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Cowboys & Culture: Museums & Architecture of Dallas-Ft. Worth

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Departure Dates

  • Nov 01, 2018 - Nov 05, 2018


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Cowboys & Culture: Museums & Architecture of Dallas-Ft. Worth

From the cowboys of the Chisholm Trail to Texas’ wealthy oil and cattle barons, the neighboring cities of Dallas and Fort Worth have always done things “big.” Visit private homes of major art collectors, opened exclusively for the National Trust. Admire the Louis Kahn-designed Kimbell Art Museum, housing classic works by artists such as El Greco and Caravaggio. Learn about Fort Worth’s “cowtown” roots at the Fort Worth Stockyards—a National Historic District.  Stay at the luxurious Ashton Hotel and dine on the region’s culinary specialties throughout.

Study Leader

is an independent art historian, writer, and lecturer specializing in stained glass and architecture. He is currently the curator of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows and an adjunct faculty member in Historic Preservation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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For more information or with any questions call 888-484-8785 or email

Ship Information

Hotel Accommodations:
Four nights at The Ashton Hotel in Fort Worth, a member of Historic Hotels of America

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Downtown Fort Worth

Arrive at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) and transfer independently to the historic Ashton Hotel located in the heart of Fort Worth. After settling in, gather for a walking tour of downtown Fort Worth with study leader Rolf Achilles, beginning at Philip Johnson’s remarkable Water Gardens. Continue to the lively Sundance Square district for a look at historic buildings and fascinating murals tracing Fort Worth’s “Cow Town” origins. Celebrate your first night in Fort Worth with a taste of delicious Texan hospitality and a hearty steak dinner at one of the city’s top restaurants. (D)

Historic Homes & Kimbell Art Museum

Visit stately Thistle Hill (1903) and learn about the early days of cattle barons and oil tycoons from the mansion’s chief preservationist. Then, on a special tour opened exclusively for National Trust travelers, discover the Ball- Eddleman-McFarland House, the region’s most intact Queen Anne Victorian residence. This sophisticated beauty was built high on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River in 1899 and remains largely unaltered today. Enjoy a relaxing lunch in downtown Fort Worth before an afternoon excursion to Texas’ most prestigious museum, the Kimbell Art Museum. Gain special access to the museum’s restoration laboratory, hosted by a conservator, and examine the architecture of Louis Kahn’s iconic original building and Renzo Piano’s magnificent addition. Evening and dinner plans are at leisure. (B, L)

The Dallas Experience

Drive to nearby Dallas for a day filled with art and architecture. Begin with a drive through downtown Dallas and enjoy stops at the Adolphus Hotel, Philip Johnson’s Thanks-Giving Chapel, and the Longhorn Sculpture Park. Continue to the Texas School Depository and its Sixth Floor Museum for a look back at Dallas’ darkest hour, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Finish the morning with a guided visit at the Dallas Museum of Art, touring its impressive Reves Collection of 19th- and 20th-century French art, and its unparalleled collection of works by contemporary artist Sigmar Polke. Enjoy lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Nasher Café before touring Renzo Piano’s stunning Nasher Sculpture Museum. Finish the afternoon with a driving tour through the Dallas Arts District, which boasts buildings by three other Pritzker Prize-winning architects—I.M. Pei, Norman Foster, and Rem Koolhaas. Return to Fort Worth for an independent evening. (B, L)

Great Museums of Fort Worth

Gather for a lecture by Rolf Achilles on Texas’ fascinating social and economic history, from the cowboys of the Chisholm Trail to the “wildcatting” oil barons and the “virtual cowboys” of Enron. At the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, enjoy a special tour of this scenic monument to Fort Worth’s long dominion over the Texas livestock industry, featuring historic buildings and a vibrant collection of restaurants and shops. Continue to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the 2004 masterpiece by Tadao Ando. After lunch at the Modern’s café, enjoy a guided tour of the museum, examining the building’s innovative architecture and the outstanding collection of late 20th-century art. Follow with a tour of the nearby Amon Carter Museum, home to a remarkable collection of American Art—including works by Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, and John Singer Sargent—before ending the afternoon with a visit to the private studio of one of Fort Worth’s top young artists. This evening, walk to one of Fort Worth’s most beloved restaurants for a memorable farewell dinner. (B, L, D)


Enjoy a guided tour at one of Fort Worth’s most fascinating private homes and experience the stunning art collection that resides there. Continue to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) via group transfer for independent return flights home. (B)