-- First U.S. Commission by Artist Rebecca Warren, Pas de Deux (Plaza Monument), Unveiled --
Dallas, TX, April 20, 2016 – This week, the Dallas Museum of Art unveiled the Museum’s renovated north entrance, which includes new access to the DMA’s main entrance, an outdoor lawn and dining experience, interior renovations to the Atrium, as well as the debut of the Museum-commissioned sculpture Pas de Deux (Plaza Monument) by British artist Rebecca Warren—the artist’s first commissioned work in the United States. The north entrance, renamed Eagle Family Plaza, was made possible by the generosity of benefactors Jennifer and John Eagle, who donated $3 million for the renovations, and the Nancy B. Hamon Estate, which gave an additional gift of $1.3 million for the project, for a total contribution of $4.3 million. The north entrance was designed by Dallas-based landscape architectural firms Studio Outside and Hocker Design Group and local architectural firm Morrison Dilworth + Walls.
The renovation features an expansive new lawn area, which includes the creation of an outdoor exhibition space at the north entrance. The first commissioned work for this space is Pas de Deux (Plaza Monument), a 14-foot tall sculpture by Rebecca Warren. The site-specific work, created in the United Kingdom, is Warren’s first commission by a U.S. museum and serves as the first in a series of rotating works by various artists highlighted in the new north lawn of the Museum. Warren was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006 and was elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Art in 2014.
The expanded Eagle Family Plaza design has fully opened the DMA Cafe to the exterior. Perimeter plantings along the northeast side of the building have been replaced by a steel pavilion and wooden decking to expand seating and dining options, including the addition of an outdoor food pavilion entitled Socca, which will debut in May. Featuring food options inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, Socca is among the first restaurants to bring this dish by the same name to Dallas. Originating in Italy and popular throughout the Mediterranean coast, socca is a savory chickpea crepe topped with a variety of flavors found in southern France and the western coast of Italy. Local chef and menu consultant Sharon Hage worked with the DMA to develop the concept.
"We are thrilled to extend the DMA’s spirit of creativity beyond its walls with the Eagle Family Plaza, which enhances the Museum’s campus with new space and visitor access,” said Walter Elcock, the DMA’s Interim Director. “Through the generosity of Jennifer and John Eagle, along with the Nancy B. Hamon Estate, we have created a new way to welcome visitors to the DMA and experience all that the Dallas Arts District has to offer.”
"We could not be more proud to support this enhancement of the DMA's north entrance, which offers an open and welcoming entrance that will only further enhance the Museum visitor's experience," said Jennifer Eagle, speaking on the couple's behalf. "We look forward to joining thousands of our fellow visitors in enjoying the improved access that the renovated north entrance now offers."
Inside, the DMA Cafe has also undergone a transformation with the creation of a passageway from the new cafe entry doors through to the Museum’s Fleischner Courtyard. The passageway will incorporate a new DMA Cafe food service location, which features a new menu as well as an additional entrance to the DMA’s Museum Store. Like Socca, the DMA Cafe will debut in May with a new menu and will be open during normal Museum hours. Both dining experiences will be operated by Sodexo, Inc., the DMA’s culinary service provider.
In 1993, the DMA opened the Nancy and Jake L. Hamon Building, supported by a remarkable contribution from one of Dallas’s most dedicated and prominent philanthropists, Nancy Hamon, in honor of her husband, legendary Dallas oilman and civic leader Jake Hamon. Accessed by the north entrance, the Hamon wing has become the heart of the visitor experience at the DMA. With the opening of Klyde Warren Park in 2012, coupled with the DMA’s return to free general admission in 2013, there has been a significant increase in pedestrian traffic. The modification of the north entrance, situated between North St. Paul and Harwood streets, and facing Klyde Warren Park, has increased accessibility and enhanced safety, contributing to an improved visitor experience. The redesign of the 20-year-old entrance includes improved vehicular circulation, enhanced pedestrian access, interior food service refurbishments, and a new outdoor dining venue.
The renovation of Eagle Family Plaza was completed by Byrne Construction. Landscaping was installed and will be maintained by Southern Botanical.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than two million visitors, and enrolled more than 100,000 people in DMA Friends, a free program available to anyone who wishes to join focused on active engagement with the Museum. For more information, visit DMA.org.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.