Archive for September, 2012



Meet the 2012-2013 McDermott Interns

Each year we welcome a new group of McDermott interns working in the curatorial and education departments. The 2012-2013 group started at the beginning of the month and include Emily Brown, Emily Schiller, Alex Vargo, Andrea Lesovsky, Alec Unkovic, Hannah Fullgraf, Pilar Wong, and Danielle Schulz. You will hear from each of the interns on Uncrated throughout their nine months at the DMA. Learn more about the McDermott Internships on the DMA’s website; you can apply for your chance to be a 2013-2014 McDermott intern in January.

Friday Photos: Plumed Serpent Teacher Workshop

Last Saturday we kicked off the first teacher workshop of the fall: Cacao, Codices, and Cross-Cultural Connections. We explored  The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico and considered the complex trade networks and the shared artistic styles between the multilingual societies in Post-Classic Mesoamerica. We also spent quality time with the Codex Nuttall, the Mixtec picture book that tells a story without the use of a written language.

Groups of workshop participants created their own codices of popular or historical events. Groups had to guess each other’s narrative, testing the difficulty of communicating without words. Would you have been able to guess what stories their codices were telling?

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Join us for a Saturday teacher workshop on October 6 or November 17!

Until next time,

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

Fresh New Faces

Our Museum offices are abuzz with a group of new McDermott Interns, who began working with our Curatorial and Education Divisions last week. Two new faces who will be blogging with us over the next nine months are Alex Vargo, McDermott Education Intern for Gallery Teaching, and Pilar Wong, McDermott Education Intern for Community Teaching. In addition to the blog, they will also contribute their talent to our docent and tour programs, teacher programs, and Go van Go outreach.

Welcome to the DMA ladies! Why don’t you share with us a bit of your background.

Alex exploring Big Bend National Park

Pilar on the Mediterranean coast in Split, Croatia

Alex: I graduated in 2011 from Oberlin College in Ohio, where I studied Art History. I’m originally from a suburb of Philadelphia, where, in high school, I rowed out of boathouse row by the art museum and, yes, ran the famous Rocky steps. After college, I returned to Philly, where I worked in the Family Programs Departments of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation. Before this internship, I had never been to Dallas, but I’m not totally new to Texas. I had been living in Marfa since February working at the Chinati Foundation. This is my first time living in a Texas city and I’m excited to explore more of the state!

Pilar: I was raised throughout the beautiful southwest in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado—Texas is the farthest east I’ve ever lived! I received my BA from Stanford University in Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity with a minor in Education. During my time at Stanford, I worked at the Cantor Arts Center which hosts the 2nd largest collection of Rodin sculptures in the world! After moving to Dallas, I volunteered at the Dallas Holocaust Museum and worked at the Dallas Heritage Village.

Now that you’ve been introduced to our collection, which artwork would be your BFF and why?

Alex: Donald Judd’s Untitled (1988). Coming from Marfa, where Judd lived and worked when he wasn’t in New York, I feel like we are old friends.

Pilar: I absolutely love Maurice de Vlaminck’s Bougival.  The vivid colors make me smile every time I see it, but the depth of the painting ensures that I would never get tired of seeing it day after day and imagining myself in the landscape.

If you could spend the night in one of our galleries, which one would you choose?

Alex: If I could spend the night in a gallery and I could touch the works of art, I would love to be on level 4 in the Form/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present show. The Fernando and Humberto Campana Banquete Chair with Pandas calls to me!

Pilar: I would definitely want to spend the night on level 4 with American Decorative Arts so I could test out the fantastic four-poster bed from the 1840’s!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Alex: Tripe. I love pho!

Pilar: I attended the State Fair of Texas last year and tried several deep fried treats including bubblegum, lemonade, beer, cheese curds, and pickles. I’m looking forward to this year’s offerings!

You might see these lovely ladies around the next time you visit the Museum or one of our programs, so be sure to give them a warm Texas welcome!

Artworks shown:

  • Donald Judd, Untitled, 1988, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum League Purchase Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, H. Harold Wineburgh Fund and gift of an anonymous donor
  • Maurice de Vlaminck, Bougival, c. 1905, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
  • Fernando Campana and Humberto Campana, Banquete chair with pandas, designed 2006, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit
  • Crawford Riddell, Bed, c. 1844, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

iMuseum: iCame, iSaw, iDid

Next week our September Late Night will be our “iMuseum 2.0” event, where visitors can use technology to explore the DMA and participate in new, interactive programs. You will be able to text a work of art with your questions, listen to the winner of our Be Our Main Stage Act contest, go on a Choose Your Own Adventure tour, have conversations with our curators in the galleries, go on our Twitter Treasure Hunts, and more!

Here are just a few of the new programs we will be offering on September 21:

Text a Work of Art
Do you sometimes wonder what a work of art is thinking or feeling? Well now you can find out when you text a work of art your question and get a response! There will be three works of art answering your questions throughout the night, including Cornelis Saftleven’s College of Animals, so start thinking of your questions.

Cornelis Saftleven, “College of Animals,” 1655, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation

Silent Soundtrack
Visitors will be able to check out a pair of headphones, provided by Austin Silent Disco, se -up with three different music channels. Each channel will have a soundtrack picked by DMA staff for a specific gallery. After you listen to our choices, we invite you to share your own ideas about the music you would choose to accompany a gallery or work of art.

Personal Tours
Check out a docent for a personal thirty-minute tour of two to three works in the DMA’s collection. Choose from themes like Love & Lust, Big & Small, Land & Sea, Work & Play, Secrets & Stories, Gods & Heroes, or Good & Bad. Docents will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

One of the works you will hear about on your personal tour.
Mask, Mexico, state of Veracruz, Rio Pesquero, Gulf Coast Olmec culture c. 900-500 B.C., jadeite, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott and The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Art Trivia
Do you know how many paintings by Gerald Murphy are in the DMA’s collection? If so, participate on your own or bring a group of friends and play as a team, in our Art Trivia contest. There will be several rounds and the winners of each round will win great prizes!

Gerald Murphy, “Razor,” 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Back to School: From the Classroom to the DMA Collection

Now that all the kiddos are settled back into school, I began to think about how the Museum‘s collection could inspire them to keep learning outside the classroom. With the most common school subjects in mind, I decided to find works of art that might help them with their studies. Check out my pairings below.

Math

Upon first glance, it’s hard to tell if this large scale sculpture is symmetrical or asymmetrical. It takes a careful walk all the way around the work of art to find out.

Untitled, Ellsworth Kelly, 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

History

An historical figure, period, or event is often the subject of a work of art. This particular work features all three. Some of the imagery in Skyway includes President Kennedy and images of space exploration. Overall, the haphazard, overlapping composition captures the tumultuous time of change in the Sixties. What else does this colorful collage tell you about the Sixties?

Skyway, Robert Rauschenberg, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr. and General Acquisitions Fund

English

Some works of art are inspired by literature, like Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire. While it’s easy to find Cinderella in this beautiful work of art, it’s not as easy to tell which part of the Cinderella story is being depicted. Come to the Museum to get a closer look at all the details a photograph can’t capture, so you can guess which part of the classic fairy tale this could be. I’ll give you a big hint: there’s more than one right answer!

Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, Thomas Sully, 1843, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation

Geography

From the icy waters of the North Atlantic to the rolling hills of the French-Italian Riviera, wandering through the Museum galleries can take you on a trip around the world to a variety of climates and terrains. How many new places can you discover on your next visit?

The Icebergs, Frederic Edwin Church, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt

Valle Buona, Near Bordighera, Claude Monet, 1884, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated

Homework

Hopefully these collection connections will make learning in the Museum more fun for you and the kiddos than studying is for this little boy:

The First Thorns of Knowledge (Les premières épines de la science), Hugues Merle, 1864, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated

Hannah Burney
Community Teaching Programs Assistant

Off the Wall: Joyfull

In our Center for Creative Connections we ask visitors to reflect on their responses to the spaces they encounter in art, as well as those they encounter in their everyday life.

For one work of art specifically, Lee Bontecou’s Untitled, we ask visitors to respond to one of three prompts:

  • To me, sharing space with this work of art feels like…
  • The words or pictures that come to mind when I look at this work of art are…
  • If this work of art was part of something larger, describe what it would be.

Untitled (35), Lee Bontecou, 1961

We have gotten a lot of great responses from visitors and want to share a few with you. Once a month we will have an “Off the Wall” post featuring three responses left by visitors.

Next time you are in the Center for Creative Connections add your contribution to the wall and maybe you will see it on Uncrated!

New Artworks in Variations on Theme

Wandering through our contemporary exhibition Variations on Theme recently, I almost forgot I was in a show of the Museum’s collections; recent acquisitions abound!  Below are just a few of the more than a dozen newly-acquired artworks in Variations on Theme.

Untitled–Whirlpool, Shozo Shimamoto, 1965, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

The Devil’s Dress, Michaël Borremans, 2011, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Venus Mirror (8/6/08, Copenhagen), Simon Starling, 2011, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Untitled (young man1), Johannes Kahrs, 2010, Gift of the Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach

Infinity Cube (Metrocubo d’infinito) (A cubic meter of infinity), Michelangelo Pistoletto, 1966, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Untitled, Adam McEwen, 2011, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

These images don’t do the artworks justice, so come see them for yourself before the exhibition closes January 27th.

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach

What is Art?: Word Cloud Excercise

Today during Learning Lab, juniors at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts  explored Variations on Theme: Contemporary Art 1950s—Present. But before we dove into the artwork on the walls and our responses to it, we considered our preconceived ideas about the definitions, classifications, and limitations associated with the term art.

In small groups, the students defined art in five words. I used Wordle to create a word cloud with their definitions. (Wordle is a wonderful classroom resource for visually presenting textual content.) The larger, bolder words were words that multiple groups used to define art.

Composition, technique, perception, and concept stand out. Other words like value, design, and aesthetics relate to an artwork’s composition or visual elements. I loved that the students included words that reference an artist’s conceptual process, such as idea, foresight, thought, and motive. 

How do you define art?

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

Community Connection: Booker T. Washington Learning Lab

Being a part of the Dallas Arts District has its distinct advantages. One advantage is being located within walking distance of other arts institutions, making it easier to develop close and in-depth partnerships. For instance, we have just started the second year of our Learning Lab partnership with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In this partnership, DMA Education staff work with Visual Arts teachers to lead experiences and projects at the DMA and at the school (the school also partners in this way with the Dallas Theater Center and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra).

This year, Andrea and Shannon are working with Krystal Read and Leslie Eames and their junior portfolio classes.

Krystal Read

Describe this class and what you envision your students doing throughout the year.

Krystal: It’s a great opportunity since it’s taught by both a school instructor and museum educator, and students will be learning about different aspects of the art world. So, we’ll cover things like aesthetics, museum practices, and a little bit of contemporary art.  A lot of what they’ll be doing in class at school is preparing for their portfolio and getting career-ready.  I think the museum helps expose them to that type of professionalism.

Leslie: It is kind of a dual class, with two parts combined together.  One part is preparing the students for their senior year by writing resumes, making a portfolio, and all the things that come with being a senior at Booker T., such as a senior show and a portfolio day with visiting colleges.  We’re also preparing students who might want to go right into the workforce by showing them what the world has to offer them as artists.  The other half of our class is Learning Lab and working with the DMA and Shannon Karol.  Shannon visited our classroom earlier this week, and the excitement level was astounding. The students are very excited to learn about the behind-the-scenes preparation for exhibits.  Many don’t realize that you’re often not just an artist; you’re also a critic and a curator.

Leslie Eames with Gary Pierce Jr. and her son Madden

What are you most excited about or looking forward to in this partnership?

Krystal: I’m most excited about the interactive experiences and that so much of our class is taking place outside of the classroom.  I’m organizing an opportunity for them to possibly do an earth-friendly installation at Klyde Warren Park.  The students are doing something different in this class; a lot have a more classical, traditional training in art, so we’re forcing them to step outside the box.

For me, it’s also so exciting because I started off in museum education and I wanted to do more teaching.  I’m excited that those paths have finally crossed back over and somehow synced back together.

Leslie: I am excited that I get to learn as much as the students about the DMA.  I had no idea that I would be teaching this class, or that it existed.  As I met with my supervisor before school started, we went over course expectations and I just couldn’t believe what an awesome job I had and that I get to learn with the students.

What was a highlight of your summer vacation? 

Krystal: This past summer, I was overwhelmed with weddings, and I’m getting married myself. We’ve gone to so many weddings in the past few months.  We went to Houston for a wedding, and the next morning we went to The Breakfast Klub, a soul food brunch café that was amazing.  Breakfast is my favorite meal; I just love it.  As silly as it sounds, I was so excited about having good food.

Leslie: The highlight of my summer was taking a month off between my last job and this job and spending that month with my five-year-old son, which is something I’ve never been able to do.  He didn’t know what summer was; I’ve had him in Montessori up until now, so he didn’t know people had summers off.  We took a train ride to Oklahoma and a couple of different road trips, and made sure we had all the summer fun we could have.  We both learned we have summer vacation every year to look forward to.

Look for future blog posts about the fun and exciting experiences we’ll share with these students and teachers throughout the 2012-13 school year!

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community


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