The best plays, musical performances, and exhibits in Texas are enjoyed by record number crowds, in spite of the pandemic, according to our cultural adventurer Leanne Raesener who shares our favorite recommendations from across the state.

AUSTIN

AUS Courtesy of The Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas Austin, Hollywood, The Prodigal Son

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

The vast Bass Concert Hall stage turns gallery as Texas Performing Arts presents Behind the Scenes: The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop. Visit mid-century Hollywood through the first-ever public viewing of twelve historic Golden Age film backdrops. Through March 21. At TexasPerformingArts.org

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of The Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas Austin, Hollywood, The Prodigal Son.

AUS Torbjørn Rødland, Eggs, 2019. Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper. Artwork © Torbjørn Rødland.Courtesy the artist and NILS STÆRK, Copenhagen

PICTURE THIS

Torbjørn Rødland: Bible Eye, The Contemporary Austin’s first solo photography exhibition, features the L.A.-based Norwegian artist’s earlier works alongside a few newer pieces. A few have a direct link to Austin, taken with the show in mind when Rødland was in the Capital City last year. Through August 15. At TheContemporaryAustin.org. 

ON IMAGE: Torbjørn Rødland, Eggs, 2019. Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper. Artwork © Torbjørn Rødland.Courtesy the artist and NILS STÆRK, Copenhagen.

Texas Gold Changed the World

TEXAS GOLD CHANGED THE WORLD

The Bullock Museum’s new Texas Oil and Gas permanent exhibition brings together Texas’s oil industry history and how it changed Texas and the world. Discover early prospectors’ wealth through artifact highlights such as a beaded opera cape, tuxedo, and alligator bag. Ongoing. At TheStoryOfTexas.com. 

ON IMAGE: Elegant, sable trimmed opera cape, ornately embellished with pink, gold, and white sequins in the flowing curves of Art Nouveau design, ca. 1912. Courtesy of The Bullock Museum.

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

DAL Anna, Paris 2017, Photo by Paolo Roversi_Courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary.

ETHEREALLY GRACEFUL FLIGHT

Birds, presented at the Dallas Contemporary, will be the first North American exhibition of legendary Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi. It will focus on his long-standing collaboration with the Comme des Garçons fashion brand and its founder Rei Kawakubo. Through August 22. At DallasContemporary.org

ON IMAGE: Anna, Paris 2017, Photo: Paolo Roversi/Courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary.

DAL Photography is Art exhibition, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum_ Alfred Stieglitz, A Wet Day on the Boulevard, Paris, Photogravure, 2013

AMERICA, OH SO BEAUTIFUL

This year the Amon Carter Museum of American Art celebrates its sixtieth year of scholarship, collecting, special exhibitions, and its preeminent collection of masterworks since first welcoming visitors in 1961. Through January 9, 2022. At CarterMuseum.org.

ON IMAGE: Photography is an Art exhibition, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum; Alfred Stieglitz, A Wet Day on the Boulevard, Paris, Photogravure, 2013.

DAL Photo by Andy Nguyen. Courtesy of Galleria Dallas

YOU SPIN ME ‘ROUND

As we’ve seen on the catwalks, the 80s are back and being celebrated. Thanks to Martini Consignment’s Ken Weber, the new exhibit at Galleria Dallas, She’s Got The Look, represents the best of the decade’s fantasy dressing. March 5–April 3. At GalleriaDallas.com.

HOUSTON

HOUS Moooi Works, manufactured by Moooi, Mega Chandelier, 2018, mixed media and bulbs. © Moooi, New York

BRIGHT…AND JUST RIGHT

The Museum of Fine Art Houston’s Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting is the first large-scale U.S. exhibition to examine international lighting’s artistic and technological evolution over the past 100 years through pivotal creations within major avant-garde design movements by the world’s leading designers. Through May 16. At MFAH.org

ON IMAGE: Moooi Works, manufactured by Moooi, Mega Chandelier, 2018, mixed media and bulbs. © Moooi, New York

HOUS David Novros, Detail of right wall from Untitled, 1973–75. The Menil Collection, Houston jpg

THE ROTHKO ROCKS 50

This spring, the Moody Center for the Arts will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rothko Chapel by presenting Artists and the Rothko Chapel: 50 Years of Inspiration, which will highlight the extraordinary impact the Rothko Chapel has had on both artists and the public since its opening in 1971. Through May 15. At Moody.Rice.edu

ON IMAGE: David Novros, Detail of right wall from Untitled, 1973–75, oil on canvas. The Menil Collection, Houston

HOUS Signature Works, Courtesy of Ars Lyrica Houston

A SONG IN OUR HEARTS

Presented by Houston’s Ars Lyrica, Signature Works exemplifies Polish Baroque music illustrating this culture’s significant and little-known contribution to European musical practice during the “golden age” of the 17th and 18th centuries. Virtual performance on March 14. At ArsLLyricaHouston.org. 

ON IMAGE: Signature Works, Courtesy of Ars Lyrica Houston.

SAN ANTONIO

SA Brenda Rae, Metropolitan Opera, Courtesy of Opera San Antonio

OPERATIC & DRAMATIC

Opera San Antonio will return to live performances at the Tobin Center on May 6 and 8 with Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. The production features Metropolitan Opera star Brenda Rae in the title role, Scott Hendricks as Enrico, and Scott Quinn as Edgardo. The opera contains one of the most famous scenes in opera―Lucia’s descent into madness. At OperaSA.org.

ON IMAGE: Brenda Rae, Metropolitan Opera, Courtesy of Opera San Antonio

SA Martine Gutierrez, Still from Clubbing, 2012. HD video. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, © Martine Gutierrez.

NO LIMITATIONS AT ALL

The Limitless! Five Women Reshape Contemporary Art exhibition grew out of the McNay’s highly successful 2018 show Immersed: Local to Global Art Sensations. This exhibit features artworks by women artists only. The McNay has a history of supporting women artists because of its founder, Marion Koogler McNay. Through September 19. At McNayArt.org.

ON IMAGE: Martine Gutierrez, Still from Clubbing, 2012. HD video. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, © Martine Gutierrez

SA Gladys Roldan-De-Moras Memories From My Home, oil on linen

THE ARTISTS’ WAY

The Brisco Western Art Museum celebrates the 20th Anniversary of its Night of Artists exhibition, sale, and Grand Live Auction on March 27. This premier Western Art show consists of nearly 300 new paintings, sculptures, and mixed media by over 80 of today’s leading artists. Public exhibition and sale through May 9. At BriscoeMuseum.org.

ON IMAGE: Gladys Roldan-De-Moras Memories From My Home, oil on linen.