The Nasher View of a Behemoth / Behemoth View of the Nasher
The Dallas Morning News has posted the email that Luce sent to Dallas Police & Fire Pension System administrator Richard Tettamant, which has bankrolled the tower. Most revealingly, Luce’s resignation specifically accuses Tettamant of violating the “conditions and spirit under which I agreed to serve.”
Richard; recent events have made clear that the conditions and spirit under which I agreed to serve to help find a mutually beneficial solution for all parties are not being adhered to by you. This saddens me because I believe this is such an important issue for our City as a whole together with the financial future for our wonderful police and fireman. From the sideline I will be hoping this situation can be mutually resolved with your approach.
Richard Tettamant emailed this response to the Dallas Morning News:
“We are sorry that Tom Luce felt that he was unable to continue as the go-between towards arriving at a collaborative, reasonable, practical solution to the reflection of the Museum Tower onto the Nasher Sculpture Garden and thank Mr. Luce for his service.”Unfortunately any belief by Tom that the quiet period he had negotiated was not adhered to is really a misinterpretation of the Museum Tower’s marketing and sales efforts and needs.
“The Museum Tower is singularly committed to being a valued, responsible good neighbor of the Nasher, and in that regard has been tireless in pursuing a reasonable scientific and engineering solutions to the issue. That process is close to narrowing the options to a few viable and practical solutions.“
David Haemisegger, president of the Nasher’s board of trustees, released this response:
“On behalf of the people of Dallas, I am deeply concerned to learn that because of actions of the leadership of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System Tom Luce has determined that it is no longer viable to facilitate discussions to resolve the Museum Tower reflection issues. Tom has been invaluable in creating a process which led us to a point where we were engaged in detailed technical discussions of a solution that would address the reflection problems throughout the Arts District. For the past six months at the request of Mayor Rawlings Tom has worked diligently and tirelessly for the benefit of the people of Dallas and the members of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System to help find a solution to the reflection issue, following upon the six months the Nasher had already invested in working with Museum Tower. As always, the Nasher is committed to working with the leadership of the Pension System to find a resolution to the problem.”
Luxury Condominiums in Dallas are common – and have been since the Warrington on Turtle Creek blazed that trail in the early 70’s.
There is but one Nasher Sculpture Center – and now with the Crow Collection removed from the Crow building and tucked away in a private and inaccessible office park, the Nasher becomes even more important.
A “CLOSED” sign appeared in front of the James Turrell Skyspace, Tending Blue. The sign attributed the closure to the the mirror glass clad Dallas Police and Fire Pension System Condominium known as the Museum Tower, a 42-story luxury condominium building, being erected east of The Nasher. It is obvious, The Nasher is not pleased.
Turrel’s work, located in the Nasher Garden, began a series of works that he describes generically as “skyspaces.” These are enclosed spaces – rooms or free-standing structures – open to the sky through rectangular or circular apertures in the roof. While they appear to be architectural in nature, these spaces exist solely to create the light effects and perceptual events that constitute Turrell’s art.
A skyspace, Tending, (Blue), was commissioned as a site-specific project for the Nasher Sculpture Center. To achieve his optical effects, Turrell coordinates a complex system of lights that run in concert with natural cycles of sunrise and sunset, and respond to constantly changing atmospheric conditions which has been altered by the Museum Tower’s reflection.
The Nasher noticed reflections that altered the indoor exhibit space from the $200 million tower covered in mirror glass which generates an obvious glare of light. Beams of light were also raising the temperature indoors and in the sculpture center’s outdoor gardens.
You can see the wonderfully diffused lighting effect on this work by Picasso now modified by the glare from the Museum Tower. Below you see the work before the Tower.
In the next image you see not only Rodin’s marvelous Age of Bronze but the lighting grid which makes the Nasher such an experiential treat.
I assume it was the glare of the tower which resulted in having to view Elliott Hundley: The Bacchae an exhibit between January 28 – April 22, 2012, basically in the dark. Ugh.
Dallas attorney and civic leader Tom Luce has agreed to mediate the dispute between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Museum Tower.
One change suggested by developers in a published report calls for moveable screens at the Nasher that would block offensive light. A study by the Nasher suggests replacing the tower glass with less reflective glass or treating the tower glass with a diffusing film similar to what’s used to reduce glare on smart phones.
Here you can see, the tower begins behind the sculpture at the Nasher, and four months later you observe the progression.
Here is an image of Semiramis at the Dallas Museum of Art with the Museum Tower going up behind her, so clearly, the DMA will be impacted as well, thought the sculpture garden is on the southwest side of the museum while the tower is to the northeast.