Arts / Museums

Fort Worth’s Cultural District Boasts One of The Best Collections of Museums in America

From Art to Science to Cowgirls, These Are The Must-Visit Cultural Experiences in Cowtown

BY // 07.18.22

During the summer, Texans flock to air-conditioned activities. Whether looking for a fun local escape or setting your sights on a good ole Texas vacay, The Fort Worth Cultural District is the perfect place to immerse yourself in art, cowgirl history, science, and more museums for those looking to escape the heat and get a healthy dose of culture.

The Fort Worth Cultural District has one of the best collections of museums in America across its inspiring campus. It offers an experience that spans the entire history of art, including antiquities, impressionist milestones, and modern artworks, all within walking distance. From the Kimbell Art Museum to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Cultural District has something for everyone. And, because of the attractions’ proximity, it’s all completely walkable making it the perfect cultural escape regardless of if you have only a few minutes or a few hours. 

“The Fort Worth Cultural District is truly one of the best-kept secrets of Cowtown,” Mitch Witten, Visit Fort Worth Chief Operating Officer, tells PaperCity. “Fort Worth has so much to be proud of, and our city’s investment in so many outstanding cultural institutions is at the top of the list.”

Let’s break down some of the District’s highlights and must-see destinations:

Kimbell Art Museum is a must-visit attraction in Fort Worth. (Courtesy of Kimbell)

Kimbell Art Museum

One of the most well-known museums in Fort Worth is the Kimbell Art Museum. With internationally known accolades, this iconic museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary this fall. The building itself is an architectural design masterpiece. Designed by architect Louis Kahn, the vaulted building crafted thoughtfully with an homage to the natural light that fills its space, serves as inspiration to countless artists and architects in their own work. 

The Kimbell’s permanent collection comprises about 350 works of art and is distinguished by an extraordinary level of artistic quality and importance. The collection includes Asian and non-Western, as well as European art, and extends to the mid-20th century. In addition to its extensive and outstanding collection, the Museum offers a variety of tours, events, and activities.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art

The Kimbell isn’t the only member in the District celebrating a milestone anniversary. In 2021, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art celebrated its 60th anniversary. The Carter’s renowned collection celebrates the breadth and depth of American art, from early daguerreotypes to site-specific installations by contemporary artists. The museum was founded around Amon G. Carter Sr.’s extensive collection of works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, but it has since expanded to encompass artworks by thousands of artists that display the creativity and complexity of American art. The Museum is free to visit, and also hosts a myriad of events including its famous “Second Thursdays at the Carter” where visitors can connect with art through cocktails, conversations, and creativity through different activities each month.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is one of the best art museums in the country.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

A trip to the Cultural District isn’t complete without a stop at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The Modern is a leader in collecting, showing, and interpreting art from the 1940s to the present. In addition to 53,000 square feet of soaring, light-filled gallery space and landscaped grounds with outdoor sculptures, the museum features a reflecting pond, theater, education center, gift shop, and café — creating a thriving hub for the community and beyond.

Founded in 1892, The Modern is the oldest museum in Texas and is known for its evolving international collection. The Museum’s holdings include influential artists from Pablo Picasso, Philip Guston, Anselm Kiefer, Martin Puryear, and Agnes Martin to Mark Bradford, Teresita Fernández, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and Kehinde Wiley. In addition to this impressive collection, the Modern hosts artist talks, workshops, lectures, youth and adult classes, art camps, and more. It also presents critically acclaimed first-run films and partners with other local arts organizations to offer music, dance, and theater.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

Calling all cowgirls! Come learn how the West was won at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. This 33,000-square-foot museum honors and celebrates women whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that helped shape the West. It fosters an appreciation of the ideals and spirit of self-reliance they inspire. It’s the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring women of the West and from around the world who have displayed extraordinary courage and pioneer spirit in their trailblazing efforts.

The museum includes interactive exhibit galleries that feature artifacts of the permanent collection, a traveling exhibit gallery, two theaters, a gift shop, a research library and archives, and a brand-new second floor. Currently, the museum’s archives house more than 4,000 artifacts and information about more than 750 remarkable women. It is also home to the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame which has 248 honorees, including pioneers, artists, writers, entertainers, humanitarians, businesswomen, educators, ranchers, and rodeo cowgirls. As you wander through, you may recognize some names such as Sacagawea, Georgia O’Keeffe, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Annie Oakley, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and more.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. (Courtesy)

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

Lastly, the learning never stops at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, which is a Smithsonian affiliate. The Museum is focused on engaging the community through creative, vibrant programs, and exhibits interpreting science and the stories of Texas and the Southwest. Permanent exhibits include DinoLabs and DinoDig, the Children’s Museum, Innovation Studios, Noble Space Gallery, and more.

In addition to its visiting exhibits, the Museum also hosts field trips, birthday parties, and school outreach programs. In a time when STEM education has never been so important, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is an incredible asset to the North Texas community.

And, if your cultural appetite isn’t fulfilled after visiting all of these remarkable museums, the Cultural District also includes several other nearby attractions, including the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, that expand Fort Worth culture into nature.

Plunge into culture this summer in Fort Worth.