The Crow Collection of Asian Art is getting a makeover and a new name. The changes come in the form of a new gallery, a redesigned gift shop, an interactive art studio and a leadership center. The construction is expected to be completed by fall. When that happens, the Crow Collection of Asian Art will be officially be known as the Crow Museum of Asian Art.
“The plan is to complete the museum with spaces that fulfill the visionary spirit of co-founders Margaret and Trammell Crow and support our work to create the Crow Collection as Dallas’ Asian art museum — one that is accessible, relevant and for the community,” says Amy Lewis Hofland, executive director of the Crow Collection of Asian Art, in a statement.
The expansion is part of a multimillion dollar project. The changes to the Crow Collection will be handled by Oglesby Green Architects (who designed the museum's previous renovations) and The Beck Group.
“We have been planning and developing this expansion for a few years, essentially since we finished our last renovation project in 2014,” says Abraham Carrillo, director of operations for the Crow Collection. “A few things had to fall into place in order for this to take place, including the acquisition of new space in the building at Harwood and Flora. The timing is perfect — especially with Trammell Crow Center also being under construction — for us to begin the expansion.”
The project will expand the museum along the southwest corner of Harwood and Flora streets in the Dallas Arts District, adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. The three museums have always competed for visitors, along with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The Crow Collection hopes the changes will attract more visitors.
“The Crow Collection currently sees tens of thousands of visitors every year,” Carrillo says. “We believe this major investment — that makes the museum more open, inviting and accessible — will position the organization for growth in the coming decades.”
One way they plan to do this is by moving their gift shop, dubbed the Lotus Shop, to the main building with a pedestrian-friendly entrance off Flora Street.
Another way is by creating the Pearl Art Studio, which will be across Olive Street, north of the Belo Pavilion. The studio will host workshops and classes for families, corporate outings, school groups and more. It will have oversized windows to make it visible at street level and signage to guide people inside.
The Crow Collection will also launch the Center for Contemplative Leadership, an initiative to promote “increased awareness, productivity, and compassion for self and others through classes and workshops that explore mindfulness.”
“I hear people talk about the increase in anxiety in our world," Hofland says. "The Crow Collection can be the antidote to this feeling, offering more mindfulness and compassion in our daily lives. We know from the visitors that seek out and engage with us at the Crow Collection that we are a much-needed haven, a quiet place offering room to breathe and room to think — two key aspects to healthier, more peaceful living.”
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With the changes, the Crow Collection plans to be financially independent from the Crow Family, who opened the museum in 1998. Since the museum's opening, the Crow Family has donated millions of dollars to keep the Crow Collection going. But in the past two years, Hofland says the Crow Collection has raised more than $2 million from the community.
When then project is finished, the Crow Collection plans to have several events surrounding the grand reopening.
“We have all new exhibitions and programming scheduled for this fall to not only celebrate the grand reopening of our the museum but also our 20th anniversary,” Carrillo says. “Stay tuned as we will begin announcing details this summer.”
While the construction is underway, visitors can still visit the lower level of the museum, which has two exhibitions on display: Earthly Splendor: Korean Ceramics from the Collection and Fierce Loyalty: A Samurai Complete.