Arts / Museums

Amon Carter at 60 — Famed Fort Worth Museum Celebrates With Massive Birthday Party and Stunning New Exhibits

An Event Six Decades in the Making

BY // 07.07.21

The renowned Amon Carter Museum of American Art is celebrating its 60th birthday this year. Which means a giant birthday party like no other for the Fort Worth institution — and two exciting new art exhibitions.

The 60th Birthday Bash will be held on September 25 from 4 pm to 10 pm. The celebration will be filled with six hours of art-inspired activities and live music to celebrate each of the museum’s six decades.

Musical guests will include DJ Ronnie Heart and Austin native Shakey Graves. The evening will conclude with a fireworks show on the Carter’s lawn. Fireworks on the lawn has long been a Fort Worth Fourth of July tradition, with the Carter’s green space offering quite the panoramic perch for impressive pyrotechnic displays.

Art lovers can connect with the Carter’s collection through gallery experiences and hands-on activities. The Carter’s permanent collection with be in view in a special “60 Years of Art” experience. Local food trucks will also be there for the Carter’s 60th.

Two new exhibits also will open to the public on September 25. Both will run through January 9, 2022.

Carter- Bird Cage by Scott Gentling
Bird Cage by Scott Gentling, will be part of the exhibit Imagined Realism.

Imagined Realism: Scott and Stuart Gentling, is the first exhibition to highlight the work of Fort Worth artists Scott and Stuart Gentling. The twin brothers are most famous for their lush, naturalist works, especially their Audubon-esque masterwork known as Of Birds & Texas.

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The other exhibit which will debut September 25 is Anila Quayyum Agha: A Beautiful Despair, featuring site-specific sculptural installations alongside related drawings from Pakistani-American multidisciplinary artist Anila Quayyum Agha. Expect a meditative space filled with ornate patterns of light and shadow.

Agha’s elaborate art may be the perfect birthday gift, since the Carter’s Philip Johnson designed building is lauded for incorporating light and shadow in dramatic ways.

“The Carter is thrilled to celebrate our 60th anniversary with a free, fun event with our community, who have played such a vital role on the past six decades of the Carter,” museum director Andrew J. Walker says in a statement. “With an evening of art, activities and live music from the talented Shakey Graves, we know it will be a night to remember ending with the biggest birthday candles we could find ― a fireworks show overlooking downtown Fort Worth from our lawn.”

Exclusive early tickets become available to Carter members beginning June 22 at

The Carter’s Real History

This showcase Fort Worth museum opened in 1961 with a slightly different name. Originally formed around Amon Carter’s esteemed collection of Remingtons and Russells, it was known for nearly 50 years as the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art.

The focus of Fort Worth’s renowned museum broadened quickly as its permanent collection added preeminent works from John James Audubon, Stuart Davis, Dorothea Lange, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Alexander Calder and Georgia O’Keeffe. Its name was officially changed to The Amon Carter Museum of American Art to reflect the true breadth of its collections in 2010.

Carter – 2003_acm-exterior-night
East facade, Amon Carter Museum. Photograph by Gordon Trice, 2003.

The museum sprang from the vision of famed Fort Worth newsman Amon G. Carter Sr, the founder of the The Star Telegram. But it was his children — Amon G. Carter Jr. and Ruth Carter Stevenson — who brought it to life. They engaged one of America’s most noteworthy architects Philip Johnson to design the light-bathed marvel.

The modernist masterpiece is clad in shell stone, with its loggia facing downtown Fort Worth on its eastern side. Louis Kahn echoed his barrel vaulted response, across the vast lawn that lay between them, when the Kimbell Museum opened in 1972.

In many ways, the Amon Carter started a new era of art in Fort Worth. It deserves to have a memorable 60th.

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