The Kimble Museum is a hidden gem to those not from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area or the art world. The museum has long term deep-pocket patrons allowing them to purchase pieces which are the envy of larger museums. The permanent collection includes 350 pieces, including Claude Monet’s Weeping Willow. The philosophy is quality, not quantity, very refined collection with the most important pieces.
The Vision of the Founders
The Kimbell Art Museum officially opened on October 4, 1972. The Kimbell Art Foundation, which owns and operates the Museum, had been established in 1936 by Kay and Velma Kimbell, together with Kay’s sister and her husband, Dr. and Mrs. Coleman Carter. Early on, the Foundation collected mostly British and French portraits of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By the time Mr. Kimbell died in April 1964, the collection had grown to 260 paintings and 86 other works of art, including such singular paintings as Hals’s Rommel-Pot Player, Gainsborough’s Portrait of a Woman, Vigée Le Brun’s Self-Portrait, and Leighton’s Portrait of May Sartoris. Motivated by his wish “to encourage art in Fort Worth and Texas,” Mr. Kimbell left his estate to the Foundation, charging it with the creation of a museum. Mr. Kimbell had made clear his desire that the future museum be “of the first class,” and to further that aim, within a week of his death, his widow, Velma, contributed her share of the community property to the Foundation.
With the appointment in 1965 of Richard F. Brown, then director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as the Museum’s first director, the Foundation began planning for the future museum and development of the collection, both of which would fulfill the aspirations of Mr. Kimbell. To that end, under the leadership of its President, Mr. A. L. Scott, and in consultation with Ric Brown, the nine-member Board of Directors of the Foundation—consisting of Mrs. Kimbell; Dr. Carter; his daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Ben J. Fortson; Mr. C. Binkley Smith; Mr. P. A. Norris, Jr.; Mr. J. C. Pace, Jr.; and attorney Mr. Benjamin L. Bird—adopted a policy statement for the future museum in June 1966, outlining its purpose, scope, and program, among other things. That statement remains to this day the operative guide for the Museum. In accordance with that policy, the Foundation acquires and retains works of so-called “definitive excellence”—works that may be said to define an artist or type regardless of medium, period, or school of origin. The aim of the Kimbell is not historical completeness but the acquisition of individual objects of “the highest possible aesthetic quality” as determined by condition, rarity, importance, suitability, and communicative powers. The rationale is that a single work of outstanding merit and significance is more effective as an educational tool than a larger number of representative example
Two aspects of the 1966 policy in particular would have the greatest impact on changing the Kimbell collection: an expansion of vision to encompass world history and a new focus on building through acquisition and refinement a small collection of key objects of surpassing quality. The Kimbell collection today consists of about 350 works that not only epitomize their periods and movements but also touch individual high points of aesthetic beauty and historical importance.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (June 4, 2019)— The Kimbell Art Museum is pleased to announce the acquisition of a 17th-century giltwood frame for Claude Monet’s Weeping Willow, the inspiration for the internationally acclaimed special exhibition Monet: The Late Years, opening at the Kimbell on June 16. The acquisition was made possible by a generous grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.
Internationally Acclaimed Exhibition Reveals the Radical Evolution of Monet’s Final Decade, on view June 16–September 15, 2019
Bellotto Exhibition at the Kimbell Art Museum Transports Viewers to Splendor of 18th Century Dresden, on view February 10–April 28, 2019
First Major Exhibition of Renoir’s Focus on the Human Form Marks Centenary of the Artist’s Death, on view October 27, 2019–January 26, 2020
11 de marzo de 2019: El Kimbell Art Museum está entre los Finalistas para la 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service
March 11, 2019: Kimbell Art Museum Named National Finalist for 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service
March 7, 2019: Kimbell Art Museum Acquires Significant Painting by Anne Vallayer-Coster, One of the Foremost Still-Life Painters of 18th-Century France
January 30, 2019: Kimbell Art Museum appoints new Curator of European Art