Photo by LeeAnn Cline on Unsplash

The trend of international buyers purchasing homes in Texas shows no signs of slowing down, as revealed in the latest Texas International Homebuyers Report.

Released September 6 by Texas Realtors, the report shows that the Lone Star State remains the No. 3 hottest U.S. destination for international homebuyers. Texas ranks behind Florida and California for the fourth consecutive year.

From April 2022 to March 2023, 9,900 Texas homes were purchased by buyers from outside the U.S. These homes make up 11.7 percent of the total number of Texas Realtors sales transactions.

For comparison, Florida (No. 1) accounted for 23 percent of purchases, with California (No. 2) at 12.2 percent.

"Texas has long been one of the most popular states for international buyers," said 2023 Chairman of the Texas Realtors Marcus Phipps in a release. "Our strong economy, diverse population and high quality of life make the Lone Star State an attractive destination."

International buyers spent $4.3 billion on these Texas homes during the time period, the report says. Nearly half (49 percent) of buyers avoided the need for a mortgage by paying for their homes in all-cash.

In all, 84,600 international buyers bought property in the U.S. between April 2022 to March 2023, down from 98,600 buyers in last year's report.

The report further states that the median home price for international buyers is slightly lower than the overall Texas median: $320,800 versus $342,000. However, the average purchase price for international buyers was significantly higher, at $446,100.

In a breakdown of the foreign buyers, over half (51 percent) bought a primary residence in Texas. Mexico made up 41 percent of the top buyers, followed by China (8 percent) and India (7 percent). Nigeria and Venezuela accounted for five percent each within the top foreign buyers.

Photo courtesy of Simpson Property Group

Dallas tops the U.S. charts for most new apartments built since 2020

high rise dominance

Shiny new apartment complexes are popping up everywhere around the country, but no other city can claim quite as many as Dallas.

Dallas-Fort Worth, in fact, has had more new apartments constructed since the beginning of the "pandemic building boom" in 2020 than any other U.S. metro area, according to a new study by apartment rental marketplace RentCafe.

Highest construction rate from 2020 to 2022
The construction analysis revealed 76,660 new apartment units opened in DFW between 2020 and 2022. Dallas' numbers far outshine one of the biggest renter metros in the country - New York City (No. 2) - by nearly 10,600 units.

"The booming job market in the Metroplex (supported by the industrial and tech sectors) fueled this construction spree," the report's author said.

Broken down by city, Dallas constructed 13,741 new apartment units between 2020 and 2022, while Fort Worth built the second highest number of new apartments: 9,672. McKinney built 2,586 new units within the same time frame, and Farmers Branch made up 3,140 new apartment units.

Dallas is followed less closely by its Texas neighbors Houston (No. 3) and Austin (No. 4), which only developed 53,741 and 45,051 new apartment units, respectively, within the same period. Miami rounds out the top five with 42,960 new units built between 2020 and 2022.

The remaining top 10 metros that completed the most new apartments between 2020 and 2022 are:

  • No. 6 – Washington, D.C. (42,723 units)
  • No. 7 – Los Angeles, California (39,842 units)
  • No. 8 – Atlanta, Georgia (39,467 units)
  • No. 9 – Seattle, Washington (36,952 units)
  • No. 10 – Twin Cities, Minnesota (31,662 units)

New apartments to meet rising demand in 2023
Dallas-Fort Worth may have topped the charts for new apartments built during the pandemic, but it has fallen slightly in completed units built thus far in 2023. The study found that developers are set to build 23,659 new rental units by the end of December, which is nearly 10,000 fewer than New York, which reclaimed the No. 1 spot in 2023.

Demand for more housing is still at an all-time high in the Metroplex, as the North Texas region gained more residents than any other American metro between 2021 and 2022, the report says. Census data estimates nearly 170,400 new residents arrived in Dallas-Fort Worth at that time, bringing the population total to 7.9 million. That's quite the population boom, which only continues to grow bigger and bigger.

"[Dallas' construction rate is] still not enough to meet the soaring demand for apartments throughout the metro, especially as America’s new boomtown is facing a severe shortage of housing units," the report says. "And, more and more people are expected to relocate to this thriving area in the coming years as businesses continue to expand."

The top 10 metros predicted to build the most new apartments in 2023 are:

  • No. 1 – New York City, New York (33,001 units)
  • No. 2 – Dallas, Texas (23,659 units)
  • No. 3 – Austin, Texas (23,434 units)
  • No. 4 – Miami, Florida (20,904 units)
  • No. 5 – Atlanta, Georgia (18,408 units)
  • No. 6 – Phoenix, Arizona (14,629 units)
  • No. 7 – Los Angeles, California (14,087 units)
  • No. 8 – Houston, Texas (13,637 units)
  • No. 9 – Washington, D.C. (13,189 units)
  • No. 10 – Denver, Colorado (12,581 units)
The full report can be found on rentcafe.com.
Photo courtesy of Estately.com

Dallas unlocks No. 12 ranking among U.S. cities with most million-dollar homes

The luxe life

With median home prices sitting at $412,000, it takes quite the leap for the average Dallas home to be considered a luxury listing. And yet there are many; 22 percent of all real estate listings in Dallas are homes worth over $1 million, according to a new study.

The report, by online real estate marketplace experts Point2, ranks Dallas No. 12 nationwide among U.S. cities with the highest shares of luxury homes. Dallas ranks second in Texas, behind Austin.

In Point2's 2021 report, Dallas ranked No. 13 with only 13.9 percent of real estate listings with a price tag for more than $1 million. These new findings confirm that Dallas is on the rise as one of the best housing markets for growth, while also opening up possibilities for redefining what the term "luxury" means for real estate in 2023.

"Once used to describe famous estates recognizable by name alone or opulent residences redefining the apartment concept, luxury may now be reduced to a convenient location and cushy amenities," the report says. "Its meaning varies even further when analyzing different-sized markets across the United States, beyond the well-known house-hunting grounds of affluent home seekers."

Austin ranked No. 10 nationally with 24.7 percent of all active real estate listings for sale for over $1 million. No other Texas cities made the top 15.

The study looked at all available real estate for sale in the 30 largest, mid-size, and smallest cities in the United States, and categorized the listings by their $1-million-plus price tags.

In the category for the smallest U.S. cities, Grapevine ranked No. 13 with 13 percent of all real estate listings for sale worth over $1 million.

The largest cities also were analyzed for active real estate listings worth over $5 million.

The study admits that luxury homes worth over $5 million are the true indicator of what "real luxury" looks like specifically for the largest American cities. In Dallas, only 1.8 percent of real estate listings fit that criteria, earning the city No. 8. Austin, with 1.5 percent, land just behind Dallas, at No. 9.

The top 10 largest cities in the U.S. with the highest shares of luxury real estate listings worth over $5 million are:

  • No. 1 – Los Angeles, California (11.6 percent)
  • No. 2 – Boston, Massachusetts (9.4 percent)
  • No. 3 – San Diego, California (7.6 percent)
  • No. 4 – New York City, New York (7.4 percent)
  • No. 5 – San Francisco, California (7.1 percent)
  • No. 6 – Washington, D.C. (2.1 percent)
  • No. 7 – Seattle, Washington (2.0 percent)
  • No. 8 – Dallas, Texas (1.8 percent)
  • No. 9 – Austin, Texas (1.5 percent)
  • No. 10 – San Jose, California (1.1 percent)

The full report and its methodology can be found on point2homes.com.

Rendering courtesy of LVL 29

Dallas neighbor ranks as 2nd best U.S. city for renters, report says

rent check

Plano continues to hit home runs for its highly sought-after livability. Now, it can add renting favorability to its growing list of achievements that outshine other Metroplex cities.

Plano was deemed the No. 2 best city for renters in a new report by online apartment rental marketplace RentCafe, out of a total 136 American cities. The suburb's total population is just over 282,000 people, with the average renter's income at $73,930 a year. Last year, Plano landed at No. 13 in the same survey.

A Plano renter's average apartment size is around 939 square feet, which is the biggest space out of all Texas cities, the report says. Luxury apartments make up a surprising 78 percent of all units in the suburb. By comparison, in Dallas, luxury units make up fewer than half of all apartments (49 percent).

"Having recently started to make a name for itself as the 'City of Excellence,' Plano lands second on our list," the report says. "Plano’s reputation for producing great academic achievers make it an ideal spot for families looking for a city with excellent public schools, in addition to its great air quality and significant share of high-end apartments."

Plano was also praised for its local economy, after jobs rose 6 percent year-over-year from 2022 and 58 percent of the city's population has at least one college degree.

"Because the city is also home to a variety of headquarters for large companies — such as Bank of America, Hewlett Packard, FedEX, JCPenney and Pepsi — it also has one of the highest job growth rates nationwide," the report says.

Denton (No. 19) was the only other Dallas-Fort Worth suburb to make it into the top 20 best cities for renters. The average renter's income in the college town is $39,690 a year, coinciding with an average apartment size of 882 square feet.

Dallas, on the other hand, fell short of the top 30 and landed in No. 32, whileFort Worth followed closely behind at No. 37. Both cities have similar average annual renter incomes ($47,349 in Dallas versus $45,824 in Fort Worth) and have similar average apartment sizes (849 square feet versus 874 square feet).

Here's how other Texas cities stacked up in RentCafe's report:

  • No. 41 – Odessa
  • No. 43 – Lubbock
  • No. 53 – Houston
  • No. 55 – San Antonio
  • No. 90 – Corpus Christi
  • No. 91 – Waco
  • No. 120 – El Paso
RentCafe used data from their sister site Yardi Matrix to determine each city's ranking among three major categories: cost of living and housing, the local economy, and quality of life. Cities were chosen if they had an "apartment stock" of a minimum of 10,000 units, and any cities with lower apartment stocks were excluded.

Overall, the top 10 was dominated by Texas cities. The North Austin suburb of Round Rock ranked No. 6, while Austin proper ranked No. 7, and Conroe earned No. 9.

Filling in the gaps in the top 10 are Charleston, South Carolina (No. 1); Scottsdale, Arizona (No. 3); Atlanta, Georgia (No. 4); Raleigh, North Carolina (No. 5); Charlotte, North Carolina (No. 8); and Arlington, Virginia (No. 10).

The full report and its methodology can be found on rentcafe.com.
Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash

Dallas-Fort Worth booms as No. 2 U.S. metro for new home construction in 2023


Dallas already has one of the most active real estate development markets within the last decade and holds the crown for the most built-to-rent homes. Now, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has now earned the silver medal for the highest new home construction rate in 2023, according to a recent analysis by Chamber of Commerce.

The booming housing construction is just one way Dallas is trying to keep up with its remarkable population growth.

The June 2023 edition of the "Cities with the Most New Homes" analysis discovered that despite new home permits being down over 20 percent year-over-year from 2022, the Metroplex's housing market is still on the rise.

"Numerous factors such as limited inventory in the existing home market, high mortgage rates, and supply chain issues have created a bottleneck for new home construction," the report's authors said. "It remains to be seen whether new home construction will catch up with the current demand, but it’s clear that some cities are experiencing a building boom when it comes to new homes."

Over 20,600 new home construction permits have been issued for the metro area thus far, consisting of both single- and multi-family residential homes. Dallas-Fort Worth also ranks No. 2 with more than 12,700 single-family home permits issued this year, and 7,881 for multi-unit residential homes.

For reference, Houston landed in the top spot for the most single-family home permits, at 15,391. New York City ranked No. 1 with the highest multi-family home construction permits, totaling 10,155.

On average, 5,156 Dallas-Fort Worth home permits are being issued every month in 2023, which is also the second highest rate in the nation. In layman's terms, our real estate market is still hot.

The top 10 metro areas that have the highest new home construction in 2023 are:

  • No.1 – Houston
  • No. 2 – Dallas-Fort Worth
  • No. 3 – New York City
  • No. 4 – Phoenix
  • No. 5 – Atlanta
  • No. 6 – Charlotte, North Carolina
  • No. 7 – Austin
  • No. 8 – Orlando
  • No. 9 – Nashville
  • No. 10 – Los Angeles
The study analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to determine the total number of new home construction permits issued in 2023 throughout 225 metro areas in the country.
The full report and its methodology can be found on chamberofcommerce.org.
Photo by Daniel Halseth on Unsplash

Dallas ranks No. 5 hottest market for real estate development in last decade

red-hot dallas

A new report has discovered Texas cities hold the top five most active real estate development markets in the country, with Dallas landing in the top five.

The ranking by storage marketplace StorageCafe reflects the city's resiliency over the last decade after a recent reported plummet in Dallas' quality of life.

Dallas had the fifth highest number of single-family home permits between 2013 and 2022, totaling 17,332 units. At the same time, the city also permitted nearly 69,000 new multi-family/apartment units. The massive influx of housing ultimately adds up to an impressive national surge.

On the industrial end, Dallas also took the No. 5 spot for the most square feet of new industrial space construction. About 31.4 million square feet of industrial space was erected in the last decade, further solidifying the city's standing as a top destination for business.

The report attributes Dallas' success in growing its industrial sector to "a number of innovative companies establishing headquarters or offices in the area" within recent years during the pandemic.

Also on the rise since the pandemic is the number of build-to-rent single-family homes, where the Dallas market recently nailed the top spot for the most completions in 2022.

The true national winner in real estate growth is Houston(No. 1), with 55,600 single-family homes permitted between 2013 and 2022, and nearly 90,000 multi-family units, followed by San Antonio (No. 2) and Austin (No. 3). Also outshining Dallas in the list is Fort Worth (No. 4), which permitted nearly 50,600 single-family homes and 36,700 multi-family units.

The cities that complete the top 10 include:

  • No. 6 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 7 – Jacksonville, Florida
  • No. 8 – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • No. 9 – Denver, Colorado
  • No. 10 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The full report can be found on storagecafe.com.
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Storied steakhouse in Rockwall to re-open following reverential redo

Steak News

An old-school steakhouse is getting a revival: Culpepper Cattle Co., formerly known as Culpepper Steakhouse, will open in Rockwall at 309 I-30 Frontage Rd. and soon: September 29.

According to a release, this will be the restaurant's third iteration, executed by UNCO (HG Sply Co., Leela’s Wine Bar) as a passion project from UNCO co-CEO Elias Pope, who ate there when he was young and says he couldn’t bear to see it close.

The original Culpepper Steakhouse opened by Michael “Dobber” Stephenson in 1982, and was purchased a decade later by Bob L. Clements who managed it for the next 30 years.

"Culpepper Cattle Co. will still have the essence of what was already magical about the place - the airplane embedded in the wall, the museum-style animals, the river rock lodge inspired fireplaces and columns throughout," says Pope in a statement. "It’s more than just a restaurant; this place is a tribute to timeless memories, authentic flavors, and the true spirit of Texas."

The menu by consulting chef Danyele McPherson will have Tex-Mex, prime steaks, and home cooking including Fried Green Tomatoes, Crab Stack with tortilla chips, and Nachos with choices of bean & cheese, chicken or steak.

Steaks include sirloin, ribeye, and a petit filet with fried lobster and mashed potatoes. Oher entrees include BBQ chicken, Cajun fried shrimp tacos, and chicken with jalapeño-cheddar sausage and mashed potatoes.

The bar will feature margaritas in many options such as the signature Muchacho Grande with Arette blanco, cointreau, citrus, and orange juice. There'll also be martinis and hurricanes, and a locker program with special perks.

Decor includes amber chandeliers, white stucco walls, authentic Mexican blankets, and 12 “marker plaques” around the restaurant to give people a chance to explore like they’re at a museum.

The 11,000-square-foot dining room seats 420 while a 20,000-square-foot patio seats another 450. Three bars include “The Beatle Bar” with a circular bar said to have originated from The Beatles’ local Cavern Club in Liverpool.

They'll be open for dinner Monday-Friday and brunch, lunch, and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays.

A Bennigan's-inspired list of all the Monte Cristo sandwiches in Dallas

Sandwich News

In the world of sandwiches, the name Bennigan's brings to mind one thing: their world-famous Monte Cristo. Many fans were thusly elated back in February 2023, when the chain revealed that the sandwiches could be ordered through its Bennigan's On The Fly ghost kitchen concept.

The sandwich — featuring wheat bread layered with ham, turkey, Swiss & American cheeses, battered and fried, and served with a side of preserves (most often raspberry but often lingonberry) — boasts a collision of sweet, savory, and cheesy that seems to satisfy a craving shared by many.

But Bennigan's is not the only Monte Cristo in town. There are all sorts of Bennigan's knockoffs as well as Monte Cristos that have become classics in their own right. Whether it's the influence of Bennigan's or not, the Monte Cristo is kind of having a moment. The State Fair even has one for 2023.

Here’s a comprehensive list of other places to get a Monte Cristo in DFW. Note: This list does not include any of the various Croque Monsieurs and Croque Madames found around town at places like Toulouse, La Madeleine, Mixtitos and more.

BoomerJack's Monte CristoBoomerJack's Monte Cristo - said by many to be the closest to Bennigan's.BoomerJack's

BoomerJack’s Bar and Grill: Monte Cristo sandwich, $13
Sports bar chain with 17 locations across Dallas-Fort Worth, with wings, burgers, drink deals, and wall-to-wall TVs.

This Monte Cristo is said by many to be strikingly similar to the Bennigan’s classic: Deep fried with Swiss and American cheese, it's served on Wheatberry bread (a nutty, chewy, slightly sweet whole grain bread), with powdered sugar and preserves. It's a valiant effort to recreate the Bennigan’s classic, but sticklers should note that they quarter their sandwich, instead of halving it like Bennigan’s.

Armoury D.E.: Benny Houdini, $15
Low-lit exposed-brick Deep Ellum bar serves craft cocktails, Hungarian goulash, traditional Hungarian fried flatbread, and fried meatballs.

Chef spin on the Monte Cristo has house-smoked turkey, ham, Swiss and cheddar cheese, but also Hungarian bacon, which is pork fat that has either been salt or smoke-preserved (Armoury’s is smoked). The whole thing is fried in funnel cake batter and served with lingonberry sauce for a sweet and highly comforting sandwich. Perhaps the best part is that the kitchen is open until 1:45 am every day – night owls rejoice!

Crafty irishman Monte CristoMonte Cristo sandwich at Crafty Irishman.Crafty Irishman

Crafty Irishman Public House: Monte Cristo sandwich, $17
Downtown Dallas pub owned by a Dublin native features Irish whiskeys, scotch, and bourbon, plus burgers, wings, and Irish classics: Scotch eggs, Irish bread pudding, and a traditional Irish breakfast with bangers and black & white pudding.

Unsurprisingly, you'll find some Irish touches on this Monte Cristo: There's smoked turkey, ham, Wexford cheddar, and Swiss, on sourdough bread. It's dipped in beer-batter, giving the outer shell an extra-satisfying texture and golden-brown hue. Dusted with powdered sugar, with raspberry preserves. Pair with a nice Guinness for the ultimate experience.

Note: The same basic sandwich is served at Crafty Irishman's siblings: Cannon’s Corner Irish Pub in Oak Cliff, or the new Patrick Kennedy's Irish Pub downtown, or The Playwright Irish Pub in Dallas' Arts district where it's only $12.50.

The Biscuit Bar: Monte Cristo, $8.80
Fast casual DFW chain serving – you guessed it – biscuits has six DFW locations from Deep Ellum to Fort Worth, with biscuit sandwiches, tater tots, salads, and cocktails. Two locations (Deep Ellum and Arlington) serve coffee from DFW chain Ascension Coffee.

At $8.80, TBB’s Monte Cristo is a bargain and is also the sweetest on the list. You’ll find the usual smoked turkey + ham + Monterey jack cheese, but done biscuit-style, with their twist of French toast: biscuit halves dunked and pan fried in vanilla custard. Served with strawberry preserves, some liken this sandwich to the Bennigan’s classic, while others conclude that it’s just too sweet.

Ida Claire Monte CristoIda Claire Monte Cristo definitely has the drippy cheese factor covered.Ida Claire

Ida Claire: Monte Cristo, $15.50
Part of the Whiskey Cake Holdings group (Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar, Sixty Vines), Ida Claire specializes in Southern dishes like shrimp & grits and fried green tomatoes.

Ida Claire’s Monte Cristo is one of the more savory options and does some surprising variations on the classic recipe. Southern country ham and peppered bacon with aged white cheddar are served on thick brioche French toast, and grilled, not deep fried. While still dusted with powdered sugar, the house-made apple jam is more peppery and savory than the typical berry preserves.

Vickery Cafe: Breakfast Monte Cristo, $13
Retro-style diner near TCU in Fort Worth serves morning staples like Texas-shaped Belgian waffles and a five-meat omelet. Make sure you come hungry (or at least hungover).

Similar to Ida Claire, this Monte Cristo comes on brioche French toast and swaps out the more common turkey for bacon. Ham, Swiss cheese, and fried eggs finish it off and it’s topped with powdered sugar and cut into quarters. It’s served with chipotle raspberry jam for an extra kick, and includes one side, which most popularly seems to be hashbrowns – what a dream!

Cheddar's Monte CristoCheddar's Monte Cristo: almost as tall as it is wide.Cheddar's

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen: Monte Cristo, $15.95
Irving-based chain with more than 90 locations including seven in the DFW area is noted for homey dishes like chicken pot pie.

The Monte Cristo served by Cheddar's is a love-it-or-hate-it deal with fans and detractors debating its merits. It's a strange bird, distinctive for its bulky shape, with its smoked ham, turkey, and two cheeses stacked high but not wide. They promise it's "hand-battered," then deep-fried, served with the standard raspberry preserves and powdered sugar.

Vida Cafe Monte CristoVida Cafe's vegan version of a Monte Cristo sandwich.Vida Cafe

Vida Cafe: Monte Cristo Panini, $15
Vegan Italian spinoff of Belenty’s Love Mexican Vegan Restaurant features pastas, minestrone, and Italian staples, plus baked goods and brunch.

Fort Worth restaurant does a vegan rendition of the Monte Cristo with vegan ham they say they make themselves, and vegan cheese similar to the Chao label; they won't say what brand name they're using but it has the same melty consistency as Chao. It's served on French toast, stacked tall at three slices, and has a touch of heat. Powdered sugar and agave syrup.

State Fair of Texas Monte CristoState Fair of Texas is getting in on the Monte Cristo action.SFOT

State Fair of Texas: Fried Monte Qristo
In recent years, the annual State Fair of Texas has transformed its food program into a moderately trendy event and right on cue, it'll make its 2023 debut on September 29 with a Monte Cristo as one of its 40-plus new options.

Their Texas BBQ spin on the sandwich is served up by Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ and comes layered with brisket, American cheese, smoked turkey, and Swiss, fried, powdered sugar, and raspberry chipotle BBQ sauce.

Ol' South Pancake House: Big Tex Cristo $9.99
Beloved Fort Worth restaurant with diner food and low prices is a favorite for all walks of life.

Speaking of the State Fair, that's the inspiration for Ol' South's entry into the Monte Cristo field. Called the Big Tex Cristo (and hats off to them since the SFOT is quite litigious about its various trademarks), it's a triple decker sandwich with turkey, Swiss, American, and mayo, and their special touch: Dipped in their buttermilk batter, for a springy, pancakey outer shell. Powdered sugar and lingonberry preserves.

Snooze an A.M. Eatery: Monte Cristo Brioche Toast $15.25
Buzzy, boozy breakfast-and-brunch chain from Denver with six locations in the DFW area.

Just announced for fall '23 is Snooze's Monte Cristo Brioche Toast: like a deconstructed version featuring French toast dipped brioche smeared with raspberry pepper jam, with Havarti and Gruyere cheeses, shaved ham, sunny-side egg, prosciutto, with a side of raspberry pepper jam and a salad. On this list because it's trendy.

Seven Mile Cafe: Monte Cristo sandwich $18.50
Small locally owned funky-upscale chain from Denton specializes in bodacious breakfast and brunch, and is a particular favorite among vegetarians and vegans.

Seven Mile recently added a Monte Cristo to the menu, and it's a creative and decadent rendition. Brioche bread gets stuffed with Canadian bacon, turkey, and smoked Gouda cheese; then dipped in their French toast batter, fried, a dust of powdered sugar. They serve it with blackberry coulis, vanilla Anglaise, and a fruit cup.

Dallas' Crow Museum of Asian Art names new curator ahead of second outpost opening

arts news

The Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas has found its new curator. Natalia Di Pietrantonio, Ph.D., hails from the Seattle Art Museum and was selected after a nationwide search.

There, she served as inaugural curator of South Asian art, caring for the museum's South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Islamic art collections while also serving as an affiliate art history faculty member at the University of Washington.

Di Pietrantonio arrives just as the Crow Museum is preparing to debut a second museum next fall.

Designed by global architecture firm Morphosis, the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Athenaeum is being constructed as part of a 12-acre cultural district on the UT Dallas campus.

Over the next year, the 38-year-old curator will work closely with architects, interior designers, academic faculty, and museum staff to select the artworks that will be on view when the new museum opens its doors. She will also guide the 10,000 square feet of gallery space at the original Crow Museum, which was founded in 1998 and is in the downtown Dallas Arts District.

In addition, Di Pietrantonio will serve as a faculty member in the arts department at UT Dallas.

“Natalia brings a wonderful vision, a fresh and energetic perspective, and a proven track record in elevating Asian American art and culture in compelling ways,” says Amy Lewis Hofland, senior director of the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas. “With her background in South Asian and Islamic art, she also will help build the Crow Museum of Asian Art collection, strengthening it to better reflect the growing diversity of our region.”

A first-generation Mexican American whose first language was Spanish, a release says that "Di Pietrantonio brings over 10 years of professional and academic experience, ranging from highly lauded museum exhibitions and university cultural events to innovative collaborations and unique community outreach experiences."

From 2014-15, she served as a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow for the Islamic department at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. She is multilingual and speaks Spanish, Persian, Urdu and English.

At the Seattle Art Museum, she harnessed her expertise of modern and contemporary art to curate two diverse exhibitions: "Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time" (January 2022), which focused on the body and female representations in South Asia; and "Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water" (March 2022), which addressed climate change and water access.

During her tenure at the Seattle Art Museum, she grew their South Asian collection by 25 percent. She also was the lead curator on the mid-career retrospective of the performance artist Anida Y. Ali that debuts in January 2024.

Recognizing that North Texas has one of the fastest-growing Asian American populations in Texas, Di Pietrantonio is excited to pursue exhibitions and programs that are topical both locally and globally to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. She also intends to bring performance art into the cultural mix at the Crow Museum.

"As the Crow Museum embarks on a new era with a second museum on the horizon, I am honored to be part of its storied history known for dynamic and innovative exhibitions and programs,” says Di Pietrantonio. “My first major goal is to learn more about the North Texas region — from UT Dallas students and museum supporters to neighborhood organizations and our increasingly diverse populations — so I can help align and tailor the museum programs for its communities.”

In 2018, Di Pietrantonio completed her Ph.D. in the history of art at Cornell University, studying under the contemporary artist Iftikhar Dadi with a focus on calligraphy and book arts. Prior to that time, she received a master’s degree in South Asian studies from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of California, Davis. It was during her years at UC Davis that a dynamic professor introduced her to Islamic art and ignited her interest.