Archive for May, 2011



Papered Walls

Sara Woodbury, McDermott Curatorial Intern for American and European Art, recently organized an installation of prints for the Works on Paper gallery on the Museum’s second floor. Cross Cultural Dialogues in European and American Landscapes features landscapes from the 19th and 20th centuries that demonstrate artistic influences occurring between Europe and America. The show also highlights different printmaking techniques. We’d like to explore a few of these methods here, and also share a behind-the-scenes look at how works on paper are stored and cared for at the Museum. All of the prints you’ll see here are included in the installation, so be sure to check them out in person next time you visit the DMA.

Printmaking Techniques

Artists use a variety of printing techniques, but we’ll highlight just three methods here: woodcuts, etching, and lithography.

Lyonel Feininger, Mansion on the Beach (Villa am Strand), 1921, woodcut

Woodcuts are recognized by their linear quality, reflecting the laborious process required to make them. An artist draws onto a block of wood, and then all of the wood surrounding the drawing is carved away, turning the design into a three-dimensional relief. These raised lines are coated with ink, and the block is pressed to a piece of paper, printing the image. The oldest known printing method, the woodcut developed in Europe around 1400. It became less popular as easier printing techniques emerged, but many 20th-century artists embraced the medium’s bold, linear character.

Charles Emile Jacque, A Corner of the Forest of Fontainbleau, n.d. (mid to late 19th-century), etching

Another interesting technique is etching, which is similar to drawing. To make an etching, an artist draws with a tool called an etching needle onto a metal plate that has been coated in wax. Next, the plate is submerged in an acid bath, which corrodes, or “bites” into the exposed metal lines, leaving the wax-covered areas unaffected. The plate is then rinsed, covered with ink, and wiped down. The ink remains in the grooves of the etched lines, and the plate is ready for printing. Etching first appeared in the 16th century and became especially popular during the 17th century. It also experienced a resurgence in popularity during the late 19th century, a period that has become known as the Etching Revival.

John Rogers Cox, Wheat Shocks, 1951, Lithograph

One of the most important printing techniques in 20th-century art is lithography. An artist draws onto a stone or metal plate with a special greasy crayon. The stone is treated with acid, and then covered with ink and rinsed with water. The ink sticks to the greasy crayon, but washes off everywhere else. A piece of paper is pressed to the stone to print the image.

Lithography was invented in 1798 by Alois Senefelder and was initially used for commercial images. By the late 19th century, however, artists had begun exploring lithography’s creative possibilities. Lithography accommodates a wide range of styles, making it an ideal medium for the stylistic variety that characterizes 20th-century art.

Behind-the-Scenes with Registrar Anne Lenhart

Did you know that works on paper–including prints, drawings, photographs, and other types of work–are  stored and cared for differently than paintings and sculptures? Works on paper are sensitive to various conditions and must be handled with special care and attention. We asked Anne Lenhart, Assistant Registrar, to share insight into how the Museum stores and handles its large collection of works on paper.

What DMA department is responsible for handling prints?

Anne: The care and handling of prints is a shared responsibility between the curators, registrars, conservators, and preparators. The curators are responsible for choosing the works on paper for installations and exhibitions. Once the works on paper are chosen, the registrars, conservators, and preparators are responsible for making sure the prints are in good condition and ready for installation.

Where are the prints stored in the Museum? How are they stored?

Anne:  All of our objects are stored in secured art storage spaces. These areas, which have limited staff access and are monitored twenty-four hours a day, have a consistent temperature of 70° Fahrenheit (+/- 2°) and 50% (+/- 5%) relative humidity. Because paper is susceptible to even small changes in humidity (think about what happens to a sheet of paper when it contacts a drop of water), we try to be especially vigilant in terms of how we store our paper collection.

These numbers are considered guidelines for very stable pieces, such as those created with carbon-based ink applied to a good quality rag paper. Objects that are less stable—where the pigment and the materials are of lower or unknown quality or in the case of color photographs (especially Polaroids)—are exhibited for shorter periods of time.

A display table in the Print and Textiles Study Room, where the Museum’s works on paper are kept.

Many of the Museum’s unframed prints are stored in Solander boxes, such as this one.

How long can prints stay mounted in the galleries?

Anne:  The general rule for exposure of works on paper is one to three months, and we try to keep the maximum period of time any work on paper is on view to less than six months. After a work comes down, we usually do not reinstall it for eighteen months so that it can “rest.”

Cross Cultural Dialogues in European and American Landscapes is on view now, and we hope to see you soon at the Museum.

Sara Woodbury is the McDermott Curatorial Intern for American and European Art, and Karen A. Colbert is the McDermott Education Intern for Teaching Programs.

Gerald Murphy and Archibald MacLeish

Of all the art in the DMA’s collection, I think I like Gerald Murphy’s Watch most of all. I adore how Murphy makes a complex technological system look bright and vibrant. But moreover, I appreciate how his painting explores the difficult relationship between the people and science of his time. In the 1920’s, the idea of time was changed dramatically by the widespread dissemination of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in 1919. Suddenly, the Newtonian concept of time as a uniform absolute was invalidated. For many writers and artists of the period, Einstein’s discovery dramatically revised the way they saw the world.

 

Gerald Murphy, Watch, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist

 

Murphy’s Watch explores one man’s view of this sudden change in the perception of time, how it went from an external force outside of the comprehension or control of people to something interior, relative, and subjective. In the painting, Murphy represents his watch internally, by the gears and machinery which make it function and give it power rather than by its most familiar characteristic: its face.

Shannon Karol nicely summarizes the relationships between Murphy and Lost Generation writers. In it, she talks about Murphy’s friendships with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Murphy was also friends with Archibald MacLeish, a poet who shared Murphy’s fascination with time. In MacLeish’s poem “You, Andrew Marvell,” he describes the shadow of the night as it spreads over the face of Asia and Europe. The title of the poem makes reference to poet Andrew Marvell who, in his own poem “To his Coy Mistress,” speaks about the sway of time over the affairs of lovers. By naming his poem this way, MacLeish reminds readers of time’s slow and steady creep and of its great and terrible power over the lives of people.

By discussing literature and art together, one can explore thematic connections which might not be otherwise apparent. Share some literary or thematic connections you use to talk about DMA art with your students in the comment section below.

Tom Jungerberg

IMLS Grant Coordinator

Seldom Scene: Meaningful Moments

Meaningful Moments is our monthly Access Program for individuals with early stage dementia and their family members or caregivers. Here are some images from last month’s program. For information on the May 17th Meaningful Moment and other Access Programs at the DMA visit our Access Programs page on the DMA’s web site.

Friday Photos: Asian Festival

Springtime brings green grass, sunny weather, and fun festivals around the Metroplex.  Go van Gogh provides art activities for visitors of all ages at annual arts and cultural festivals including the Asian Festival, CityArts, Juneteenth, Discovery Days at the Museum of Nature and Science, and the Tulisoma South Dallas Book Fair.

This past Saturday, we participated in the MetroPCS Asian Festival, which took place in Main Street Garden in downtown Dallas.  Visitors to our booth were welcomed with images of “Mushrooms”, a Haiku Poem, a scroll from our Japanese collection.  The scroll features a haiku written in Japanese calligraphy accompanied by an illustration of mushrooms, the poem’s subject.  View pictures of our visitors below as they draft their haikus, carefully write and illustrate their poems on delicate rice paper, and mount their poems with printed origami paper.  Ending the slideshow is an image of dancers from Ka Pā Hula O Manulani, Texas Hawaiian Culture and Hula School. 

If you’d like to visit the DMA booth at an upcoming festival, check our web site to see where we’ll be next! 

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Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Just can't get enough…

For those educators who cannot get enough of the DMA this summer, we have many professional development opportunities for you!   With a possibility of earning over sixty CPE credit hours, these sessions are open to K-12 educators across all disciplines and schools.    We hope to see you at one or more of the sessions listed below.

Summer Seminar 2011: Teaching for Creativity
June 14 – 17, 2011, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily
24 CPE Hours; limit fifteen
Registration is due May, 30, 2011

Designed for teachers of all grade levels and subjects, Summer Seminar is an immersive experience in the Dallas Museum of Art’s galleries and Center for Creative Connections.   Conversations, experiences with works of art in the Dallas Museum of Art’s galleries, and creative thinking techniques will be used to create an enriching experience for teachers and models for use in the classroom.


North American Wildlife at the Dallas Zoo and in the “Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection” at the Dallas Museum of Art
Friday, July 15, 2011, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
6 CPE hours; limit thirty

Teachers will explore the relationships between American Indian cultures and native North American wildlife.    Participants will closely observe animals at the Dallas Zoo and will study works of art in the Dallas Museum of Art’s exhibition Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection.



Museum Forum for Teachers: Modern & Contemporary Art 
July 25- July 29, 2011, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily
30 CPE Hours; limited to twenty-five middle and high school teachers; application is due May, 23, 2011

Teachers will deepen their understanding of contemporary art and architecture through gallery experiences and discussions.   Participants will spend each day at one of five area institutions: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and The Rachofsky House.


Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection   
August 9, 2011, 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
3.5 CPE hours; limit twenty-five

Explore the belief systems of American Indian cultures through artworks in the Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection exhibition. 


Please note that the Dallas Museum of Art is accredited by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification, and participating educators will earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours during Teacher Workshops, Summer Seminar, and Museum Forum.

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers

Like a Rolling Stone

The 28th season of Jazz Under the Stars will kick off tomorrow and we are all very excited about this year’s lineup. A full schedule and brief details on each of the groups can be found on our concerts page. I recently had the chance to chat with Tim Ries, saxophone player and featured artist for the June 9 Jazz Under the Stars concert. I was excited to get to ask him a few questions about his background as an artist, his time with the Rolling Stones, and The Rolling Stones Project. Watch a video of Tim performing his arrangement of Satisfaction from The Rolling Stones Project.

Q: What made you first get into jazz, and music in general?

My dad played the trumpet and had a band, although it was not his full-time job. I grew up in Detroit, so he also took me to all the concerts that toured through the area. I got to see all the famous big bands when they were on tour, like Woody Herman Band, Maynard Ferguson, Count Basie, and the Ellington Band. Then of course my dad also had all the jazz greats playing at home too, like Louis Armstrong.

My sisters were all into the Beatles and Rolling Stones so I heard that a lot growing up too, which is great since now I play with the Stones.

Q: So, what was your “career path” as an artist?

When all the Motown bands left the Detroit area for California in the early to mid 70s, many of the “sidemen” stayed in the area. I had the chance to play with these guys from a very young age. That was really great. Then I went to the University of North Texas for my undergrad and got my masters from the University of Michigan. And I am actually working on my DMA at the Manhattan School of Music right now. From 1983 to 86 I was in the Maynard Ferguson band, so I guess that would be considered my first “touring gig.”

After that, I moved to New York, where I have lived since. I play a lot in the city and travel all around to play with many people and many different types of music. I have had the chance to work with lots of great musicians, including Donald Bird, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson.

Q: When did you start working with the Rolling Stones and how did you get this gig?

I started touring with the Rolling Stones in 1999. I had worked with their trombone player, Mike Davis, before and the saxophone spot opened up so he called me. They needed someone who could play saxophone as well as keyboard and organ and I could do it. So it really was a matter of who you know, being in the right place at the right time, and being a versatile and well-rounded musician.

Q: What is your favorite concert, or road experience?

Well, two things come to mind…

Many years ago I was booked on a recording session with Elvin Jones, who is my favorite jazz drummer of all time. I was very excited to be part of this session. Then on the same evening of the Jones session, I was booked to play a Stevie Wonder concert. Stevie is my favorite singer. Talk about an exciting day!

The second one was a Stones gig in Rio, on the Copa Cabana Beach, where we played for 1.5 to 2 million people. The concert promoter could not give an exact count because of the huge size of the crowd! They had to build a bridge over the road to the stage–over all the people–simply so the band could get to the stage to play the show. The “awesome factor” of that many people is almost indescribable.

Q: What inspired “The Rolling Stones Project” and the follow-up album, “Stone World”?

I had been wanting to do a “jazz album” of current popular music for awhile. I wanted to do something totally new and not just new arrangements of the same old standards from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Having been with the Stones for several years by then, I thought, “why not do this project with their tunes as ‘modern day’ standards?” Charlie Watts got into the project first and was going to be the guest drummer on a couple of tracks. Then Keith Richards got in on a few tracks, and by the time the first album was finished, we had over twenty-five guest artists on it. The second album ended up with seventy-five guests, including all the original Stones members again, as well as an overall all-star lineup.

Q: What new projects are on the horizon for you?

I will have two new CDs coming out this year. The first one that will be released was actually recorded in between the time of The Rolling Stones Project and Stone World. The second is a live CD recorded more recently in a New York club called Smalls. It features John Patitucci, Chris Potter, Billy Drummond, and Kalman Olah.

I also have many recordings and video footage of additional Stones songs done in big band arrangements that I would like to release sometime in the near future as well.

Mostly, in my own projects, I don’t want to be classified as only a jazz artist. I want to do projects where I have a chance to make great music with all the great musicians that I have had the honor to work and play with over the years.

Don’t miss your chance to see Tim Ries and The Rolling Stones Project featuring Bernard Fowler on Thursday, June 9!

Denise Helbing is Manager of Partner Programs at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Call of the Wild: Animals in the Art of the American Indians

The Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection is currently on view at the Dallas Museum of Art which features art such as masks, ceramic bowls, jewelry, and clothing. I recently led a gallery talk entitled, Call of the Wild: Animals in the Art of the American Indians that focused on American Indian art that incorporated animals into the design or as the materials to create the work of art.  Animals are essential to many American Indian groups because they provided food, clothing, and oftentimes, shelter.

Mimbres Bowls

   Bowl With Fish, c. A.D. 1000-1150
United States: New Mexico, Mogollon culture, Mimbres people,
Ceramic; Mimbres Black-on-White type
Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift

The name Mimbres, which means “willow” in Spanish, was given to a group of people from the Mogollon culture who lived between 150 A.D. to 1450 A.D. The Mimbres people were an egalitarian society and lived in the Northwestern region of New Mexico. The Mimbres people were a very small society with approximately 5,000 members.  Their diet consisted of small game meat such as rabbits, turkeys, sheep, and foxes. They are known for creating clay-fired bowls between 1000 A.D. and 1150 A.D. during the peak of the Mimbres culture, known as the “Classic Mimbres Period”. These bowls were first discovered in the early 1900’s and continue to fascinate archaeologists because of their sophisticated design and level of creativity compared to their contemporaries and other ancient societies.

The Mimbres bowls were painted in the interior surface with geometric designs, human figures and/or animals, with a series of bands painted around the rim of the bowl. The designs may have represented scenes from their daily life or connections to the spiritual world. The leaves from a yucca plant were used as a brush to paint black slip on a white background or to paint white slip on a black background. Archaeologists can only speculate as to what these bowls were used for, such as storing food or used in a funerary offering. Many of these bowls have a hole punched out at the bottom. The process of making these holes is often referred to as “killing the bowl”. These particular bowls would have been placed over a deceased person’s head in order to free their spirit. There are approximately 20,000 Mimbres bowls in private collections and museums around the world.

Horse Mask                                                                                                  

  Horse Mask, ca. 1875-1900
    Nez Perce, (Nimi’ipuu) or Cayuse, Idaho,  Oregon, or eastern Washington
Trade cloth, blue cloth, cotton lining, thread, glass beads, brass buttons, horsehair, mirror, feathers, silk ribbons, hide, ermine
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y

During the 13th through 17th century, the Plains Indians were a semi-nomadic society that traveled, traded and farmed by foot. They lived in the Plains region, which covered about one million square miles of land that covered Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The buffalo was their primary source of food and was also used for making clothes, shelter, tools, and weapons. In the 1600’s, the Spaniards introduced horses to the Plains Indians, significantly changing their lifestyle. They became equestrian hunters and used horses in battles. This Horse Mask made of horse hair, ermine, feathers, glass beads, trade cloth, brass buttons, and mirrors would have been placed over the horse’s head to be worn during a prewar processional. A zigzag design symbolizing lightening was stitched around the eyes to represent the Thunderbird, a patron of war who protected the horses and warriors during battle. Mirrors were attached to the mask to reflect sunlight in order to distract their enemies.

Shield

 Shield, ca. 1860
Crow, (Apsaalooke), Montana
Buffalo rawhide, antelope skin, trade cloth, eagle and hawk feathers, porcupine quills
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y

The Shield was also an important element of protection for Plains warriors riding into battle. However, it wasn’t just the buffalo hide that protected them from arrows and clubs, but also the spiritual power of the image painted on the shield. This image would have been revealed to the warrior in a vision or dream and was believed to have given him protection while in battle. The image on this shield reveals a White Mountain Lion painted beneath a green curved lined line which signifies a magnificent hunter. The Horse Mask and Shield are no longer used in battle; however, they can be seen in many parades and ceremonies held by Plains Indians today.

These American Indian works of art and others can be found in the Dallas Museum of Art collection and the Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection, which is currently on view until September 4th

Thanks,
Karen A. Colbert
Teaching Programs Intern

Seldom Scene: Something Beautiful

Through the Eyes of Our Children – Something Beautiful opened yesterday on the Museum’s M2 level. The exhibition showcases the work of more than seventy students from several elementary schools in the South Dallas–Fair Park area of the Dallas Independent School District. We wanted to share some photos of the installation and inspire you to find something beautiful of your own.

Photography by Adam Gingrich, Marketing Assistant at the Dallas Museum of Art

Our #1 DMA Moms

#1 Mom mugs, construction paper cards, misshapen clay bowls, homemade jewelry—many moms probably have an entire stash of Mother’s Day gifts they have received over the years from their children. When I’m working with preschool children in the studio, one comment I hear over and over again is “this is for my mom!” For kids, there’s just something about creating artwork they’re proud of and wanting to give it to mom. In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d check in with some of our kid experts to find out what they think about celebrating mom.

Kris and kids 2008

Kris and kids 2011

Jeb, Gareth, and Ruthie have been coming to the museum for parent-child classes since Ruthie was a baby strapped to her mom’s back. When asked where their mom Kris’ favorite spot in the museum was, Jeb said “probably the studio.” Ruthie loves her mom because “she reads some books to me some time” and Gareth’s favorite thing to do with mom is “tea time.” Kris’ favorite work of art recently on display at the museum is Janine Antoni’s Lick and Lather. We’ve watched Kris’ kids grow up at the Dallas Museum of Art, and it’s a delight to see how well this family knows the museum and the collection.

Miller and Andrea 2009

Miller and Andrea 2011

Five year old Miller says that his mom likes coming to the museum to see “the art stuff.” (When we checked in with Andrea, she clarified that her favorite spot is the Reves collection.) Miller informed us that “the things she likes to do—she likes to play Chutes & Ladders. She’s really good at a lot of sports.” When Miller started attending our Arturo’s Art & Me class as a three year old, he was shy and quiet and only wanted to sit with his mom. Now he’s one of the first to answer a question or share an observation and quick to volunteer when we need helpers!

Arwen and Kayte 2009

Arwen and Kayte 2011

Arwen and mom Kayte have also been attending our art classes for several years. After one class about birds, Arwen went home and created an entire clay aviary display for her bedroom. She thinks mom’s favorite work of art is “the furniture,” but Kayte claims it is Robert Raushenberg’s Skyway. On a recent trip to Paris, Arwen was so museum-savvy, she didn’t have any trouble visiting the art museums and making herself right at home with her sketchbook.

These are just a few of the fabulous moms who regularly visit the Museum and have become a part of our museum family. Treat your mom to a day at the museum this Mother’s Day! You can enjoy a Mother’s Day brunch in the Atrium, create art to wear in the Studio, and spot a few of the famous moms hanging out in the galleries (like Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting pictured below).

Henry Ossawa Tanner, "Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures", c. 1909, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds

Leah Hanson is Manager of Early Learning

Friday Photo Post: Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that recognizes motherhood, mothers,  and their contributions to our lives. In 1868, “Mother’s Friendship Day” was established to bring together families that had been divided during the Civil War. By 1910, Mother’s Day as we now know it was established and continues to be a popular day to celebrate mothers.  Since this Sunday is Mother’s Day, I highlighted works of art with mothers in various roles. If you are a mother, I hope you enjoy this photo post and your special day! 

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Amy Wolf
Coordinator of Gallery Teaching


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