Archive for January, 2011

Community Connection: 1 month, 56 tours, and 4,300 fifth-graders

For the past four years, Garland ISD has committed to bringing every fifth-grade student to the DMA for a one-hour docent-guided visit.  Such an endeavor requires an extensive amount of time, resources, and coordination of staff, teachers, students, and docents.  This impressive undertaking is possible thanks to Brenda Hass, Fine Arts Coordinator for Garland ISD.

What is your role with Garland ISD?

I am the Fine Arts Coordinator; I work with our K-12 art and theater program and our elementary music program.

Describe your relationship with the DMA.

I began working with the DMA when I was in another school district and learned about the tour program.  When I came to Garland, one of the things I set in motion right away was to make an arrangement for all fifth-graders to come to the DMA for tours that align with social studies TEKS.  It’s been a great relationship.

How, and why, do you manage such a large task?

We do it because we feel it’s important.  Many children wouldn’t have the experience of coming to an art museum if we didn’t provide it.  The majority of our forty-seven elementary schools are considered Title 1 and are located in lower socioeconomic areas.  Whatever the students’ backgrounds are, we want to them have the opportunity to visit.  We choose to put our money and our time here.


Brenda is also a talented piano player.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened during these tours?

Every year after our DMA tours in January, I always receive an email from a classroom teacher who had never visited before, wanting me to know what an amazing experience it was for his/her children and thanking me for providing the transportation.  I think a lot of people who didn’t get to visit museums as a child don’t go to museums as adults.  But once they have an opportunity, they don’t want to miss it.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Being with children.  If it’s theater, watching them perform in a show.  With art, I may be helping them organize exhibitions of their work.  In music, I’m watching a program or working with our children’s chorus.  Whatever role we have in administration, we have to continue being around the children.  That’s what keeps us fresh and keeps us on the cutting edge of education. 

Also, I am passionate about making sure our students have a museum experience.  I think that everybody, child or adult, should do the same.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Friday Photos: Jumping in the DMA

Amy C. recently discovered the blog Jumping in Art Museums.  Over the holidays, we spent time in the Center for Creative Connections and in the Sculpture Garden jumping for joy with works of art.   

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

Artworks in this slideshow include:
  • Jacques Lipchitz, The Bather, 1923-1925, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation Incorporated
  • Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1924, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Ellsworth Kelly, Untitled, 1982-1983, Dallas Museum of Art, commission made possible through funds donated by Michael J. Collins and matching grants from The 500, Inc., and the 1982 Tiffany & Company benefit opening
  • Barbara Hepworth, Figure for Landscape, 1960, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated
  • Mark Handforth, Dallas Snake, 2007, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund and Lay Family Acquisition Fund
  • Mark Di Suvero, Ave, 1973, Dallas Museum of Art, Irvin L. and Meryl P. Levy Endowment Fund

Engaging Opportunities with Art, Artists, and Animals

As the new year begins, I encourage you to think about ways you can connect with with artists, artworks, and other K-12 colleagues  at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Here are two events that might prove to be inspirational, relaxing, or simply rejuvenating.

  • Join us for our annual Late Night Birthday Celebration as the Museum turns 108 on Friday, January 21 from 6:00 p.m. to midnight!   To celebrate the beginning of the Spring Semester, we invite you to bring your educator ID to receive FREE Museum admission.  Come with your colleagues, family, and friends to experience traditional African music, polka with Brave Combo, participate in Twitter Treasure Hunts, and engage in conversations with artists in the Center for Creative Connections.  In addition, visit the Educator Resource Table from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. to meet DMA education staff, register for door prizes, and sign up for upcoming teacher programs.     


  • Join us for an exciting teacher workshop Animals from Africa at the Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Museum of Art on Saturday, January 29!  Spend the morning at the Dallas Museum of Art, experiencing African Masks: The Art of Disguise and then journey to the Dallas Zoo for an afternoon of exploration in the Giants of the Savanna!  This special workshop includes a gallery tour, a special behind-the-scenes experience at the zoo, and lessons from experienced art and zoo educators that you can take back to your classroom.  Participants will also receive six CPE hours.  Cost is $50 for this workshop and includes admission and parking at both institutions.  To register, please complete the registration form and return to the Dallas Zoo Education Department via fax, email, or mail.

We look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events!   Don’t forget, bring your educator ID on  Thursday evenings to receive FREE admission to the Museum.

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers   

Seldom Scene: Noon Year’s Eve

We celebrate the arrival of 2011 a bit earlier than most during the second annual Noon Year’s Eve with Radio Disney and over 4,200 visitors joined us. Families enjoyed a morning filled with games, give-aways, art, and a countdown to the new year at 12:00 p.m. We had to share some of our favorite moments from that day with you on Uncrated, enjoy!

Friday Photos: Panda Bear, Panda Chair

How many stuffed panda bears does it take to make a comfy chair?

The exhibition Form/Unformed opened recently at the Museum, featuring Banquete chair with pandas by designers Fernando and Humberto Campana.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Discovering a Romney

You might have heard about the recent discovery of a George Romney painting in the Museum’s collections. Olivier Meslay, Senior Curator of European and American Art and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the DMA, shared the story about the discovery with us last month. You can visit the painting in person in the European Galleries on Level 2. To read more about George Romney and Young Man with a Flute, click here.

Big New Field, Brand New Audience

Annette Lawrence, "Coin Toss," 2009, stranded cable, The Art Program at Cowboys Stadium

There’s a lot to be excited about with the new Cowboys Stadium (the architecture, the mega-TVs, the sheer size of the place and its many luxuries).  What gives all of us at the Museum goosebumps is the number of people the stadium seats, and by extension, the number of those people who will have the opportunity to experience extraordinary contemporary art while at the stadium.  It’s like the featured artists and their artworks are getting an Oprah’s Book Club level of exposure.  Not bad at all!

Next Thursday, the Museum is hosting another State of the Arts lecture, perfect for those interested in learning more about the Cowboys Stadium Art program.  The evening will feature major players in the program: Annette Lawrence, visual artist featured at the stadium; Bryan K. Trubey, architect and Principal/Director of HKS Sports & Entertainment Group; and Charles Wylie, The Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art and member of the Cowboys Stadium Art Council.  Lawrence’s work can also be seen in Big New Field.

If you’re curious to explore the stadium before next Thursday’s talk, check out the newly-released iPhone app, The Art at Cowboys Stadium.  The app features a mobile tour, interviews with the Joneses, the Cowboys Stadium Art Council, and featured artists, as well as documentation of artwork installations.

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach

The Art of Appropriation, a Wednesday Gallery Talk

Every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., visitors can meet at the Visitor Services Desk for the Museum’s weekly Gallery Talk.   Gallery talks are 45-minute long intimate lectures and discussions that take place in the Museum galleries.  These talks are very different from a tour in that they typically focus on a narrow group of objects with a unifying theme within the Museum’s collections or special exhibitions.  They are often led by Museum curators, visiting scholars, and Museum staff.  Each year, every McDermott Intern leads a gallery talk as part of their internship experience. 

I was the first intern up to bat in leading a Gallery Talk titled The Art of Appropriation: “Exotic” Motifs in European Art.

Below are images of several of the objects I discussed during the talk.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I decided to focus on appropriation art, a topic taken from my honors thesis as an undergraduate at SMU.  I’ve done extensive research on chinoiserie, an 18th-century European decorative arts movement inspired by Asian motifs, and this served as the starting point for my investigation of Asian-influenced objects in the DMA’s collections.  The talk emphasized four main topics in the discussion of these objects.

1. The definition and different types of appropriation art or art that crosses cultural boundaries.  For example, the colonial Mexican screen pictured in the slideshow appropriates styles, motifs, and subjects from Japan, China, the Netherlands, and ancient Rome.  See if you can determine which element can be attributed to which country!

2. Early (13th to 17th century) travel, trade, and other forms of contact between Europe and Asia.  Cosmopolitan objects, such as the Mexican screen, would not have been possible without cross-cultural exchange of information and goods between the two continents.  This exchange manifested in the early accounts of travelers like Marco Polo, the trade of goods and publication of scientific surveys through the various East India Companies, and missionary publications.

3. 17th- and 18th-century Chinese and Japanese exports and subsequent European “copies.”  Objects such as the Charger seen above represent early porcelain exports from China (made at the Jingdezhen imperial kiln) and the influence of European taste on their decorative elements.  Due to the relatively high cost of these imports, Europeans began making faience, and later porcelain, copies of Asian-produced objects.

4. The contradictory pairing of exoticism and ethnography in the 19th-century.  The 19th-century saw the emergence of the field of ethnography, fueled by the World’s Fairs and a growing body of “scientific” literature.  However, the notion of the East as a mysterious and exotic land persisted as seen in the painting above by Alfred Stevens that showcases the artist’s collection of Japanese screens, Chinese porcelain, and Kashmir textiles within the quintessentially French context of the salon.

Leading a gallery talk is a unique experience for an intern, and all in all it was very enriching, though a bit nerve-racking.  This topic was especially rich to share with museum visitors, as most everyone has experience with some type of appropriation!  It is a ubiquitous presence in our lives from advertisements that include famous works of art to the millions of souvenir stands selling Mona Lisa key chains or Mao Zedong t-shirts.  Post your example of appropriation to the comments section!

Upcoming Gallery Talks for the month of January include:

January 5th: Must be Willing to Travel: Early American Portraitists and the Transatlantic Exchange, led by Sara Woodbury (McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for European and American Art)

January 12th: Form/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present, led by Kevin W. Tucker (The Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, DMA)

January 19th: Topping It Off: Portraits of Women in Fashionable Hats, led by Sarah Vitek (McDermott Education Intern for Adult Programming)

January 26th: European Art and the Rosenberg Collection, led by Heather MacDonald (The Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, DMA)

Ashley Bruckbauer
McDermott Education Intern for Resources and Programs for Teachers


Flickr Photo Stream