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The Modern: The Oldest Museum in Texas Remains on the Cutting Edge

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth houses one of the most impressive collections of art from the 1940s to present, but did you know that it has the distinction of being the oldest museum in Texas?

The Museum was first established in 1892, making it the oldest museum in Texas and one of the oldest in the western United States. Founded by a group of forward-thinking women as the Fort Worth Public Library and Art Gallery in downtown Fort Worth, the museum has undergone several name changes and been housed in various buildings over the decades. Although the word “modern” only became part of the museum’s name in 1987, it has always been dedicated to the art of our time.


The Museum’s first permanent building was designed by the Bauhaus-trained architect Herbert Bayer and opened in 1954. The Cultural District began to develop around the site over the next few years with the arrival of new institutions such as the Amon Carter Museum and Kimbell Art Museum. In 2002, the Modern relocated within the Cultural District to a world-renowned building designed by the Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando. Acclaimed for its concrete walls and glass sheath, with pavilions that seem to float on an expansive reflecting pond, the building allows for major exhibitions, insightful educational programming, and the most comprehensive displays of the Museum’s collection in its history.

With its rich history and eye toward the future, The Modern is a captivating gem in North Texas.

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