From Faxing to Blogging: A Few Reflective Moments

As many of us do with each new year, I will take an opportunity to reflect.  In this year’s case, we transitioned from one decade to another one. Since I began working at the Dallas Museum of Art in 1999 (exactly 10 years ago), I’ve decided to reflect on a collection of memorable Museum moments from the past decade. In keeping with the popular top 10-list approach, here is my list of moments — some BIG, some small.  In no particular order…

Educator Blog Goes Live! In September 2009, my colleagues and I entered the spacious blogosphere with our first entries for the Dallas Museum of Art Educator Blog.  This makes us one among the 133,000,000 blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002. Ten years ago faxes and snail mail were my primary form of communicating with teachers.  Now it’s email and social networks. Can you believe it?  Thanks for reading — we love to write for this blog!

A Centennial Celebration! In 2003, the DMA celebrated it’s 100th birthday. Based on an idea from one of the staff members, the Museum celebrated this momentous occasion by staying open for 100 straight hours!  Visitors young and old, big and small visited the Museum at all hours of the day and night for tours, yoga, birthday hat making, birthday cake, and much more.  Did you visit during the birthday celebration?  We also opened two amazing exhibitions that year.  100 Treasures for 100 Years was an exhibition featuring 100 masterworks from the Museum collection, which were organized by themes such as Mask, Opulence, and Transcendence.  That same year the DMA celebrated contemporary Texas art through the exhibition Come Forward: Emerging Art in Texas.

DISD 4th Graders Visit! During the 2007-2008 school year, the DMA initiated a partnership with DISD and Big Thought to bring every 4th grade student to the Museum.  Since the start of the program over 22,000 students have viewed works of art on docent-led tours at the DMA.  We look forward to a future time when every DISD graduate can say they have visited the DMA!

King Tutankhamun in the Big D! For 8 months spanning 2008 and 2009 Tut and his family’s treasures filled our galleries. The Boy King, as we referred to him around the halls, brought over 600,000 visitors to the DMA.  Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs was the third in a series of royal world art exhibitions that the DMA welcomed in last decade.  In 2006 it was Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship and in 2004 Splendors of China’s Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong.

Late Nights at the DMA! Based on the success of the 100-hour Centennial event, the Museum’s popular monthly Late Night celebration was born in 2004.  On the third Friday of each month, we stay open until midnight to welcome between 3,000 – 5,000 visitors.  I love Late Nights!   They transform the Museum and the experience of visiting a Museum.  People visit to come to have fun with friends, view art, make art, listen to music, attend talks and lectures, and watch performances.  The next Late Night is January 15.  Hope to see you there!

The Center for Creative Connections Opens! After several years of planning, the former Gateway Gallery was transformed into the new Center for Creative Connections, opening to the public in May 2008.  An interactive space designed to inspire visitors of all ages, the C3 is anchored in the DMA’s intent to connect with creativity and artists.  Look for programs and classes with artists throughout 2010!

New Kids on the Block! Did I make you look twice?  This one isn’t about the 80’s boy band.  The new kids I am talking about are the DMA’s neighbors to the East in the Dallas Arts District.  Do you remember the big parking lot where the Nasher used to be?  In 2003 the Nasher Sculpture Center, designed by architect Renzo Piano, opened to the public.  Our newest neighbors, the AT&T Performing Arts Center Winspear Opera House and the AT&T Performing Arts Center Wyly Theater, joined us this past fall to complete a vision for the Dallas Arts District that has been in the making since the 1970s.

Digitizing Educator Resources! 10 years ago the DMA said goodbye to slides and projectors, making the leap from paper teaching materials to digital resources for teachers and students.  I bet some of you still have those paper packets in your closets! We now have over 25 collections and exhibition-based online resource units available free to teachers near and far.  In partnership with UT Dallas, we also created an web-based learning game called DIG! The Maya Project.

Contemporary Collections Explode! In 2005, an unprecedented gift of modern and contemporary art was made to the DMA from several Dallas families including the Rachofsky, Hoffman, and Rose families.  In 2007, an exhibition featuring 300 of these artworks was held at the Museum.   Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art included work by artists Gerhard Richter, Matthew Barney, Vija Celmins, Joseph Cornell, Robert Ryman, and Lucio Fontana among others.

Go van Gogh Gets a New Look! For more than 30 years, Go van Gogh has traveled out to classrooms in the community delivering free art programs to elementary age students.  A new van and a new look were introduced in this decade to celebrate the dynamic nature of this education program and honor its long history!

What events, exhibitions, and experiences are among your top 10 at the DMA? Leave a comment and let us know!  We would love to hear from you and we look forward to more blogging in 2010.  Happy New Year!

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Learning Partnerships for Schools and the Community

3 Responses to “From Faxing to Blogging: A Few Reflective Moments”

  1. 1 Christine Miller January 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Great list! I think another great program is the Young Artist Exhibition that is in conjunction with the fundraising ball in the spring. It is an outstanding gift to the community, the museum’s partnering with students to create and exhibit artwork relevant to work that is highlighted and used as a theme for the event. So much learning goes on – brainstorming, designing and working collaboratively to create a unique art installation. But the icing on the cake is the incredible boost to a student’s self esteem when they see their own creation showcased in the Dallas Museum of Art! Thanks for acknowledging and supporting the future artists of America!

  2. 2 Nikos Pecificno January 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Thank You,

  3. 3 crestwood school January 1, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    nice information about education.
    thanks for share good information

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