large painted mural by Richard Haas, bas-relief sculpture panels, and a series of hand-carved cast relief panels show scenes related to the Cowgirl’s story and depict thematic messages such as ‘East Meets West’ and ‘Saddle Your Own Horse’ that represent the story told inside the museum,” according to Wikipedia.
    A traveling exhibit of maverick quilts occupies the first floor. The antique quilts will be on display until Sunday, March 31.
    The museum honors over 200 women in its Hall of Fame, including Annie Oakley, Dale Evans, Georgia O’Keeffe, former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Temple Grandin.
     Permanent exhibits are housed on the second floor and include items from famous cowgirls like Evans, along with memorabilia from Justice O’Connor’s days on the  Lazy B cattle ranch near Duncan, Ariz.
    Dropping in on the latest addition to Fort Worth’s bustling arts scene was a lovely 45-minute surprise on a day filled with very special moments.

    The museum is located at 1720 Gendy St. (on the west side of the Will Rogers complex). Hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Sunday, 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. Closed Monday.
    Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children ages 3-12 and seniors. For more information, call 800-476-3263 or visit www.cowgirl.net.
Currently at the Kimbell through April 14
    Bernini: Sculpting in Clay -
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who lived between 1598 and 1680, was the greatest sculptor of the 17th century, the Michelangelo of his age.
    For a complete list of current exhibits at The Modern Art
Museum of Fort Worth,
visit www.themodern.org
    For a complete list of current exhibits at the Amon Carter,
visit www.cartermuseum.org
    For a complete list of current exhibits, including “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, visit www.fwmuseum.org





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