Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Crow 31 Days: 98 Years Ago

Ninety-eight years ago today Margaret Doggett was born at her home in Dallas, Texas to Lillian and Edwin B. Doggett. She must have been a most anticipated, cherished gift--they'd tried unsuccessfully for years to have children. She would be their only child. She was precious.

No one knew quite how precious until we all did. She would forge a partnership with young, enterprising and debonair Trammell Crow. She would raise six children--all the while entertaining ambassadors and business delegations. She supported Trammell's enchantment with Asia: at his side for every adventure. She amplified his taste with an exquisite eye for the decorative arts of China. She asked a question in a family board meeting soon after his diagnosis of Alzheimer's: is there enough museum-quality art in our collection to create an art museum for our city in Trammell's honor? 

Bold questions in the Crow Family usually turn quickly into big visions. A curator was swiftly engaged from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco to select the objects that would be removed from homes and offices and donated to the non-profit Crow Family Foundation soon to be doing business as the Crow Collection of Asian Art. She designated funding toward an endowment that today supports 1/6 of our operating expense. Her question at a board meeting created so much possibility: last year our art museum produced over 600 events and provided cultural access to over 108,000 people.

That's what one idea can do. That's what one person can do. Ninety-eight years ago, a soul came into the world and made a difference through her acts of compassion and her willful wisdom. She left us there years ago, just shy of 95, but one idea inspires a value of being visionary and seeing the possibility beyond any obstacle and barrier. She didn't want to create a museum for the sake of displaying objects in perpetuity: she wanted young people to know the joy of exploring the world's art, religion and culture: a world Trammell opened up for her through his voracious curiosity and inquiry.

31 Days of Asia celebrates this remarkable offering we can all experience thanks to the life of Margaret and Trammell Crow. Their vision for Dallas as an international city created more access to compassion and to each other than we could have ever imagined. And in some ways, we're only just beginning.

What is your question?

What is your idea? 

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