Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Texas Part 1

In October I went to Texas for a week and a half. The main reason for going was to participate in the Ride for the Roses by the Lance Armstong Foundation in Austin, Texas. Although this was the original reason for going, the trip blossomed into a loop tour of the eastern half of the state.

I'm going to take the opportunity now to relate the trip a little at a time over several posts. Forgive me the indulgence, but it was a wonderful trip. Any one stop along the way would have been worth a trip in its own right, so I choose now to linger where I could not linger before.

Mom accompanied me on the trip, and our first stop was to be Barbara and Paul's house on the north side of Houston. We had a slight detour on the way there. Our drive was to take us past Dallas on a beltway. As we drew closer to Dallas, however, Mom remembered that the Kimbell Art Museum, designed by Louis I. Kahn and featured in the movie about his life, entitled My Architect, was located in Fort Worth. A quick consultation with the map, and some fast calculations for mileage and time, and we determined that a side trip would be workable and still get us to Barbara and Paul's in plenty of time for dinner.

We arrived at the museum around 11:30 in the morning, and it didn't open until noon so we had time to wander the perimeter of it taking pictures and video, and just enjoying the atmosphere.

Kahn built the Kimbell with two simple concepts at the forefront of his thoughts: light and the shape of a vault. The vault was secondary to the idea of light and the light's relationship to the art which would be displayed in the museum. He gave a voice to the changing nature of light and its ability to create a mood, and he recognized, too, its ability to change the nature of the art it was helping to display. He was jazzed by the idea that given the time of year or the time of day, the feelings evoked by the artwork would be entirely different.

We saw it on a bright, warm day at height of the day's light. The shadows were crisp, but they had a feeling of tenuousness. It was October after all, and we carried with us the subdued knowledge that we would be returning to Illinois where fall would be at its cold, cloudy peak. The late summer day in Texas, therefore, had a feeling of Indian summer with all the accompanying drowsiness.

The lawns were sprinkled with people having picnics, practicing Tai Chi, a few other tourists taking pictures around the museum, and runners resting on the stairs catching their breath in the sunshine.

The grounds were green and lush and the campus was quiet because it was a Sunday. The flowing water of the infinity pool off the front of the porch didn't fill the air with an overpowering splashing noise, but created the background swoosh of a rill in a wood. The sound of the water changed it's nature too. Standing in a copse of trees to the side of the museum, it was a rill, but standing on the porch, the sound of the flow was gently magnified by the vaulted concrete overhead.

Eventually we wandered inside. Of course, flash photography was not allowed inside so I have no photos to share. The link at the bottom of my ramblings will take you to their site, and their site includes a link for a virtual tour.

For more information:
  • Kimbell Art Museum
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