From makeup to samurai armour and sculpture, there is a museum for every interest. The Big D has a wide range of cultural offerings and certainly no shortage of museums. Let’s have a look at the museums in Dallas.
Art museums in Dallas
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is a visitor-friendly, LEED-certified art museum in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. Its collection comprises over 24,000 objects covering 5,000 years of human culture. Islamic art; art from the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Latin America, and Europe; decorative arts and design; and contemporary art are all represented here. The DMA also holds special exhibitions and art programmes. The DMA closes on Mondays, and general admission is free.
The Meadows Museum is part of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) since 1965. The core collection was donated by Algur H. Meadows, an oil financier and philanthropist. It consists of Spanish art from the Renaissance to 20th century artists. Big names include Murillo, Velazquez, Goya, Miró, and Juan Gris, to name a few. There are temporary exhibitions as well. Closed on Mondays. Admission is $12. The Meadows is located on the edge of the SMU campus on Bishop Boulevard.
Nasher Sculpture Center
If you like modern and contemporary sculpture, you must visit the Nasher Sculpture Center. The collection includes artwork from renowned artists like Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, or Auguste Rodin. My favourite thing to do is to spend a quiet time in the gardens . Not only are they beautiful, they provide a wonderful setting for some monumental sculptures. The building is also a work of art designed by famed architect Renzo Piano. Closed on Mondays. Admission $10 (there are concessions).
Museum of Biblical Art
As its name implies, the Museum of Biblical Art exhibits Biblical-themed art. The art is not all Christian though, the museum also houses the National Center for Jewish Art. There are big names too, like Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. Access to the Via Dolorosa Sculpture Garden is free. Standard admission is $12. The museum opens Wednesday to Sunday. It’s located behind NorthPark Center on Park Lane.
African-American Museum of Fair Park
According to their website, the collection of the African American Museum “ranges from inspiring Folk Art to centuries-old masterpieces and including African art, black renaissance paintings, decorative arts, period rooms, and contemporary art .” One of the current exhibitions provides an insight into a once thriving community in what is now Uptown, and which was called Freedman’s Town. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. General admission is $10
Crow Museum of Asian Art
The Crow Museum of Asian Art developed from the private collection of Margaret and Trammell Crow. The museum underwent a massive renovation in time for its 20th anniversary. The permanent collection comprises artwork from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam , from ancient to modern times. The Crow Foundation donated works of art to the University of Texas and they’re going to open a second museum at the UT Dallas campus in Richardson, TX
Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture
Also known as the Old Red for short, this museum covers the cultural, political, economic and social history of Dallas County. The permanent collection spans the first settlement, the later economic boom, the interwar period (with objects like Clyde Barrow’s gun), the postwar years to the present. Difficult subjects like racial segregation are also addressed. Opens daily.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Preserving the memory and legacy of President John F. Kennedy is the main goal of The Sixth Floor Museum. The collections include photos, film footage, posters, and documents of the Kennedy years and his assassination on 22 November, 1963. The museum is located on the 6th and 7th floors of the former Texas School Book Depository building, where Lee Harvey Oswald was said to shoot JFK from. It overlooks the Grassy Knoll. Open daily. General admission is $18.
Dallas Heritage Village
The Heritage Village is a fun activity for kids and adults. It’s an open-air museum that depicts life in North Texas between 1840 and 1910. The buildings are original and most have been moved here from their original locations. On display are tools and implements for all the of activities carried out in the area: dentist and doctor practice, blacksmithing, woodworking, etc. Buildings include a log cabin, a school, a saloon, to name a few. Closed on Mondays, and the months of January and August.
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Also located inside the SMU campus, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum “serves as a resource for the study of the life and career of George W. Bush, while also promoting a better understanding of the Presidency, American history, and important issues of public policy. ” Among the artefacts included in the collection are a length of twisted steel from the Twin Towers and presents from visiting dignitaries. Here’s the account of my visit to the Bush Library.
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is moving to a new, purpose-built premises in September ’19. The museum “is dedicated to teaching the history of the Holocaust and advancing human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference.” The new museum will have three wings. The Holocaust-Shoah wing tells the story of the Jewish people in Europe between 1933 and 1945. The Human Rights wing shows hoe human rights have progressed since 1945. The Pivot to America wing explores national ideals.
Cavanaugh Flight Museum
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum is located in the Addison regional airport area. The aircraft collection covers both World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and some civilian aircraft. There;s also armoured vehicles. Read about my visit to the museum here.
Frontiers of Flight Museum
Love Field Airport (DAL) is also home to the Frontiers of Flight Museum. This museum covers the history of aviation from its very beginnings to the Space Age. I also visited this museum and you can read the review here.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Where can you learn about the human body, feel plate tectonics shake under your feet, and see dinosaurs? At the Perot Museum. There are hands-on experiments for kids, gems and minerals exhibitions, people will learn about the science behind sports, engineering and maths experiences like building a robot. Opens Daily. General admission ranges from $13 to $20.
Fun museums in Dallas
Mary Kay Museum
The Mary Kay Museum is located inside the Mary Kay World Headquarters in Addison. It’s a tribute to the founder of the namesake cosmetics empire. The collection tells the story of the company is organised by decades from the 1960s to the present. It’s open from Monday to Friday during business hours. 16251 Dallas Parkway, Addison.
Located on the second floor of the Saint Ann Building, the Samurai Collection was created in 2012. It consists of the private collection of samurai armour and artefacts of Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller. The permanent collection includes suits of armour, helmets, masks, horse armour, and weaponry. Admission is free. Closed on Mondays.
Haas Moto Museum and Sculpture Gallery
In the heart of the Design District, there’s a small motorcycling museum called Haas Moto Museum and Sculpture Gallery. The collection comprises about 200 motorcycles from 1901 to this day, including some prototypes. Petrol heads will be delighted! Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4pm.