Though always considered a notch below a world-class institution, the Dallas Museum of Art significantly improved its standing within the art world when it received the undeniably world-class modern and contemporary art collections of three prominent local collectors (the Hoffmans, the Rachofskys, and the Roses); the collections, gifted together in an unprecedented deal, totaled more than 900 works and with subsequent acquisitions has grown since the announcement to more than 1,200. The Edward Larrabee Barnes-designed museum also contains impressive collections of international art, especially from the Americas, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. The Arts of the Americas section is the largest and most impressive, with valuable contributions from pre-Columbian lost civilizations of the Aztec, Maya, and Nazca peoples and Spanish colonial arts. The more limited European Painting & Sculpture gallery exhibits a handful of works by the biggies -- van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Degas -- while the small 20th-century collection includes Picasso, Mondrian, and Giacometti, among others. The contemporary collection includes works by Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, the Texan Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns. In the Wendy & Emery Reves Collection is a curious re-creation of Coco Chanel's French summer home, complete with her collection of furnishings and paintings by such French Impressionists as Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Degas. The DMA mounts interesting occasional shows, including "Gustav Stickley and American Arts & Crafts Movement?; ?The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy", and ?Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs?. In the atrium, where jazz combos play on Thursday evenings, hangs a gorgeous, monumental blown-glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. A couple of hours should be sufficient, unless you're a dedicated art hound.
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