More fifty years ago, when the Kimbell Art Museum was preparing to open, the museum’s first director, Ric Brown, and the Kimbell Art Foundation’s board of directors made the important decision to look beyond the founders’ collection of European paintings to begin acquiring works of art from Africa, Asia, and the Ancient Americas. Their first purchase was The Bodhisattva Maitreya, an eighth-century Thai bronze.
In the early days of the museum, when the collection was small, the works of art were often shown in unexpected juxtapositions—the only requirement being that they were exceptional examples of their culture. Our new installation revives these creative comparisons, bringing together in one gallery, for example, works from ancient Assyria and Egypt, Buddhist sculpture from Thailand and Cambodia, and a portrait bust from Renaissance Italy.
The pairings in this new installation may be formal, historical, or purely whimsical. We invite you to visit, to make your own connections, and to experience the depth, diversity, and exceptional quality of the Kimbell collection.