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DMA’s New, More Pedestrian-Friendly Entrance Opens 12

The Dallas Museum of Art has opened a new entrance along Woodall Rogers Freeway. It’s more than just a doorway.

In fact, it’s called the new Eagle Family Plaza. The new plaza is a broad, stair-stepped lawn with an outdoor café and an exhibition space. It’s a little like a tiny sculpture garden. Right now, that exhibition space hosts a 14-foot sculpture by British artist Rebecca Warren called ‘Pas de Deux.’ The artist has a show currently at the museum. But this piece, acquired by the DMA, is her first commissioned work in the US. The outdoor artwork will change — presumably, this means it could continue to be used as something of a ‘advertising billboard,’ giving a taste of what’s on display in a major exhibition inside the museum.

The museum raised $4.3 million to build the entrance. The old entrance was dominated by cars using it to get to the DMA’s underground parking garage. The garage entrance is still there, but the entire arrangement is designed to be more open, more pedestrian-friendly. ‘Genesis, The Gift of Life,’ the giant mural by Miguel Cobarrubias, is still in place, still creating something of a barrier between the DMA’s doors and the sidewalk. But moving the mural would seem out of the question (in terms of cost and the public outcry it would likely create). Still, part of the idea behind the new plaza’s design is to lure some of the burgeoning crowds who’ve been coming to Klyde Warren Park and the food trucks that park alongside it.

Whether that’ll happen won’t really be tested until May. That’s when the new outdoor café, called Socca, will open. Until then, the attraction here is mostly a place outside to sit … under some shade. And look at the Rebecca Warren.

dma new entrance

From the other angle, however, the plaza still looks like a barrier.