November 27, 2017

Secret Garden

A sculptural oasis worth the twenty-minute drive north

Hidden behind a wall of shrubbery off Spring Valley Road in a residential area of Far North Dallas, a gravel pathway winds through four acres of Zen-like, live oak-shaded terrain spotted with works of art by renowned sculptors. Here, the 60-year-old Valley House Gallery showcases visual arts of all types from nationally and internationally recognized artists. Mary Vernon (last year’s Dallas Art Fair honoree), Deborah Ballard, Sedrick Huckaby, Bob Stuth-Wade, and a host of others are represented.

The Valley House was founded by Donald S. Vogel,  a curator with a keen eye for talent and a renowned artist himself. Schooled at the Art Institute of Chicago, he was a respected but provocative figure—one of the first in the Dallas art scene to embrace modern art. Early on, he brought works by Matisse, Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, Calder, Henry Moore and Chagall to the community. It was Vogel who identified fakes purchased by Algur Meadows, tipping off an investigation of massive fraud perpetrated on the oil baron collector in the 1960s.

In 1954, Vogel and his first wife, Peggy, opened Valley House Gallery in a heavily treed space between what was then a dirt road (Spring Valley) and White Rock Creek, an area at the time almost rural. Clarence Roy of Lambert Associates designed the original naturalistic landscaping.  After Peggy’s passing, Vogel’s second wife, landscape architect Erika Farkac, further developed the garden grounds that now stunningly showcase outdoor sculptures surrounding a Mid-Century Modern gallery building.

Vogel died in 2004, but his contemplative works now hang in museums and corporate collections throughout the country. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth this month, Vogel is the current featured artist at Valley House, which is now run by his son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Cheryl Vogel. See the exhibition now through December 2.—Valerie Jarvie 

The Details: Valley House Gallery, 6616 Spring Valley Road. Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.