This exquisitely serene indoor/outdoor museum is the only facility in the United States exclusively devoted to sculpture. It was founded by the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher, private collectors and Dallas residents who housed some of their sculptures in the shopping mall that made their fortune. Eventually their collection grew so large that it needed its own space, so the Nashers hired starchitect Renzo Piano to create what was termed a "roofless museum." The building that resulted obviously does have a roof, but an innovative one: thin sheets of glass were suspended from metal rods that allow filtered natural light to fill the space. It's an extraordinary effect that renders the sculptures shadow-free but still protects them. The museum opened in 2003.
The architecture is only the beginning of the wonders of the museum. Among the Nasher's many highlights are several rare plaster casts (the artists’ first medium when creating a metal piece) including a Picasso that’s considered the first Cubic sculpture. Though the museum and its sculpture garden are spacious, they aren't big enough to display the 300 works the institution owns, so pieces rotate. You'll likely see works by Jim Dine, Willem De Koonig, Isamu Noguchi, Joan Miro, August Rodin, and George Segal.
The Nasher features a lovely on-site cafe and tempting gift store. It hosts lectures, concerts, movie screenings, and other events, so check its calendar first.