Archive for December, 2012

Tis the Season

Last night we raised a glass in honor of our hardworking interns at our annual McDermott Intern Holiday Party. The festivities included holiday crackers, complete with some fancy headwear which they donned in front of the tree.


We hope the holidays will find you just as merry and bright!

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Fa La La La La Your Way to the DMA


Grab a cup of hot cocoa, put on your Santa hat, and get ready for an artsy holiday music quiz! Look at the above images of artworks in our collection and try to match them with the holiday song lyrics below.

  1. Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere.
  2. I saw three ships come sailing in, on Christmas Day in the morning.
  3. Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve no place to go…let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
  4. Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time in the city. Ring-a-ling, here them ring, soon it will be Christmas Day.
  5. You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why—Santa Claus is coming to town.
  6. Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.

Scroll to the end of the post for the answers!

See how you did on our Jingle-Meter:

4-6 correct: Ho, ho, hold onto your elf hats! You’re at the top of Santa’s list as a holiday music expert. Now go out and get your jingle on.

2-3 correct: Keep calm and merry on. You’re a little rusty on your melodies, but with a bit more caroling, you’ll be fa-la-la-la-la-ing with the season’s best.

0-1 correct: Bah humbug! Your inner Scrooge is getting the best of you. We recommend a prescription of candy canes and cocoa.

Artworks shown:

  • Raymond Jonson, Composition 7-Snow, 1928, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Duncan E. Boeckman
  • Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collections, gift of the artist
  • Claude Monet, Valle Buona, Near Bordighera, 1884, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated
  • Thomas Chambers, Eastport, and Passamaquoddy Bay (View of Hudson Valley), 1840-1860, Dallas Museum of Art, The Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Collection, gift of Faith P. Bybee
  • Paola de Matteis, The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1680-1728, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation
  • William Bogert & Co. (manufacturer), Dinner bell, c. 1866-1875, Dallas Museum of art, The Charles R. Masling and John E. Furen Collection, gift of John E. Furen in memory of Charles R. Masling

Answers (clockwise from top left): 3, 5, 1, 4, 6, 2

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning

Collection Connections: Jekyll & Hyde

What I like most about the story of Jekyll & Hyde is the timeless theme of duality—the two-fold, dichotomous nature of all things. It’s a story in which the good (Dr. Jeykll) and the evil (Mr. Hyde) within one human being are constantly at odds with one another.  Last week at the Winspear, I watched Jekyll and Hyde the Musical and thought about the idea of duality in the visual arts.

Duality refers to a whole that is composed of two opposing or opposite parts. While Jekyll and Hyde references the duality of good and evil, artists in our collection present varying kinds of dualities:

Light and Dark

Big and Small

Male and Female

Organic and Geometric

Natural and Manmade

Reality and Dreams


I challenge you to post a comment with an example of a work of art that presents some kind of duality!

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Artworks shown:

  • Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis
  • Tom Friedman, Untitled (big/small figure), 2004, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund
  • Male and female ancestor figures, Indonesia, North Sumatra, Lake Toba Region, Toba Batak People, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
  • Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark
  • Robert Smithson, Mirrors and Shelly Sand, 1969-1970, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of an anonymous donor; the Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation; an anonymous donor in memory of Vin Prothro and in honor of his cherished grandchildren, Lillian Lee Clark and Annabel Caren Clark; The Eugene McDermott Foundation; Dr. and Mrs. Mark L. Lemmon; American Consolidated Media; Bear/Hunter; and donors to the C. Vincent Prothro Memorial Fund
  • René Magritte, Persian Letters, 1958, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of J.B. Adoue, III

Friday Photos: Drawing with Light



The theme for December’s First Tuesday program was City of Light, inspired by one of the Dallas Museum of Art’s current exhibitions, Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries. One of the exciting activities offered was Drawing with Light.  Families experimented with flashlights, laser pointers, and traffic wands to create a drawing in the air with light. The drawings were created using digital SLR cameras set on 15 second exposure time, which enabled all of the movements to be captured. All of the photographs taken during this activity were posted to the Center for Creative Connections’ Flickr account.  The activity was a great success and even Arturo, the Museum’s family mascot, took part!

Arturo making his own drawing with light!

Arturo making his own drawing with light!

Danielle Schulz
McDermott Intern for Family Experiences

Holidays in the District

Last week the Dallas Arts District kicked off Holiday in the District with Holidays at the Center. Below are images from the annual tree lighting event provided by the Dallas Arts District. Visit the Holidays in the District page for information on all holiday-related events, as well as tips on holiday shopping in the District.

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Paris Calling!

Calling all art enthusiasts!

We are in need of volunteers for a hands-on, art-making area in our Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec & His Contemporaries exhibition.

During the run of Posters of Paris: Toulouse Lautrec and His Contemporaries (on view through January 20, 2013), the Museum is offering a drop-in art-making activity within the exhibition gallery space. For the activity, visitors create their own posters using text and images from the exhibition. Poster-makers layer text and images in between layers of acetate and trace their compositions with dry erase markers. After completing poster designs, visitors bring their finished product to a volunteer, who photocopies the image, creating an 11”x17” poster.  Visitors receive a copy of their posters to take home and the Museum keeps a copy to hang in the Poster Studio space.

Poster Studio volunteers will be on their feet, interacting with visitors, making copies, and stapling posters onto the wall in the space.  Shifts are two-hours in length during open hours.  Volunteering in the Posters Studio is a fun way to spend two hours of your day—when I work the space, I usually have time to create a poster myself.

We are in great need of volunteers to help during the final weeks of December.  As our way of thanking you for volunteering, we will provide all volunteers with an extra ticket to the Posters of Paris exhibition.

For more information about being a Posters Studio volunteer, or to sign-up for a shift, please visit our website.

Happy Holidays,

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh Outreach and Community Teaching

Reading the Cards: Part 3

This post is the third in a larger series finding connections between the ever-mystical tarot cards and the extraordinary collection of the Dallas Museum of Art. Head over to the first and second posts for an introduction and earlier connections.

The Hierophant is the fifth trump card and is occasionally referred to as the Pope.  The term hierophant literally means one who teaches holy things.  With two fingers pointing skyward and two downward, the Hierophant’s hand raised in benediction forms a bridge between heaven and earth.  This card represents seeking guidance from positive role models as the Hierophant is seen as a pillar of the community.

Standing power figure (nkisi nkondi),Yombe peoples, late 19th to early 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the McDermott Foundation

Minkisi (the plural term for nkisi) are containers for magical substances or medicines that empower them to protect the community against negative forces.  This standing power figure belongs to a class of minkisi called nkondi.  The term translated is “hunter” of wrongdoers in matters of civil law.  Truly a pillar of the community, the hunter is simultaneously chief, doctor, priest and judge.

The High Priestess is the second major arcana card in a tarot deck.  She is represented in plain robes wearing a horned diadem on her head and a large cross on her chest.  The High Priestess is always shown between two pillars- one white and one black.  Labeled “B” and “J,” the columns represent Boaz and Jachin of the mystic Temple of Solomon.  This card is associated with knowledge, love, and common sense.

Matthew Barney, CREMASTER 3: Hiram Abiff, 2002, Dallas Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Fund: Gif of Arlene and john Dayton, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon E. Faulconer, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Margurerite and Robert K. Hoffman, Cindy and Howerd Rachofsky, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, and three anonymous donors; DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund; and Roberta Coke Camp Fund

Cast by Matthew Barney in the film CREMASTER 3, American sculptor Richard Serra portrays the master architect of the Chrysler building.  In this freeze frame, Serra stands in front of two industrial columns, a reference to two pillars designed by Hiram Abiff, the mythic architect of Solomon’s Temple, who possessed knowledge of the mysteries of the universe.

Judgement is the twentieth trump card in the tarot deck.  Modeled after the Christian resurrection prior to the final judgmenet day, the scene depicts an angel, likely Gabriel, descending to earth sounding a trumpet.  Below, grayish men, women, and children celebrate the angel’s arrival with open arms as they emerge from crypts and graves.  When used for divination purposes the card signals an impending judgement or the resurrection of past errors.

Emma-O, late 16th-early 17th century, Dallas Museum of Art, Wendover Fund in memory of Alfred and Juanita Bromberg an dthe Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

The title Emma-O is the Japanese translation of Yama, the Hindu god of death.  Based in Buddhism, the idea of Emma-O as the King of Hells originated in China before spreading to Japan.  Wearing the costume of a Chinese judge, Emma-O was thought to determine how your spirit would be reincarnated in your next life.  He was seen as a beneficient power despite his snarling face, which was thought to avert evil.

Justice is numbered either eight or eleven depending on the deck .  Shown seated and holding the scales of justice and the equalizing sword aloft, Justice meditates on various claims of right, morality, and duty.  When Justice appears in a spread, the card signals an injustice that requires righting.

Helmet mask (gye), Guro peoples, mid-20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The otis and Velma Davis Dozier Fund

The most powerful of masks, gye represent the highest judicial authority.  A person wearing such a mask can judge disputes, negotiate peace treties, and make momentous decisions on behalf of the community.  Worn while dancing atop burning coals, this mask depicts the trustworthy and loyal African buffalo.

The Lovers is the sixth trump card in a tarot deck.  Still nude, Adam and Eve flank the cherub that is presumably ordering them from the Garden of Eden.  Representing the impulse that drove Adam and Eve from the Garden, the Lovers exemplify the transition from innocence to experience.  This transition could manifest due to curiosity, desire, or duty.

Henry Koerner, June Night, 1948-1949, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Joshua L. Logan

An example of magic realism, Henry Koerner’s June Night is a glance at life after leaving the garden.  Contrasting blissful wedding connotations with the harsh qualities of a brick apartment building, this painting comments on the realities of married life, post-honeymoon phase.  The crying child painted on the lower wall brings to mind late night feedings and diaper changes.

Stay tuned for my next post featuring the Magician, the Moon, the Star, Strength, and the Sun.

Pilar Wong
McDermott Intern for Community Teaching


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