The Best Exhibitions You Can See Right Now (Or Soon) in North Texas

Until Sept. 1, the Dallas Museum of Art will be a cathedral to the fashion gods.
Until Sept. 1, the Dallas Museum of Art will be a cathedral to the fashion gods.
DMA/ James Florio
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From exquisite fashion to somber recollections and colorful replicas of classic art built brick by brick, Dallas has enjoyed a remarkable array of art in 2019, and here’s a short list of six important exhibitions that are still -or are soon to be- on the radar.

Dior: From Paris to the World at the Dallas Museum of Art
The work of famed fashion icon Christian Dior and other haute couture designers can be seen at the Dallas Museum of Art through Sept 1. Dior: From Paris to the World showcases nearly 200 dresses along with original sketches, photographs, runway videos and fashion accessories while delving into the House of Dior’s 70-year legacy. The exhibition examines the work of Dior and succeeding House of Dior creative directors like Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and present director Maria Grazia Chiuri. Amid the artfully displayed designs, visitors can visually experience an echo of outstanding feminine beauty. “With lavish embroidery, luxurious fabrics, and elegant silhouettes, (Dior’s) designs were a revolutionary celebration of modern femininity when they emerged in Paris after World War II,” says DMA’s website. “Today, Dior’s global influence is as enduring and iconic as ever.”

Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory. at the Dallas Holocaust Museum
“When you've lost everything, a single object can take on extraordinary meaning,” says the Dallas Holocaust Museum website about its upcoming, special exhibition, which opens on September 18, and will display more than 60 “never-before-seen personal items brought to America by survivors of the Holocaust and genocide.” The museum, which will close July 31, and reopen on Sept. 18, as the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, will showcase items saved by survivors of genocide from across the world. “The objects are as ordinary as a child’s doll and a black suitcase and as symbolic as a young mother’s cookbook and a wedding announcement,” says the website of things carried by genocide survivors from places like Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda, South Sudan and Syria.

Keith Haring: Against all Odds at the Arlington Museum of Art
More than 50 works by New York street artist Keith Haring are currently on display at the Arlington Museum of Art in an exhibition that runs through Sept. 15. Haring’s vibrant, graffiti-like images, which are sometimes infused with pop icons, artfully address — in an unpretentious way — complex social issues such as health care, racism, consumerism and AIDS. “Haring wanted to really break the rules,” says AMA director Aldo Fritz, who has likened the artist’s work to that of Andy Warhol. “(His art) speaks volumes about social issues that are, unfortunately, still relevant today.”

Caravaggio: Martha and Mary Magdalene at the Dallas Museum of Art
A rare chance to view the early work of an old master painter exists now through Sept. 22 at the Dallas Museum of Art. Martha and Mary Magdalene (c. 1598), which is on loan from the Detroit Institute of Arts, is among fewer than 10 works by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio displayed in the United States. Caravaggio was greatly influential in the history of European art and one of the most celebrated Baroque painters of the 17th century, His work shows Mary Magdalene, whom the Catholic Church at the time considered a prostitute, “experiencing a spiritual awakening as her sister Martha counts on her fingers the reasons she should convert,” says a DMA press release. The artist interprets the tough topic by contrasting darker shades with lighter ones to cast a divine glow upon his subject. According to the release, Caravaggio’s “creation of a shallow, stage-like setting pushes the figures up close to the viewer, as though the event is unfolding in our own space and time.”

The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection at the African American Museum Dallas in Fair Park
Billed as “one of the most comprehensive collections of African American art and history outside the Smithsonian,” The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection opens Sept. 21. The exhibition, presented by Toyota Motor North America, contains artifacts amassed by Shirley and Bernard Kinsey over 50 years. The display highlights the contributions of black Americans and features more than 150 works of art, photos and rare documents dating to 1595. “The exhibition covers the lives and artistry of African-American people from the 16th century through the years of slavery and emancipation, to the civil-rights movement and modern day,” says a press release. “Highlights include bills of sale, advertisements, letters and legal papers documenting the slave trade; hand-colored tintypes from the Civil War era; art and literature from the Harlem Renaissance.” Other items spotlight key moments during the civil rights movement such as “the Woolworth store boycotts and the 1963 March on Washington.” There are also historical documents like the earliest known black baptismal record and a letter to Alex Haley, author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, from Malcolm X. “The Kinsey Collection strives to give our ancestors a voice, name and personality,” says Bernard Kinsey.

55 Years: President Kennedy on Magazine Covers 1963 – 2018 at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy, as depicted on various magazine covers spanning five decades, can be seen until Oct. 13 at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. It’s been 55 years since America’s 35th president was assassinated in Dallas, and the 57 magazines show how his image was portrayed from 1963 to 2018. According to the museum’s website, “... issues from LIFE, LOOK, Time, Newsweek and JET as well as Texas Monthly and D Magazine offer a captivating, visual timeline of President Kennedy’s likeness (that) reflects his everlasting imprint on our nation’s consciousness.”

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