By Sally Krutzig
Every University of Dallas student who has been to Rome can tell you about the amazing secrets he discovered in the Eternal City. Each student has a story of some underground church, hidden catacomb, beautiful artwork or gelateria that no one else knows about.
Yet few take time to unearth all that the city of Dallas has to offer. The University News will be running a new series on discovering the secrets of the city of Dallas.
Though most students have heard of the DMA, the Perot and the Sixth Floor Museum, here are some of the lesser-known, and often more unusual, museums and displays in Dallas.
Known as the “Prado of the Prairie,” the Meadows Museum holds “one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain” according to its website. From Goya to Velazquez to Picasso, this museum is no small fry in the art world. Located on the Southern Methodist University campus, this museum is open every day but Monday. Come after 5 p.m. on Thursday and admission is free. The museum is located at 5900 Bishop Blvd in Dallas, 75205.
The Samurai Collection
Located on the top floor of the former St. Ann’s School, the first school for Hispanic children in Dallas, is the only museum dedicated to Samurai armor outside of Japan. This collection boasts of over 1,000 original pieces, including armor, weapons, and masks. As you walk through the museum, you will learn everything you need to know about these Japanese warriors and their lifestyle. The best part? Admission is free. Go on the weekend at 1 p.m. for a guided tour. The museum is at 2501 North Harwood St. in Dallas, 75201.
Dallas Holocaust Museum
“North Texas is home to about 125 survivors, refugees and hidden children from the Holocaust,” according to the museum’s website. This museum is dedicated to those survivors. Its main exhibit tries to give a focal point to the otherwise overwhelming tragedy. It does so by focusing on one day in history: April 19, 1943. This was the day that the 20th Deportation Train from Belgium was attacked by partisans,
the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began and the Bermuda Conference met. Besides this exhibit, museum-goers will see many Holocaust and World War II artifacts. Admission is $8 for college students. The museum is at 211 North Record St. Suite 100 in Dallas, 75202.
Old Parkland Campus
As a private collection on an exclusive office campus, this one is by invite only. While not technically a museum, with so many historical oddities, it may as well be. Behind the gates of its Jeffersonian-inspired architecture, you will find a park that would be more suited to Paris. Among the shady trees, are many sculptures, several of them from the famed artist Auguste Rodin. Inside the campus buildings, however, are the real treasures. Here, you will find Lincoln’s death mask, the curtain Lincoln grabbed as he fell after being shot in Ford’s theatre, 3,000-year-old narwhal tusks and fossilized dinosaur eggs. The campus is at 3819 Maple Avenue, Dallas 75219.
For more information on visiting, contact the campus at 214-661-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hand Collection
Who hasn’t wondered what Winston Churchill’s hands looked like? Now you can find out by going to the Baylor University Medical Center. Adrian Flatt, who was chief of orthopedic surgery at Baylor Dallas from 1982 until 1992, had the interesting hobby of making bronze castings of famous people’s hands. On display in the hospital lobby, you’ll find everyone from Walt Disney to Mickey Mantle to Dr. Seuss. This free exhibit is open to the public 24 hours a day. Baylor University Medical Center is located at 3500 Gaston Ave. Dallas, 75246.
The Hilton Anatole Art Collection
You’ll have to get a drink from the hotel bar to see this one, but America’s largest art collection in a hotel may be worth it. This Hilton hotel holds 18th century Buddhist lions, a section of the Berlin Wall and the famed Imperial Russian painting “Nana” by G. Marcel Suchorowsky, among hundreds of other pieces. The Hilton Anatole is at 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway Dallas, 75207.
The DMA Underground Storage
While most people know about the Dallas Museum of Art, many may not realize that only about 10 percent of the museum’s collection is on display at any given time. The other 90 percent — totaling about 21,000 pieces — are kept in the underground storage area. By signing up for the DMA Friends program, art lovers can earn points towards a tour of this secret vault. The DMA is located at 1717 North Harwood, Dallas 75201.
Dallas ArtWalk Public
Download the map and audioguide on your phone and you can take a free, self-guided tour of the Dallas artwork sprinkled throughout the city. Starting at the Nasher Sculpture Center and ending at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, this 3.3 mile walk will show you all of the public art, sculpture and architecture of Dallas.
Bath House Cultural Center
This venue allows artists from Dallas and from all over the world to put their art on display in the hopes of tempting buyers. Walk around the Bath House to see what true modern art, made by the artists of today, looks like. You can find this gallery on White Rock Lake at 512 E. Lawther Drive in Dallas, 75218.
The Old Red Museum
One of Dallas’s most recognizable buildings is the old courthouse, now known as The Old Red Museum. Inside, you’ll get a comprehensive history of the city. Fossils from Dallas’ prehistory show its earliest roots and Lee Harvey Oswald’s handcuffs represent Dallas’ most infamous moment. There is also everything in between, and visitors will leave with a better sense than ever of what it means to live in the city of Dallas. The museum is located at 100 S Houston St. in Dallas, 75202.