More about Kimbell Art Museum


Kay Kimbell, like most heroes, dropped out of school in the eighth grade.

He worked as an office boy at a grain-milling company and eventually, in one of those rare instances where the American Dream becomes a reality, he founded his own milling company and became rich and successful. He actually became the head of more than seventy companies, and he collected lots o' art on the side.

That’s where the Kimbell Art Museum factors in. His wife, Velma, got him into art collecting (you know what they say: behind every great art collector, there is a better lady art collector), and he eventually put together one of the greatest collections of old master works in the Southwest. When the Kimbells died, they decided to leave their art to an art foundation, which was very generous of them. It was Velma who insisted the pieces get put into a kickass museum.

The Board of the Kimbell Art Foundation hired architect Louis Kahn--the only one kickass enough to do the job. Kahn was born Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky, a name so Eastern-European-Jewish that at first I thought it was a joke and got offended for a second. His parents decided that assimilation was the only way to make it in America (#tru), hence the name change. Anyway, this guy became good enough to be a professor of architecture at Yale, which makes him at least as good of an architect as Ted Mosby. Kahn also had a rags-to-riches life, so he and Kimbell were meant to be. Their stories together make it even easier to ignore the fact that upward class mobility is essentially a myth.

Kahn was told that the building itself had to be a work of art, that natural light should play a big part in the design, and that the structure should be so beautiful that adding anything to it would ruin it. All in all, not asking much. I guess they decided it was a success. Maybe Kahn read between the lines: "Make it look like those things farmers use to cover their crops in harsh weather.” 


Founded by Kay and Velma Kimbell. He quit school in the 8th grade to become an office boy at a grain milling company and eventually CEO of his own food empire.

The museum was designed by superstar American architect and Yale professor Louis Kahn. Louis' original name was Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky (he was a Russian Jew), but after immigrating to the US his parents thought he would have a better shot at success if his name was Louis Kahn. They were too poor to afford pencils, so started out drawing with charcoal twigs. There is a chamber opera called "Architect" which is based on his life.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Kimbell Art Museum

The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, hosts an art collection as well as traveling art exhibitions, educational programs and an extensive research library. Its initial artwork came from the private collection of Kay and Velma Kimbell, who also provided funds for a new building to house it.

The building was designed by architect Louis I. Kahn and is widely recognized as one of the most significant works of architecture of recent times. It is especially noted for the wash of silvery natural light across its vaulted gallery ceilings.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Kimbell Art Museum