Arlington Museum to debut limited time Taylor Swift exhibit


Emma Short

Taylor Swift performs her song “Enchanted” from her third album, “Speak Now,” at the first of her three concerts at AT&T Stadium on March 31. Swift has been performing in the Dallas area since she was 15 and is the first performer to play at AT&T Stadium three nights in a row.

The Arlington Museum of Art will be presenting a Taylor Swift exhibition from June 3-Sept. 24. The exhibit, known as “The Eras Tour Collection,” will feature eight exclusive costumes, as well as various photos and videos from four of Swift’s albums: “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” “Red (Taylor’s Version),” “Folklore” and “Midnights.” 

“I’m a Taylor Swift fan myself, so it’s really exciting to work on, not only such an awesome collection of pieces, but also really dive into more of a research take on Taylor Swift as an artist,” registrar and exhibition director Kendall Quirk said. “We’re really excited to present something that’s a little more academic and researched. [We] really hope that fans will take something new away from her collection, [and] it’s going to be really exciting to see people’s reactions.” 

Tickets for “The Eras Tour Collection” went online April 17 and will be available until the day of the event. The collection will be accompanied by two smaller exhibitions, known as “Girl in a Country Song” and “Hometown Harmonies,” which will aim to highlight female country and contemporary singers — some of whom got their start in the Arlington area — such as Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Maren Morris and Kirstin Moldonado. 

“Arlington is a designated music-friendly community, and there’s been a lot of growth over the last 15 to 20 years in terms of music venues,” creative director Amy Schultz said. “There’s all these little places all around Arlington where musicians are getting their start, particularly in country music, [and] Arlington has a really long history supporting country music stars on their way up. Since Taylor Swift started off as a country music artist, we thought it would be fun to have complementary exhibits that focus more on women in country music in general — kind of like who figuratively paved the path for superstars like Taylor.”

Though she got her start in Nashville, Tennessee, Swift has been playing in the Dallas area since she was 15 years old, performing at least 30 shows in the span of her career. She is the first artist to play three back-to-back shows at AT&T Stadium during her “Eras Tour” from March 31 – April 2, with a record breaking attendance of 210,607 fans. 

“My friend, [our families] and I got tickets [for night three],” junior Kathryn Peterman said. “I [was] stressing about what I [was] going to wear, how we were going to get there and if we were going to make [friendship] bracelets [to trade], but all of the stress was worth it. It was an amazing concert. I think [the idea for the exhibition] is amazing [and] a really good idea. It’s amazing for her and people who really connect with her to be able to go and experience that.”

The Arlington Museum does temporary exhibits each summer, having partnered up with Walt Disney Animation Studios artists Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and Andreas Deja to bring last summer’s exhibit, “Disney Art from Private Collections.” The museum’s exhibits are traditionally focused on visual arts, but Quirk said she hopes to show attendees that visual art is more than just a two dimensional painting on a wall — a musical artist can be just as much of a visual artist as they are a performer. 

“We’re really trying to highlight women in songwriting and music and how they present themselves as artists,” Quirk said. “Visual art can be a lot of different things — it can be a brand, short film [or] wardrobe pieces [and] it’s always a really fun challenge [in] every exhibit. [At the end of the day,] it’s all about making sure that we’re respectful of the artists, giving our visitors the best experience possible and making fine art accessible to our community.”