Keith Haring’s Untitled (FDR) (1984) will be exhibited at the Dallas Art Fair.

DALLAS - It’s a good month for art in The Big D, as residents and fans call the ambitious city of Dallas. April brings an announcement of big doings at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), as well as the yearly Dallas Art Fair—happening as we speak—which has been gaining traction lately in the international fair derby.

DMA Director Maxwell Anderson, who has been in Dallas a little more than a year and was formerly director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, has the perfect blend of brashness and charm for his new city. This was proven by a recent setback, which he turned into a win in the way that true warriors do—he wouldn't let anything like circumstance stand in his way.

The story is this: For most of 2012, Anderson had been chasing a circa 1499 Leonardo da Vinci work called Christ as Salvator Mundi, quite a prize indeed as it is the last Leonardo in private hands. Anderson had drummed up the local donor support and made an offer. But the consortium of dealers that owns the work (note to self: form a consortium) turned him down.

Quite a blow, but former DMA trustee and longtime benefactor Marguerite Steed Hoffman stepped in—I am guessing with Anderson’s gentle encouragement—and gave a whopping $17 million to form an endowment for acquiring European Art before 1700. In other words, the next time a picture of the same caliber as the Leonardo appears on the market, the DMA can snap it up, all thanks to the Robert Hoffman Fund, named after her late husband. I’m keeping an eye on what happens there.


Kenny Scarf’s Swinger will be exhibited at the Dallas Art Fair.


Though that gift may take a while to bear fruit, anyone in the vicinity of Dallas doesn’t have to wait to see a panoply of art, particularly the contemporary variety: Dallas International Art Week is this very week, anchored by the Dallas Art Fair, which is on through Sunday. 80 dealers are gathering at the Fashion Industry Gallery, very close to the museum in the heart of the arts district. Perhaps most unusual and compelling is that the fair is displaying two Keith Haring murals that were originally along the FDR Drive in New York City. Graffiti isn’t really Dallas’s style in general—it’s a clean-cut spot—but credit organizers for knowing a good thing when they see it.