Archive for January, 2011

Seldom Scene: A Fond Farewell to Dorothy Austin

Texas sculptor Dorothy Austin passed away last week at the age of 100. Her work Slow Shuffle was featured in the 2009 Dallas Museum of Art exhibition All the World’s a Stage: Celebrating Performance in the Visual Arts, and this past year her sculptures Noggin and Male Torso were included in the exhibition Texas Sculpture. We were fortunate to have Dorothy Austin visit us in October 2009 with her family and wanted to share those memories with you.

Sculptor Dorothy Austin with her family on a visit to the DMA in October 2009.

Dorothy Austin and DMA Senior Curator Olivier Meslay

Dorothy Austin, Noggin, 1933, white pine, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of an anonymous friend

Dorothy Austin, Male Torso, late 1930s-early 1940s, white pine, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert W. Webb

Dorothy Austin, Slow Shuffle, 1939, carved plaster, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Art Fund and Early Texas Art Fund

Are you ready for some Art?

It’s no secret that Super Bowl hysteria is sweeping the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. On February 6, people from around the nation will be gathering in Arlington to watch the Steelers take on the Packers. But what are some of the best things to do in Dallas leading up to the Super Bowl? Below is a Dallas Museum of Art checklist for a super week for the sports fan and art critic in you. How many will you do?

Big New Field: Artist in the Cowboys Stadium Art Program

  1. Big New Field: Artists in the Cowboys Stadium Art Program is an exhibition of work by the artists featured in the Cowboys Stadium Art Program. While exploring the exhibition, try to figure out which artist’s work from the Cowboys Stadium belongs to the work at the DMA. Pick up Cowboys Stadium: Architecture, Art, Entertainment in the Twenty-First Century from the Museum Store if you need some help.
  2. See the former head coach of the 2006 World Champion Indianapolis Colts Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, on Saturday, February 5, at 3:00 p.m., part of Arts & Letters Live BooksmART. They will discuss their new children’s book You Can Be a Friend and you can stick around to meet the Dungys after this free event. Be sure to reserve your seats at https://www.tickets.DallasMuseumofArt.org/public/ or call 214-922-1818.
  3. Have you ever wanted to meet a room full of former NFL players? On Saturday, February 5, the NFL Players Association will hold the annual Jazz Brunch and Art Auction Smocks & Jocks in the Dallas Museum of Art’s Atrium at 10:30 a.m. Mingle with former and current NFL players while discovering their artistic talents. For more information on the event, click here.
  4. Explore the Center for Creative Connections and soak up some inspiration before you stop by the Art Studio to create your own work of art, maybe even a special football-inspired trophy sculpture.
  5. If you are looking for a break from football, travel to Europe without leaving the Museum through a bite-sized tour of four recent acquisitions in our new European galleries.

Friday Photos: Happy Birthday DMA!

This month the Museum celebrated its 108th birthday!  The January Late Night is our official birthday party.  Here’s a look at how we celebrated last Friday during the Late Night.  We are THRIVING at age 108!

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Full artwork image:
Jean Dubuffet, The Reveler (Le Festoyer), 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

Seldom Scene: “Beguiling Deception”

Who’s that lady? Find out tonight at 7:30 p.m. when University of Oregon Art History professor Dr. Kathleen Nicholson discusses allegorical portraits in 18th-century France at the Museum’s annual Michael L. Rosenberg Lecture.

Nicolas de Largilliére, "Portrait of the Comtesse de Montsoreau and Sister as Diana and an Attendant," 1714, oil on canvas, lent by the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation, 29.2004.11

Interview with Tammy Bradley

One of the busiest staff members in the Museum, Tammy Bradley, works in the Security department. Tammy’s job at the Museum encompasses a wide range of responsibilites. Enjoy reading about her job at the DMA!

Name and Title: Tammy K. Bradley, Gallery Attendant Manager

Years Employed at the Dallas Museum of art: Twenty-two years and two months

Describe your job here at the Museum: I ensure that galleries are properly staffed for normal operating hours and for special events. In addition to this I enforce museum policies and procedures during special events. Other responsibilities include scheduling and posting gallery attendants in the galleries.

What is your favorite part of your job: I enjoy listening to gallery attendants and working with them to better themselves in different areas.

How did you decide you wanted to work in a Museum? I had a friend that was working here at the time who asked me to put in an application and I did so. Twenty-two years later I’m still here!

If you weren’t working in a museum, what is something else you would be doing? I would be retired from the military.

Amy Wolf
Coordinator of Gallery Teaching

Wright in Your Own Backyard

This weekend the Museum will open Line and Form: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wasmuth Portfolio, an exhibition drawn from a monograph of prints based on drawings produced by the architect and his studio that is widely recognized as one of the most important architectural publications of the 20th century. Having already gained prominence for a number of innovative residential projects in Chicago, Wright collaborated with a German printer in 1910 to create and distribute the portfolio to promote his work to a larger audience in the U.S. and abroad. The portfolio helped establish Frank Lloyd Wright’s reputation, and he went on to a long and prolific career as the century’s most iconic American architect.

As Frank Lloyd Wright’s reputation grew in the decades following the publication of the Wasmuth portfolio, the city of Dallas burgeoned as well; it is no wonder that Dallas’s civic and artistic leaders would look to the foremost American modernist architect to put his stamp on this growing, forward-thinking city.

In 1934 Stanley Marcus – the legendary Dallas stylemaker and retailer – and his wife began plans to build a house for their family in East Dallas, near White Rock Lake. As Mr. Marcus wrote in his autobiography, Minding the Store, the search began with architects based on the East Coast, as “modern architecture had not been discovered in Dallas up to that point.” After interviewing several prominent architects, the Marcuses met with Frank Lloyd Wright to seek his advice on potential candidates; Wright responded, “Why take the imitation while you can still get the original? I’ll do your house.” Unfortunately, the project was never completed with Wright’s designs; the notoriously temperamental architect was fired from the project, and the house was eventually completed by a Dallas-based architect, Roscoe DeWitt.

On Saturday I’m looking forward to attending the Legacies Dallas History Conference and especially to hearing Charles Marshall’s lecture When Frank Met Stanley: Frank Lloyd Wright and Stanley Marcus. Also, the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects publishes a great quarterly publication entitled Columns; the Fall 2010 issue includes two articles about the Stanley Marcus house, which you can read online.

The original model for the Marcus House, as designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Marcus House in its final form, designed by Roscoe DeWitt

Despite a rather inauspicious start, Frank Lloyd Wright did receive several important commissions from Dallas clients throughout his career. Perhaps the most notable project to come to fruition was the Kalita Humphreys Theater, which served as the primary home for the Dallas Theater Center for fifty years – from 1959 until 2009, when the company moved to the Arts District and the new Wyly Theater. Although based on earlier, unrealized theatrical designs, the theater was considered to be very innovative, and it expressed the architect’s long and strongly held principles about integrating a building into context, or the “belief that architecture has an inherent relationship with both its site and its time.” The Kalita Humphreys Theater would become one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last projects, as he passed away just months before its construction was complete. I enjoyed these interviews with members of the Dallas Theater Center company about working in a Frank Lloyd Wright building.

The plan of the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Image from the Hekman Digital Archive.

The Kalita Humphreys Theater

Take a closer look at Wright’s final project the next time you walk or ride on the Katy Trail along Turtle Creek, and explore his early masterpieces through selections of the Wasmuth portfolio, which will be on view at the DMA from January 30 until July 17, 2011.

Lisa Kays is Manager of Adult Programming at the Dallas Museum of Art.

My Creative Process

The Dallas Museum of Art is currently exhibiting a staff art show called Insourced. This exhibition includes works of arts by staff members from all over the museum, such as gallery attendants, visitor services representatives, exhibition designers and interns. I am an art enthusiast and really enjoy looking at works of art, whether it’s a masterpiece, a graphic design, or an advertisement. I also enjoy looking at nature, people, and places for inspiration. I find that looking at a broad range of artworks as well as the things around me: 

  1. Inspires and influences my own art.
  2. Gives me a boost of confidence to create art.
  3. Allows me to be free to explore different mediums.

My two works of art, Untitled (2007) and Generations (2001), were inspired by observing things around me. Generations was created using two inexpensive materials: paper and charcoal. One night,  I decided to draw my mother, who was sitting on the couch. I grabbed my drawing board, newspaper print, and a box of charcoal sticks. I sat in front of her for about forty-five minutes. I think the essence of my mother, my grandmother and great-grandmother shines through in this portrait.

Untitled was inspired by a box of chicken from a fast food restuarant. I was drawn to the image of the chicken on the front of the box. I thought about the box growing legs and running around. Strange, you might think, but it was the beginning steps to my creation. First, I sketched and decided on the materials. I knew I wanted to pair wood and metal because I thought they were good match. Once I drew my sketches and had an idea of what I wanted to make, I created the objects.  I made the wooden boxes by gluing and nailing wood panlels together and creating a hollow form. I also used a mechanical disc sander to even out and smooth the sides and edges of the box. 

The bottom portion of the scultpture took more time to make. I used iron rods to make the legs. I first cut the rods into shorter pieces and then reattached them using a torch. Cutting and reattaching the rods gave them a sense of movement. The feet, which are my favorite, are made of bronze. They were created using the lost wax casting process. Once I had all my pieces made, it was time to combine them by using a hammer and  torch. I first assembled the legs and the feet using the torch. I inserted the rods into the feet and melted the sides in order to bond the two metals. Then, I torched and hammered the top of the rods in order to flatten them. Once they were flattened, I was able to nail them to the bottom of the boxes. For me, this work of art is a constant reminder that anything can be an inspiration.

Artists are inspired by people, places and things. So the next time you are walking, sitting, or standing, stop and observed the things around you. It could be the sky, a smile, or a box of chicken that could inspire you to create a work of art.
Karen A. Colbert
Teaching Programs Intern

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