The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is located in Dallas, Texas, in the Arts District near Woodall Rodgers Freeway between St. Paul and Harwood Streets. The museum moved from its previous location at Fair Park to the Arts District in the 1970s. Edward Larrabee Barnes and John MY Lee Associates designed the new structure, which was awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2007.
It took a decade to build the structure, which was built in stages. The museum’s collection includes more than 24,000 objects dating from the third millennium BC to the present day, making it one of the most dynamic exhibition policies and educational programs in the country.
The Frederick M. and Mildred R. Mayer Library (non-circulating research collection) contains over 50,000 books available to museum staff and the public. It has 159,000 square feet (14,800 m2) of exhibition space, making it one of the biggest art museums in the United States.
The Dallas Museum of Art was established in 1903 with the founding of the Dallas Art Association, which exhibited art in the Dallas Public Library. Frank Reaugh, a Texas artist, saw the new library as an opportunity to display works of art.
May Dickson Exall, the first president of the Dallas Public Library, championed this idea. She wanted to “offer art interest and education through exhibitions and lectures, form a permanent collection, sponsor the work of local artists, solicit support for the arts from individuals and businesses, and honor those who support the arts.”
A new permanent home was required as the facility became too small to handle the future plans. The Dallas Museum of Fine Arts relocated to a new art deco facility in 1936 on the Texas Centennial Exposition.