Ten years later, “The Glare” of the museum tower continues to plague the Nasher Sculpture Center

It revealed itself with incandescent intensity on September 26, 2011. No one knew what it was – how it got there or where it came from. But all of those answers quickly came to light, giving The Glare, as it was called, a permanent place in Dallas history.

The Glare is still here, but a decade later – the 10th anniversary of that infamous discovery is Sunday – Dallas continues to marvel at its strength and power and the casualties left in its wake.

The Glare is not an invention of Stephen King, and yet it had (continues to have) a sci-fi effect on the Nasher Sculpture Center, whose walls, on a sunny day, look like ‘be struck by measles. The glare is the brilliant reflection emanating from the glass exterior of the neighboring building, the 42-story museum tower, which in 2011 was under construction.

What Nasher officials discovered around 3 p.m. on a September afternoon ten years ago has intensified over the months. And what followed was truly miraculous. After The morning news from Dallas broke The Glare story in early 2012, it made its way into Vanity Show and the first page of The New York Times. Cable documentaries were made on The Glare, which created one of the most nasty controversies in the history of the Dallas art world – and that’s only part of the story.

What The Glare ended up doing was redirecting its incandescent intensity to the owners of the Museum Tower, the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System. On The Glare’s fifth anniversary, the pension fund was on the verge of insolvency and was forced to strike a deal with the city of Dallas for a financial bailout – via the state legislature. The Glare even managed to topple former pension fund boss Richard Tettamant, who critics attack for squandering retirement money from the city’s first responders with outrageous investments in luxury real estate, the Museum Tower being (forgive us) the most glaring example. .

Shadows fall on the wall behind a sculpture, affecting the presentation of Alberto Giacometti’s work. The glare from the highly reflective glass of the 42-story museum tower affects the Nasher Sculpture Center inside and out, photographed in downtown Dallas on Friday, August 17, 2018. (Louis DeLuca / Personal photographer)

And yet, despite The Glare emerging as its own version of a sci-fi thriller, the problem 10 years later is still there. Indeed, nothing has been done to remedy it. The Nasher Garden remains unusually parched and hot, and yes, the walls still have measles. We turned to the Nasher for comment and received in response this statement from his Director of External Affairs, Jill Magnuson:

“We are obviously disappointed that at this milestone, the reflective glare from the museum tower facade continues to negatively impact the interior and exterior galleries of the Nasher Sculpture Center. Nonetheless, we remain committed to working towards restoring our original conditions and hope with technological innovations that we can achieve this solution while continuing to serve this community as a vital educational and cultural resource.

We promise to register again on September 26, 2031.

Ten years later, The Glare continues to emanate from the glass exterior of the museum tower on the walls of the Nasher Sculpture Center.  Glare was first discovered on September 26, 2011.
Ten years later, The Glare continues to emanate from the glass exterior of the museum tower on the walls of the Nasher Sculpture Center. Glare was first discovered on September 26, 2011. (Nasher Sculpture Center / Nasher Sculpture Center)
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