Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum is celebrating its milestone 50th birthday this month, and everyone's invited to the party — even the kids.
On October 4, 1972, the Kimbell opened the Louis I. Kahn building to great acclaim. Accordingly, the week of October 4-9 will be prime celebration week for the city's premier art museum, with the biggest event happening Saturday, October 8.
On that day, the Kimbell will host a free family festival and celebration that will feature activities for all ages, films, performances, food from local vendors, and free admission to a special exhibition. The big draw will be a live performance by acclaimed Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter Abraham Alexander, who will take the stage at 5:30 pm.
"I am delighted to celebrate this enormous milestone with our Fort Worth community,” says Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum, in a release. “Our anniversary celebrations are designed with and for the members of our diverse community — whose continued support over the last half century has contributed to making the museum the renowned institution it is today.”
Here's a closer look at the celebrations that will take place October 8 and throughout the week, according to the release.
Golden anniversary festival and celebration — Saturday, October 8
- Afternoon events, 1-4 pm: Sweet treats and performances by local entertainers, including Taiko drummers, Flamenco dancers, and more will take place on the grand lawn. Interactive classical Indian dances performed by Austin-based choreographer Anuradha Naimpally and tales with author-storyteller Toni Simmons will happen inside the Piano Pavilion. Guests also can pose for free portraits by professional photographers in the Noguchi courtyard and participate in gallery and studio activities.
- Evening events, 4-7:30 pm: Visitors can purchase light bites from local food truck vendors, including Magdalena’s and Heim Barbecue. A cash bar will be provided by the Kimbell Café. At 4 pm, local band Cotinga will take the main stage, followed by the performance by Alexander at 5:30 pm.
- Museum galleries will stay open until 5 pm, and admission to the special exhibition "Murillo: From Heaven to Earth" will be free.
Festival tickets are free but required (even for Kimbell members). Free ticket reservations will be available through Eventbrite beginning August 15, at kimbellart.org/50.
Other 50th anniversary events
October 4-9: Admission and audio tours for "Murillo: From Heaven to Earth" will be free all week. Tickets will only be available in person at the museum box office.
October 4, 12-5 pm: Anniversary kick-off reception and opening of "The Kimbell at 50" special exhibition. In this new display, "archival materials and photographs will chronicle memorable events in the history of the Kimbell Foundation and museum, including the design and construction of the Louis I. Kahn Building and the Renzo Piano Pavilion," the museum says. "An interactive digital presentation will enable viewers to revisit outstanding acquisitions, noteworthy exhibitions, and rewarding community experiences — reflecting the pillars of excellence that have endured for 50 years at the Kimbell Art Museum."
October 5, 10 am-5 pm: Architecture tours, Louis I. Kahn film screenings, and open studios.
October 6, 10 am-5 pm: Architecture tours, Renzo Piano film screenings, and open studios.
October 7, 4-7 pm: Music and happy hour in the Louis I. Kahn Building, plus a special teacher program in the education studios.
October 9: Closing day for the critically acclaimed exhibition "SLAY: Artemisia Gentileschi and Kehinde Wiley;" admission is free.
As a special perk, Kimbell members will receive a commemorative gift each day for attending, while supplies last. Watch the special website kimbellart.org/50 for updates.