Archive for August, 2013

Calling All Gumshoes!

Kids need to use problem solving skills on a daily basis, both at home and in the classroom. What better way to harness these skills than with some sleuthing in the Dallas Museum of Art galleries? Creative problem solving can be fun for both you and your child. Just think of what you can discover alongside your junior detective!

Develop into a problem-solving duo with the Modern Mysteries family guide, available in the Center for Creative Connections. Your little gumshoe will discover works of art in the galleries using careful observation, problem solving, and analysis of their findings–the same tools and techniques that real detectives use!

For example, the elements of design are the building blocks used to create a work of art. Some of the elements are LINE, COLOR, and SHAPE. Let’s investigate these elements at work in The Divers by Fernand Leger.

  • Find a squiggly, curvy, straight, rigid, and wavy LINE.
  • How many COLORS are in this painting?
  • What SHAPES can you identify?
  • Now that you’ve discovered these details, what do you think is happening in this painting?



There are many other mysteries to uncover in the European galleries with the Modern Mysteries family guide. And families who are part of DMA Friends can earn their Junior Detective Badge once their sleuthing is complete. So throw on your detective cap and polish your magnifying glass to embark on an art adventure here at the Dallas Museum of Art!


Emily Wiskera
Graduate Education Intern

Open Office: Preparators

The preparators at the Museum assist in the unpacking of all the art that enters the DMA and ensure that it is handled, stored, and installed in the safest manner possible. Eight people share this office space, with two shared computers. On most days we are only in here during lunches, breaks, and an occasional meeting, so this becomes more of a holding space for our tools, fasteners, touch-up paints, and assorted specialty jigs. The large central table serves as a workspace for covering decks and lifts, as well as being our lunch table. The bulletin board is nicknamed our “wall of shame,” holding photographs and collages of a variety of subjects. As we are always on the go, jumping from one project to another very quickly, this place rarely gets organized, but we always manage to find that one necessary specialty thing-a-ma-bob when it is needed.







Mary Nicolett is a preparator at the DMA

Friday Photos: Until Next Time!

Wow! I cannot believe my time as a McDermott Intern is over! I would like to thank the Eugene McDermott Education Fund for providing this incredible opportunity. Through this experience, I have come to value the creative and fast-paced environment of museum education. I am especially gratefully for the opportunities to teach a summer art camp and test the Art Babies program. I may have to start my own children’s book collection because I enjoyed Story Time in the Galleries so much! It has been a pleasure to learn from and work with such dedicated educators at the DMA. Thank you to the Family, Access, and Schools Team for your patience and support, you ladies do an amazing job!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the internship.

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Holly York
McDermott Intern for Family Experiences

Summer Conservation at the DMA: Treatment of Sanction of the Museum by Daniel Buren

If you’ve visited the DMA lately, you may have been wondering what is going on behind the closed doors of the Chilton Galleries, the same galleries that held the recent Chagall: Beyond Color exhibition. The galleries have been transformed into a temporary conservation workspace, where we have been busily working on a massive installation artwork by Daniel Buren.

Daniel Buren in 1995. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Daniel Buren in 1995 (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Daniel Buren (b. 1938) has been creating dynamic public installations since the early 1970s. His conceptual artwork challenged the traditional formats at the time and frequently combined modern pieces with historical architecture. Now Buren’s large striped artworks are recognized instantly across Europe, earning him revered status in his native France.

Sanction of the Museum being unrolled for the first time at the DMA.

Sanction of the Museum being unrolled for the first time at the DMA

The DMA recently acquired Buren’s 1973 Sanction of the Museum, which consists of six enormous panels of cotton fabric with alternating white and colored vertical stripes. Each panel bears two stripes of white acrylic paint applied to both the front and back of the fabric at the far left and right edges. The panels will hang from the ceiling near the Ross Avenue Entrance (at the south end of the Museum’s main Concourse) like a series of banners that can sway slightly in the air. They will lead the way upstairs to the new Conservation Studio, where Museum visitors will soon have a window into the often-unseen world of art conservation.

Conservation Interns Diana Hartman and Jessica Ford steaming one of the large canvas panels

Conservation interns Diana Hartman and Jessica Ford steaming one of the large canvas panels

As conservation interns, our job was to stabilize and restore visual integrity to the canvas panels. They had been rolled up in storage since the artwork’s last installation in 1989, prior to their acquisition by the DMA last year. This is good in that the artwork hasn’t seen a lot of wear or fading from UV, but because it was rolled improperly a number of minor damages were incurred. (If you’re curious about how to properly care for your paintings, here is a good place to start!) The most pressing issues we encountered were the extreme creases and wrinkles that marred the artwork’s stoic appearance. We also found numerous small stains and tears.

side by side

Before performing any treatment on the artwork itself, we made mock-ups and conducted tests to decide on the best option. In conservation practice, a “less is more” approach is always best, using minimal interference and always using reversible materials. In this particular case, we successfully steamed away most of the wrinkles in the fabric and reduced the most severe creases under custom weights. Small tears were mended with thread-by-thread reweaving and custom-made patches. Soft vinyl erasers and cellulose pulp poultices were used to reduce scuffs and dirt.


After an intense eight weeks of preparation, installation is now underway! We are thrilled to have been a part of the team that helped bring this important contemporary artwork to Dallas. This conservation treatment is just the start of many more exciting projects that will be taking place on public view in the new Conservation Studio when it opens this fall. Be sure to check out Sanction of the Museum the next time you visit the DMA!

Diana Hartman and Jessica Ford are art conservation interns working with Chief Conservator Mark Leonard at the DMA this summer. Diana is a conservation technician at Winterthur Museum, and Jessica is a graduate fellow in paintings conservation at Winterthur/University of Delaware.

Splish Splash – Escaping the Texas Heat

With multiple days of triple-digit temps, we are feeling the heat right with you. So we pooled together works in the collection that really make a splash. Take a refreshing dip into our DMA waters below, find even more on our Pinterest page, and stop by the Museum to escape the heat. We keep it a cool 72 degrees inside; the AC’s even included in free general admission.

Kimberly Daniell is the Public Relations Manager at the DMA and Hayley Dyer is the Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming

Defining Beauty


As you may know, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum, featuring key works from the collection of Greek and Greco-Roman masterpieces at the British Museum, is currently on display at the DMA. This exhibition, on view through October 6, highlights many representations of the human body and invites us to consider how beauty is defined. Greeks believed that one’s physical, outward appearance was a reflection of one’s inner character—if one was outwardly beautiful, one must also be inwardly virtuous. The body was of utmost importance, and the physical was strongly linked to the moral in Greek minds and culture.

Marble statue of discus thrower (diskobolos), Roman period, second century AD, after a lost Greek original of about 450–440 BC, from the villa of the emperor Hadrian at Tivoli, Italy, GR 1805,0703.43 (Sculpture 250) AN 396999, © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

Marble statue of a discus thrower (diskobolos), Roman period, 2nd century AD, after a lost Greek original of about 450–440 BC, from the villa of the emperor Hadrian at Tivoli, Italy, © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

Now, almost two thousand years later, how much have our ideas about beauty changed? Looking at the stunning Diskobolos, do you believe that physical beauty reflects virtue? Or do you think that inner and outer beauty are independent of one another? And how much are your ideas about beauty a product of the culture in which you live? Because the DMA believes that art should spark further thought and discussion, at the end of The Body Beautiful exhibition we created a visitor response wall, where visitors can share their thoughts about beauty after experiencing the exhibition. The response wall consists of two different cards that visitors may choose to fill out—one asks, “Can you separate inner beauty from outer beauty?” and the other reads, “I don’t want to answer a question, but I had a thought about beauty…”


As you can see, we’ve gotten some excellent, insightful, and varied comments! We’re keeping track of them, and we’d love for you to respond as well. This month, receive a $4 discount on an exhibition ticket when you purchase online prior to your visit!

Elizabeth Layman is a summer intern at the DMA with Adult Programs and Arts & Letters Live.

Friday Photos: Breaking News at the DMA

WFAA Channel 8's Cynthia Izaguirre sharing newscasting tips with summer campers

WFAA Channel 8’s Cynthia Izaguirre sharing newscasting tips with summer campers

What happens when you give six to eight year olds a video camera, a sparkly pretend microphone and the chance to be newscasters for the day? The latest, breaking edition of DMA Art News! Campers in the New World Kids 2 summer art camp spent two weeks learning about how creativity comes in all shapes and sizes. One of the highlights of camp was working with WFAA Channel 8’s Cynthia Izaguirre to learn the ins and outs of broadcast news.

Shooting B-roll for our Art Newscast with Ted Forbes

Shooting B-roll for our Art Newscast with Ted Forbes

After a practice session with Cynthia, the kids were ready to roll. Ted Forbes, the Museum’s Multimedia Producer, worked his magic to help the kids get their ideas from paper to camera. The final result is this debut of the DMA Art News!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

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