Deep in the Art of Texas
In the heartland of America’s South West, in the bustling cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Santa Fe, lie some of the world’s greatest collections of modern and contemporary art, sculpture and design.
Visit Dallas and Fort Worth, where extraordinary acts of generosity and philanthropy have endowed the cities with collections ranging from ancient to contemporary art from Asia, Africa and Europe. Even the museum buildings themselves are remarkable artistic creations by architects such as Renzo Piano, Louis Kahn and Tadao Ando. Travel to Houston, home to a wealth of museum collections spanning pre-Colombian and modern American art, traditional art and Cubism, sculpture and decorative arts and design.
End in Santa Fe, where the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum houses the world’s largest collection of this great American artist’s work.
This tour is part of the World Art Tours program organised by the Art Gallery Society of NSW in partnership with Renaissance Tours.
Depart Australia or New Zealand on suggested Qantas or Air New Zealand flights to Dallas. Arrive in Dallas in the late afternoon and check in to the hotel.
Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements.
This evening, join Ron for a welcome briefing and dinner.
After breakfast, visit the Dallas Museum of Art. Established in 1903, the museum features an outstanding collection of more than 22,000 works of art from around the world, from ancient to modern times. Collections include African, American, Ancient American, Ancient Mediterranean, Asian, contemporary and decorative arts.
In the afternoon, explore the Nasher Sculpture Center, home to one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world. The collection features more than 300 masterpieces by Giacometti, Matisse, Mirò, Picasso, Rodin and others. The museum was designed by architect Renzo Piano in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before dinner in the evening,
Continue your exploration of Dallas with a visit to the Crow Asian Art Museum. One of the few museums in the country dedicated to Asian art, the museum was opened in 1998 as a permanent addition to the Arts District of Dallas, bridging the cultural gap between East and West.
Then visit the Texas School Book Depository, famous as the vantage point of the assassination of President John F Kennedy on 22 November 1963. While the first five floors are still used as administrative offices, the historical exhibition on the sixth floor highlights the impact of Kennedy’s death on the nation and the world.
The afternoon and evening are at leisure.
Check out of the hotel and depart Dallas for Fort Worth. In Fort Worth, visit the Amon Carter American Art Museum, showcasing American art including works by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell.
Explore the National Cowgirl Museum dedicated to honouring women of the American West. This vibrant museum is an entertaining and intriguing look at the contributions of bold women who have displayed extraordinary courage and a pioneering spirit in their trailblazing efforts.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon for some free time before dinner. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Texan barbeque.
After breakfast and a talk by Ron in the morning, visit Fort Worth’s Cultural District, considered ‘the museum capital of the Southwest’. Begin with a visit to the Modern Art Museum, one of the foremost collections of international, modern and contemporary art displayed in a serene concrete and glass building, surrounded by a magnificent reflecting pond.
After a break for lunch (own arrangements), continue to the Kimbell Art Museum, internationally renowned for both its architecture by Louis Kahn and its fine art collection. The museum’s collection ranges from antiquity to the 20th century and includes masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Monet, Picasso and Matisse.
In the morning, check out of the hotel and transfer to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport for a flight to Houston (included in tour price), arriving in the early afternoon.
The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on your own before dinner.
Enjoy a talk by Ron in the morning and then visit the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). Established in 1900, the MFAH is the largest cultural institution in the southwest region. The broad collections of the museum cover world cultures dating from antiquity to the present and include in-depth holdings of American art, European paintings, pre Columbian and African gold, decorative arts and design, photography, prints and drawings, modern and contemporary painting and sculpture and Latin American art.
Continue to the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, located within the 5.6-hectare Museum of Fine Arts. Bayou Bend houses a collection of decorative art, with one of the finest showcases of American furnishings, silver, ceramics and paintings in the world.
Today, enjoy a full-day tour of the artistic highlights of Houston. First, visit Rienzi at the MFAH. Gifted to the museum in 1991, Rienzi was the home of Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III and was completed in 1954 by prominent Houston architect John Staub, blending contemporary with Palladian and 18th century English architecture.
After lunch, continue to the Rothko Chapel. Commissioned from Mark Rothko by John and Dominique de Menil in 1964, the chapel stands as a non-denominational place of interfaith dialogue and reflection. Then explore the De Menil Art Museum, an extraordinary gift by the de Menils to their adoptive city comprising more than 17,000 paintings, sculptures, decorative objects, prints, drawings, photographs and rare books.
Walk to the Cy Twombly Pavilion before visiting the Dan Flavin installation, a work employing the artist’s signature medium of fluorescent light tubes completed just two days before his death.
In the early morning, check out from the hotel and transfer to Houston Airport for a flight to Santa Fe (included in tour price).
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before dinner in the evening.
Enjoy a talk by Ron in the morning and then depart for a full-day tour of Santa Fe. Begin with a walking tour of the historic centre of Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the United States. Starting from the Santa Fe Plaza, see the Palace of the Governors, Sena Plaza, St Francis Cathedral, Loretto Chapel, San Miguel Mission and the Santa Fe Trail. Finish with a visit to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
After a lunch, visit Canyon Road Contemporary Art, a fine art gallery selling contemporary art including paintings, sculpture, mixed media and fused glass by international artists. Then visit an artist’s studio in Santa Fe before an evening at leisure.
Head north for a day in the Abiquiú region. Visit Ghost Ranch, the retreat and education centre where Georgia O’Keeffe lived, painted and found inspiration in the desert landscape.
After lunch, continue to the tiny town of Abiquiú and admire the magnificent views of the surrounding red sandstone rocks. Return to Santa Fe for an evening at leisure.
Travel along the Rio Grande Valley to Taos, a historic meeting ground for Pueblo Indians, Spanish settlers, mountain men and frontier scouts. On the outskirts of the town stands Taos Pueblo, with multi-storeyed adobe houses built more than a thousand years ago. Continue to the Millicent Rogers Museum to discover the many distinct cultures of the Southwest, where Hispanic, Native American and Anglo-Celtic arts combine.
Lunch is at leisure in Taos Pueblo.
In the afternoon, return to Santa Fe via the village of Chimayó. Famous for its weaving tradition and the Santuario de Chimayó, this “Lourdes of the Southwest” is visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year, drawn by the alleged healing powers of the tierra bendita (‘holy dirt’) found in a corner of the 19th century chapel.
Celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a special farewell dinner with Ron and fellow travellers.
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.
For those returning home today, suggested flights from Santa Fe on Qantas or Air New Zealand. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
10 August 2018
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness levels definitions.
Qantas / Air New Zealand
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.
In order to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme, all Australian and New Zealand passport holders require an ESTA pre-authorisation application (completed online in advance of travel).
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in centrally located superior 4 star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine with dinners
- Talks by your tour leader, Ron Ramsey
- Economy class flight Fort Worth – Houston/ Houston – Santa Fe
- Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Comprehensive sightseeing with local guides including entrance fees as per itinerary
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- ESTA Pre-Authorisation application to visit the USA
- Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service etc
- Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contract Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
Dallas – The Joule ****
Fort Worth – The Worthington Renaissance Hotel (Marriott) ****
Houston – The Sam Houston Hotel ****
Santa Fe – El Dorado Hotel ****
NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted