Enduring arts patrons

Enduring arts patrons

“Beauty teaches. Beauty is a disciplinarian.”

Virginia Woolf said that and she could have been writing about this year’s winners of the TACA Silver Cup award, Nancy Nasher and Walter Elcock.

Both have been shaped by the galvanizing spirit of art, and both are indispensable to the cultural life of Dallas.

As Wolford McCue said, “The TACA Silver Cup was created to recognize individuals who have made impactful contributions that have transformed the arts in Dallas.

Nancy and Walter’s leadership has both enhanced the artistic quality of multiple organizations

and engaged new and younger audiences to experience performances and arts experiences.”

Wolford McCue is the new Carlson president and executive director of TACA. Nancy Nasher is no stranger to complexity, but at NorthPark Center, which she owns

and operates with her husband David Haemisegger, she insists that complexity yield to order.

Indeed, when thousands of seasonal plants arrive to fill the gardens inside and out, company landscapers know exactly where each cactus, each bromiliad, each succulent will go. The proportions of each allée of shops are strictly adhered to: 14 feet in the middle for planting and art with 12 feet on each side for walking.

Fountains, allées, courts: all are designed in stately procession with the mathematical precision best understood

by architects of the Italian Renaissance—Palladio, Bramante—and faithfully practiced by designers of NorthPark: Eero Saarinen,

Kevin Roche, E.G. Hamilton, and more recently Mark Dilworth, as well as Renzo Piano,

master builder of the Nasher Sculpture Center, founded, like NorthPark, by Nancy’s father, Ray, who was everlastingly a classicist.

So is she, with occasional forays into the baroque, not unlike her mother, Patsy, who was brilliant, audacious, and with Ray the guiding spirit of the Nasher Collection.

(I’ve heard it said that all art is either classical or baroque.)

When I arrive at NorthPark to meet Nancy near the soaring red Ad Astra by Mark di Suvero, as agreed, I don’t have to look far.

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