Book Review: Nasher Sculpture Center Handbook

Nasher Sculpture Center Handbook edited by Steven A. Nash, published by Nasher Sculpture Center, 2003. Paperback, 189 pages. (Amazon)

The Nasher Sculpture Center is an extraordinary combination of architecture, landscape design and art, an urban oasis in the Arts District of Dallas. Housing the collection of Raymond Nasher and his late wife Peggy, a visit to the building (Renzo Piano) and garden (Peter Walker) clearly illustrates their love of sculptural art, from pre-Columbian to contemporary, but in particular Modern 20th-century sculpture. Half of this handbook is devoted to their collection, with an essay by the editor and plates of 55 artworks. The other half of the book describes the history of the project, with design sketches, a background on the design process by Mark Thistlethwaite, and construction photos by Timothy Hursley. The approximate 50/50 split of the book into art and architecture parallels the Center itself, which balances the environment and the objects within and about so each is better for the other.