Archive for June, 2012



Art is for Families

Do you remember family visits to museums as a kid?  Picking favorite artworks together, seeing something completely perplexing/absolutely beautiful, or learning (maybe the hard way) that you can’t touch the art?

My colleague, C3 Gallery Specialist Jessica Nelson, is dedicating her master’s thesis research capturing such experiences.  Last week, Jessica forwarded me a link to her more-than-excellent blog Art is for Families.  The blog documents her Art Education master’s thesis project, for which Jessica is embarking on a series of wonder-full museum adventures with her six-year-old daughter, Julia.  Jessica’s research focuses on family learning in museums: specifically, how museum-produced self-guided materials help families have meaningful experiences with artworks.  She is also interested in inter-generational collaborative research and art-making as a vehicle for storytelling.

Together, Jessica and Julia will visit six museums in the metroplex, making use of available self-guided materials, and documenting their journeys in a variety of media. The two are equal collaborators: Julia and Jessica make art together, collect stories, take separate photos of their experiences, and throughout, have a dialogue about their process.

So far, Julia and Jessica have visited the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art—taking advantage of the Modern’s self-guided sketchbook, Ten Pages and the Carter’s Postcard Tour.  Below are just a few of many pictures of their visits and resulting projects:

Julia twirled through my office last week, just in time for me to take the adorable mother-daughter photo above for this post.  Julia, we cannot wait to see more of your art and read (and read and read) more of your stories about museums.  Jessica, what an amazing project!  We look forward to learning from your research.

To have a self-guided family adventure at the DMA, ask for one of our four bite-sized Self-Guided tours at the Visitor Services desk, or print them at home.  And for more family-focused art-making and art-exploring ideas, visit We Art Family! The DMA Family Blog.

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach

A Look Back at the 2011-2012 School Year

School is out for the summer! It’s amazing how quickly this busy year flew by. We’d like to take a moment to celebrate some of the accomplishments of this year, and look ahead to some of the highlights for next year.

Museum Visits

  • During the course of the year, we provided docent-guided tours to approximately 37,352 people.
  • The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition brought in the most docent-guided and self-guided groups with a whopping 11,455 visitors.
  • This fall, we anticipate a large number of group tours for The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico exhibition.  We begin taking requests for the 2012-2013 school year on August 1st, so don’t forget to sign up!

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits

Go van Gogh Classroom Visits

Thank you docents, Go van Gogh volunteers, students, and teachers, for a wonderful year!

Hannah Burney
Go van Gogh Programs Assistant

Keep Your Kids Writing This Summer!

Keep your kids writing this summer with the Texas Book Festival Fiction Writing Contest for Teens presented by Read to Lead!

The Texas Book Festival is hosting its 11th annual fiction writing contest to encourage and reward creative writing in Texas schools. This year, the theme is Out of the Blue, and cash prizes and Texas Book Festival participation will be awarded to the winners. Stories will be judged by Texas writers, some of whom have presented their work at the annual Festival.

Judges will look for excellence in use of dialogue, imagery, character development, setting, plot, conflict and resolution. Submitted entries will be considered in three divisions: grades 7-8, grades 9-10, and grades 11-12. Authors will enter the division for which they were a student during the 2011-12 academic year. The contest is free to enter, and entries must be submitted online by July 27, 2012.

To view the 2011 winning entries, visit our web site.

Texas Book Festival Fiction Writing Contest Winners 2011

Hannah Norman
Texas Book Festival Director of Operations

Summer in the City

Now that Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer have come and gone, I thought it would be fun to look back at some past summers spent in the courtyard of the Museum’s former Fair Park home.

Impromptu music in the courtyard draws visitors outside, circa 1963

Summer class, 1970s

Ladies meeting over boxed lunches, 1970s
(Photography by David Lawrence Photo)

Director Harry S. Parker III (far right) enjoying the courtyard, 1970s
(Photography: From the Collection of the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library)

Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Friday Photos: Favorites from a Favorite

In honor of Gail Davitt, Chair of Learning Initiatives and Director of Education at the DMA (for one more day!), today’s photo post highlights some of her favorite works of art from our collection.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Artworks shown:

Jasper Johns, Device, 1961-1962, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Art Museum League, Margaret J. and George V. Charlton, Mr. and Mrs. James B. Francis, Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Greenlee, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. James H. W. Jacks, Mr. and Mrs. Irvin L. Levy, Mrs. John W. O’Boyle, and Dr. Joanne Stroud in honor of Mrs. Eugene McDermott

Piet Mondrian, Place de la Concorde, 1938-1943, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

Rene Magritte, The Light of Coincidences, 1933, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon

Brice Marden, To Corfu, 1976, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift

Matthew Barney, The Cloud Club, 2002, Dallas Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Fund, gift of Arlene and John Dayton, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon E. Faulconer, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Marguerite and Robert K. Hoffman, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, and three anonymous donors; DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund; and Roberta Coke Camp Fund 

Mask with seal or sea otter spirit, North America, United States, Yup’ik Eskimo people, late 19th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elizabeth H. Penn

Standing female figure (rhythm pounder), Africa, Southeastern Mali, Senufo peoples, 19th to 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The Gustave and Franyo Schindler Collection of African Sculpture, gift of the McDermott Foundation in honor of Eugene McDermott

House of the Head (ile ori), Africa, Nigeria, Yoruba peoples, late 19th to early 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, African Collection Fund

Mouth mask depicting the head of a bird, Asia, Indonesia, 19th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Vincent van Gogh, Sheaves of Wheat, July 1890, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Paul Gauguin, Under the Pandanus (I Raro te Oviri), 1891, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Adele R. Levy Fund, Inc.


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