Girls on Wheels step into a garden oasis

Girls on Wheels exploring sculpture – the three-dimensional works of art.

Girls on Wheels exploring sculpture – the three-dimensional works of art.

Vicki Baker

Masterpieces aren’t limited to just canvas. They’re also created from bronze, marble, paper, plaster, steel, concrete, resin, terra cotta, glass and wood. Sitting across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art in the Big D’s Arts District is the Nasher Sculpture Garden. During their May outing, Girls on Wheels stepped into this serene urban oasis, home to some of the finest modern and contemporary sculptures in the world.

The Nasher Sculpture Garden was a life-long dream of the late Raymond Nasher (a real estate developer whose projects include the NorthPark Mall) and wife Patsy. They began purchasing art in 1950 and most enjoyed collecting sculptures because unlike paintings, which can only be viewed from one angle, sculpture offered 360 degrees of viewing. Perspective and experience change by walking around the pieces and viewing the different sides. They also believed that art is an essential part of life and should be experienced by everyone. This philosophy led them to show works from their incredible collection in their businesses, like NorthPark Shopping Center, and prompted them to build the Nasher Sculpture Center.

The garden houses more than 300 works ranging from small marble sculptures to massive installations, together with 20th century paintings and drawings. We admit, rather sheepishly, that we were surprised at what we saw when we first stepped into the gardens. We are a little picky – and maybe a bit narrow minded, too – about art. We wanted to see something that’s relevant, creative, interesting, thought-provoking and inspiring. Well, the Nasher proved to be that and so much more.

On our private docent-led tour, we strolled through the indoor and outdoor galleries and discovered works by the greatest artists of our times including Matisse, Picasso, Rodin, Giacometti, Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Hepworth, Kelly, Miró, Moore, Serra and many more modern masters. Being outside in the retreat of the garden made us want to meander along the marble stone walls under the elm and oak trees, then to throw off our shoes and take off running across the grass. It was the ideal setting to examine, appreciate and understand these magnificent works of art – the chance to enjoy the creative beauty surrounding us, and to enjoy our friendship, peacefully and unrushed.