Museum News

Dallas' Crow Museum of Asian Art preens in grand anniversary makeover

Dallas' Crow Museum of Asian Art preens in grand anniversary makeover

Jacob Hashimoto: Clouds And Chaos
Jacob Hashimoto: Clouds and Chaos. Photo courtesy of Crow Museum of Asian Art

Just in time for its 20th year, the Crow Museum of Asian Art is unveiling a multi-million-dollar expansion, with a new name and five new exhibitions. One of those represents a stellar international debut, along with a reflective collection of works that celebrates community leaders who have contributed to the organization's success.

The Crow Museum of Asian Art is the only museum in Texas dedicated to the arts and cultures of Asia. Free and open to the public, it's located in the Dallas Arts District at 2010 Flora St.

The new name, Crow Museum of Asian Art, is meant to reflect the breadth of the collection and programming, as well as the museum's wide and diverse community support. That's a lot of subtext in a simple name.

The renovation expands the museum's footprint along the southwest corner of Harwood and Flora Streets with a new downstairs gallery that connects the existing upper galleries via a wood-and-glass staircase and new elevator.

The Lotus Shop – the museum's gift shop selling Asian-inspired gifts and collectibles at various price points – has been redesigned using Feng shui, including a pedestrian-friendly street entrance along Flora Street.

According to a release, the architect for the expansion was Oglesby Greene Architects of Dallas, which handled previous renovations of the museum; The Beck Group was general contractor.

"Two decades ago, Margaret and Trammell Crow created a haven within the Dallas Arts District so that people of North Texas might experience and learn more about the arts and cultures of Asia,” says museum director Amy Lewis Hofland in a statement. "I believe they would be very proud to see their vision – with a new art studio, expanded galleries, inviting exteriors and dynamic exhibitions – continue to thrive in such a beautiful manner."

There's a newly created Pearl Art Studio, an interactive street-side creative workspace across Olive Street on the north side of the Belo Pavilion, which serves as a place for families, corporate teams, individuals, school groups, and artists to experience and experiment through workshops and classes.

The official unveiling takes place September 28. Here is the schedule of exhibits extending through 2019:

Headlining the museum's rebirth is the stunningly majestic exhibition, Jacob Hashimoto: Clouds and Chaos. Throughout the history of Asian art, clouds have served many functions: as framing devices, interstitial motifs, and compositional boundaries.

Hashimoto's forthcoming central work, Nuvole — which means "clouds" — explores how clouds can function as divisions of space while remaining the apotheosis of ethereal formlessness. This new site-specific sculpture, which will weave around the gallery and over major works from the museum’s collection, shows how much can be found in both the intricate detail of minute components and the large-scale meanings that can result from their accumulation.

Nuvole is joined by a selection of Hashimoto's latest woodblock prints, exhibited for the first time in a U.S. museum. The exhibition runs September 28, 2018-April 7, 2019.

Our Asian Art Museum: The Crow at Twenty pairs 20 masterworks from the museum's permanent collection, consisting of contributions made by the community since founders Margaret and Trammell Crow opened the museum in December 1998. The pieces have been selected by community leaders such as Mayor Mike Rawlings; Caren Lock of the Dallas Women's Foundation, Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, and Lily Weiss, executive director of the Dallas Arts District. September 28, 2018-August 11, 2019.

Avatars and Incarnations: Buddhist and Hindu Art from the Collection explores the concept of divine avatars in Hindu and Buddhist art. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the concept of an avatar refers to the incarnation or physical manifestation of a deity, spirit, or abstract quality in human or animal form. Each avatar is meant to counteract a particular problem, evil or suffering in the world.

The artistic and visual representations of these deities change in style and appearance across time and place. Through these works of art, guests are invited to contemplate the endless variety of these divine Hindu and Buddhist figures. September 28, 2018-February 24, 2019.

The Art of Lacquer introduces lacquerware objects from the museum's collections to showcase one of the most enduring and distinctive forms of craftsmanship in the world.

Lacquerware objects are light, water-resistant, and durable, and can last for thousands of years. Some pieces are coated with more than 100 layers of lacquer and then carved into a detailed relief. Others demonstrate meticulous applications of mother-of-pearl to produce scenes with the scope of landscape paintings. Still others are painstakingly decorated with gold and silver powders.

The rich history of this artistic tradition is revealed through a selection of compelling and distinctive pieces that feature historical figures, floral motifs, and a variety of auspicious symbols. September 28, 2018-January 6, 2019.

Immortal Landscapes: Jade from the Collection spotlights mountains, which lie at the heart of Chinese culture and art. A bridge between the human and transcendental realms, mountains have provided an enduring source of inspiration for poets, scholars and artists and continue to remain an important theme within China’s various artistic traditions.

Drawn from the museum’s outstanding collection of later-period Chinese jade objects, this exhibition will focus on carved jade representations of mountain landscapes and forms from nature. For both sculptor and viewer, landscape imagery illustrates an understanding of the inseparability of oneself from the surrounding world, where the journey through the mountains symbolizes the path to an immortal realm. September 28, 2018-January 6, 2019.