Monday, July 25, 2011

Totally Texas -- An Asian oasis in the heart of Dallas

The Crow Collection of Asian Art

2010 Flora St., Dallas


I got hooked on the Crow Collection several years ago when the federal agency I worked for held training sessions on the east end of downtown Dallas. I’d pack a brown bag and spend the too-short lunch breaks exploring the riches at the Crow. It was close. It was cool. And the price was right for a government employee -- free.

My grandsons got hooked by the glassed-in sky bridge joining galleries when they spied a dragon puppet there one Chinese New Year. Chinese dragons, they decided, were especially cool because they had beards.

The sky bridge currently houses an exhibition of origami cranes -- the fruits of the Crow Collection’s “1000 Cranes, 1000 Years of Happiness” competition. The competition’s winner was Rebekah Rutledge, with a truly amazing contribution of 7,000 birds folded from paper. The site includes a romantic picture with the glittering birds, but I like the one with little boys that illustrates this post. (Please note that the Crow, like any museum, places limits on photography.)

With summer temperatures in much of Texas hovering around what meteorologists optimistically call “the low one hundreds,” strolling the galleries is a good way to get your daily quota of exercise for body, mind and spirit. The Crow Collection responds with several special exhibitions. Its first floor showcases “Tradition Transformed: Tibetan Artists Respond” through September 11 and “Motion Pictures: A Handful of Drawings by Katsushika Hokusai” through August 28.

From Friday, August 19 through Friday, August 26, Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery construct a Tantric Buddhist mandala sand painting using millions of grains of crushed marble to generate energies for global healing.

When my family last visited, “Dream Chamber: Chinese Bedroom Furniture from the 17th through 19th Century” and “Fabled Journeys in Asian Art: East Asia” were being installed. For more information on upcoming exhibits, see

Like any good art museum, the Crow has a luscious selection of gifts in its aptly named Lotus Shop. The boys had to be dragged away. Obviously, they inherited my daughter’s shopping gene. The Crow is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s closed on Mondays. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

(Next month: Totally Texas goes watery, beginning with Austin’s perpetually-cool Barton Springs Pool)

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