Peter Doroshenko ran Victor Pinchuk’s private museum in Kyiv before moving to Dallas to run Dallas Contemporary, the city’s kunsthalle. He also put together a book about private art museums which features Dallas’s many examples:
The idea of a private museum is not new. Some of the most treasured American art institutions today—the Frick Collection, the Barnes Foundation, and Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center—began as private collections. What is new and interesting about the latest private art spaces is their novel design, function, and programming.
In his book Private Spaces for Contemporary Art, Dallas Contemporary executive director Peter Doroshenko writes about how the freedoms enjoyed by private owners—no need to show traveling exhibitions, financial independence—allow for spaces that can skew institutional models. “[Art collections] are exhibited in unique and spectacular spaces,” he writes, “many of them designed and erected for the sole purpose of highlighting their one-of-a-kind collections, creating an extraordinary and ideal environment for the artworks.”
Doroshenko’s book highlights private spaces throughout the world, but Dallas is something of a trend leader when it comes to private art museums. From Howard Rachofsky and Vernon Faulconer’s gargantuan The Warehouse to the monastic-like retreat of Marguerite Hoffman’s Garden Pavilion, Dallas’ private art spaces don’t just showcase specific collections. They create new possibilities for the exhibition of contemporary art.