Archive for February, 2014

Culinary Canvas: Meyer Lemon Mini Cupcakes

A pair of tiny gold earrings in our Ancient Mediterranean gallery was the inspiration for this month’s recipe. Of course jewelry always makes a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, but these little beauties are particularly appropriate since they depict Eros, the Greek god and Valentine’s Day icon better known as Cupid. But if you can’t afford any ancient golden jewelry for your Valentine this year, how about whipping up some miniature golden cupcakes instead? And be sure to use Meyer lemons to make these goodies extra sweet for your sweetie!


Eros earrings, Greek, late 4th century B.C., Dallas Museum of Art, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

Meyer Lemon Mini Cupcakes

Yields about 48 cupcakes
Level: Easy


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
Zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons
6 ounces vanilla yogurt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line mini muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar, beating at medium speed until light. Add lemon zest, then incorporate eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add lemon juice and yogurt and mix until fully combined.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to mixer, mixing on low speed and scraping down sides of bowl until just incorporated.

Divide batter into muffin cups, using a tablespoon scoop to fill each cup ¾ full. Bake about 11 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
2 teaspoons limoncello liqueur (optional)
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Whip butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium-high speed until creamy. Continue to mix on low while adding lemon zest, limoncello, and half the powdered sugar. Squeeze in juice from half the lemon and incorporate remaining sugar, mixing on low until combined. Add additional juice to reach desired consistency for spreading or piping.


Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Choosing Favorites

Young men voting for their favorite work in the exhibition "Portrait of America," September 30-November 5, 1945 (Photograph from the Studio of Wm. Langley)

Young men voting for their favorite work in the exhibition Portrait of America, September 30-November 5, 1945 (Photograph from the Studio of Wm. Langley)

In 1945 the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts was the seventh venue for the 150-painting traveling exhibition Portrait of America, sponsored by “Artists for Victory” and the Pepsi-Cola Company. The museum invited Dallasites to vote for their favorite work in the exhibition. The winner of the vote was Gladys Rockmore Davis’s Noel with Violin; she was awarded $100 by the manager of the local Pepsi-Cola Company bottling plant.

The DMA is once again asking you to pick your favorite, this time in the Museum’s first Art Madness tournament, inspired by the NCAA Championship game, which will take place in North Texas this April. DMA Friends are currently determining the Sweet Sixteen by participating in the DMA Friends Love a Work of Art activity. Once we have the 16 works determined in late February, the public can vote for their favorites online. Stay tuned for more information on how you can help pick the first DMA Art Madness Champion!

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the DMA.

Make This: Adventures in Casting

Jean Arp, "Star in a Dream (Astre en Reve)", 1958, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark, (c) Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Jean Arp, Star in a Dream (Astre en Reve), 1958, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark, (c) Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

In talking with teens about what they’d like to do for upcoming classes, casting was a popular idea that I loved but had no idea how to execute. A metals casting class (see Star in a Dream, above) would be fantastic yet totally unfeasible, so I looked for alternative materials and methods that we could try. Over the past several months, I’ve been researching different techniques to meet the following needs: the project to be cost effective (i.e. cheap); the mold had to set within 45 minutes; the process had to be uncomplicated; and the results had to be pretty cool.

I finally settled on a pretty easy way of making silicone molds from inexpensive, household materials. There are many great online tutorials on how to do this, but I chose to adapt this one. Unfortunately, this silicone mold isn’t pourable, but it sets fast and is really easy to make. Alternatively, you could easily use a self-setting rubber medium like Sugru to make the mold if you’re not concerned about set time. I’m using Mod Melts as the casting material for this project to make things easier, but you could experiment with other things like resin, etc. As with any project, make sure your work area is well-ventilated and observe the safety precautions on the material labels.

What you need (this should yield 1-2 small, 2″-4″ castings):

  • Tube of 100% silicone caulk and caulk gun (VERY important that it’s 100% silicone)
  • Cornstarch
  • Latex gloves
  • Styrofoam cup
  • Disposable plastic tray
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Mod Melts and hot glue gun
  • A small object to mold (you could make your own using modelling clay, etc.) that will fit into the Styrofoam cup


Step 1:

Don your gloves and pour a generous amount of cornstarch along the bottom of your plastic tray. Cut the tip off of the tube of caulk and load it into the caulk gun.


Step 2:

Squeeze the entire tube of caulk into the tray full of cornstarch. Begin incorporating the cornstarch into the caulk until it starts to form a loose ball. I used two pieces of scrap cardboard to toss everything together until it became a paste, then used my hands. Add more cornstarch as needed. I ended up using about 12 oz. of cornstarch.



Step 3:

Continue kneading cornstarch into the silicone ball until it reaches a putty-like consistency and is no longer sticky to the touch.


Step 4: 

Press the silicone firmly around your object to make your mold. For best results, use an object with a simple shape that doesn’t have a lot of holes where the silicone could get trapped. Press the mold with the object inside into the Styrofoam cup and leave it to set. (Notice that I’ve left a small hole at the top of the mold where I will pour in the Mod Melts.) I had enough material to cast my object and to make a small, secondary mold.



Step 5: 

Check the mold after about 45 minutes–if it has completely set, you should be able to slide it out of the cup. Gently remove the object, taking care not to tear the mold. (You may need to carefully cut the silicone to make a two-part mold in order to do this.) You can see in my bigger mold some sections where I ran into trouble with air bubbles. To avoid that next time, I will have to press more firmly into those sections and give my mold a little more time to set.





Step 6:

Spray the inside of your mold with non-stick spray (optional) and put it back in the Styrofoam cup. Heat your glue gun and load it with the Mod Podge Melts. For the sake of time, I will only cast the smaller mold that I made but I’ll post images of the larger cast on our Flickr page!

Step 7:

When hot, squeeze the Mod Melts into the mold. Once you’ve filled it, give the mold a gentle tap to help any air bubbles settle. Leave it to set.

Once your casting is cool, take it out of the mold. Your results may vary, but don’t worry–if the mold is still intact, you could reuse it to make another casting. And the nice thing about Mod Melts is that afterwards, you can paint your project or draw on it with Sharpie markers, etc.



If you know of an interested teen, have them check out our March Urban Armor workshop–we’ll be doing a similar activity but casting in plastic!

Make and be happy!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Teenage Dream: Young Masters

The DMA’s Concourse is filled once again with art created by area AP high school students, and that means it is time for the annual Young Masters exhibition. Since 1994 North Texas art and music students have submitted their work to the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP Arts Incentive Program for a chance to be selected for the exhibition and earn scholarships. Check out this year’s selections, on view through April 27 at the DMA.







Friday Photos: Festival Fun

Every time you visit the DMA, you’ll discover exciting ways to become involved with the Museum’s collection, whether taking part in a Twitter Treasure Hunt on Late Nights, going on an interactive tour during First Tuesdays, or creating your own work of art in Studio Creations. But did you know you can also find ways to get connected with the DMA outside of the Museum’s walls?

Last weekend, the DMA participated in the Crow Collection’s annual Chinese New Year Festival, an event filled with Asian-inspired music, dancing, and of course, art. Not only did the DMA contribute a booth to the lively festival, but we also collaborated with members of El Centro College’s Visual Arts Club to create an engaging experience for visitors. The art club students came up with two wonderful art-making activities–miniature scrolls and a community painting–and drew in more than 600 participants!

Check out photos from the event and keep an eye out for us as we participate in the Art + Science Festival on Saturday, April 12!

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Amy Elms
McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement

ARTifacts: Our Own Monuments Man

Did you know that a former DMA director was a Monuments Man?

DMFA Director Richard Foster Howard (1935-1942)

DMFA Director Richard Foster Howard (1935-42)

Richard Foster Howard was director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts from December 1935 to May 1942. Howard arrived in Dallas to oversee the completion of the new museum in Fair Park and the grand Texas Centennial exhibition in 1936. He would go on to assemble the exhibition for the Pan-American Exposition in 1937 and start the Texas General, an annual juried exhibition of Texas artists.

Richard Foster Howard (standing) with jurors Xavier Gonzales, Donald Bear, and Frederick Browne judging the Texas section of the "Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition," 1937

Richard Foster Howard (standing) with jurors Xavier Gonzales, Donald Bear, and Frederick Browne judging the Texas section of the Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition, 1937

Jurors for the 1941 Texas General exhibition: Richard Foster Howard, John McCrady, Boardman Robinson, and W. Whitzle (L to R)

Jurors for the 1941 Texas General exhibition: (L to R) Richard Foster Howard, John McCrady, Boardman Robinson, and W. Whitzle

Education was a major focus of his tenure as director. Howard started free Saturday classes for children in 1937, began the school tour program with the Dallas Independent School District in 1937-38, established the education department with the hiring of Mrs. Alexandre (Maggie Jo) Hogue as the first full-time supervisor of education in 1939, and founded the Museum’s library in 1940.

During World War II, Howard retired from the Museum to join the army and was made a captain in the Army Field Artillery. He served in the European theater with distinction and returned to Germany in July 1946 as deputy chief of monuments, fine arts, and archives for the Office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.) He served as a Monuments Man until December 1948. For his service in returning works of art removed by Germans during the war, he was awarded the Order of the White Lion of Bohemia by the Czechoslovakian government and the Star of Italian Solidarity by the Italian government.

When Howard returned from Germany, he resumed his museum career, retiring as director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in 1975.

This Friday, learn even more about this special group of men and women with the opening of The Monuments Men movie.

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Totes Awesome! Art To Go Family Bags

Around this time last year, I gave a sneak peek into an exciting new anytime activity that our Education team was testing. After much preparation, redesign, and enthusiasm over the past year, the DMA is now premiering the Art To Go Family Tote Bags for free and public use! Beginning this week, visitors can check out these special totes at the Visitor Services desk and enhance their Museum experience by engaging in a variety of creative activities.

Each Art To Go bag is centered around a particular theme, the first of which are Color and the Senses. The corresponding activities within each bag are general enough to be used with any work of art in the DMA galleries, so the possibilities are endless. The tote bag activities cater to diverse learning styles, encouraging visitors to design their own Museum experience by deciding whether they want to Write, Make, Talk, or Play.

With Art To Go bags, family members can use their imaginations to discover the different scents and aromas present in an Abstract Expressionist painting, or perhaps use their bodies to clap, stomp, snap, whistle and sing to create a soundscape for a Buddhist sculpture. Children can write a postcard to a family member describing their visit to the Museum using all of their senses, or use a viewfinder to focus in and sketch a single section of a French Impressionist painting. The great news is that activities and bag themes will change periodically, so families can create and enjoy new educational and artistic adventures each time they visit!

Art To Go Family Tote Bags are designed to be creative catalysts, encouraging families to spend more time in the galleries both connecting with works of art and connecting with each other. We invite you to take one of our activity bags along on your next (or very first) visit to the DMA! Bags will be available for free check out at the Visitor Services desk during regular Museum hours. And DMA Friends who complete activities from both bags can earn the Tote-ally Family Badge!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Olympics in the Galleries

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Ice Skater (verso), 1929–30, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Ice Skater (verso), 1929–30, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

No, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s ice skater is not executing a complicated triple lutz, soon to be witnessed by billions around the world during the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He is permanently suspended in his upside-down state, having been painted on the verso of a canvas 17 years after the main painting on the other side, Four Wooden Sculptures, which depicts small primitive sculptures. Both sides of this expressionist artist’s painting can currently be seen (the skater requiring a bit of head tilting) in the DMA’s Behind the Scenes exhibition in the Conservation Gallery.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Four Wooden Sculptures (recto), 1912, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Four Wooden Sculptures (recto), 1912, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Kirchner’s interest in the movement and agility of the human body began early in his career with depictions of Berlin and Dresden cabarets and circuses. He later found inspiration in the bicyclists who practiced racing at Berlin’s Olympia stadium. The DMA’s skater was painted after the artist moved to the Swiss Alpine mountain town of Frauenkirch, near Davos, where he would spend the last 20 years of his life. The area remains a mecca for cold-weather athletics–Davos is now home to both the Kirchner Museum and the Winter Sports Museum.

In 1930, in his essay “On Life and Work,” Kirchner reflected: “Observation of movement has been for me a particularly fruitful source of creative inspiration. From that observation comes the increased awareness of life which is the source of all artistic works.” For Kirchner, most of his sports experience was only that–observation and then the subsequent depictions thereof. The skater and other works such as Ski-Jumpers (1927) and Ice-Hockey Players (1934) were executed after his physical and mental breakdown. Archery seems to be the one sport that the artist attempted himself. In 1933, he wrote to a friend, “My wife is quite a good shot, too. It is an educational sport which makes people take up beautiful attitudes.”

And here’s a view of Kirchner’s Ice Skater that doesn’t require turning the computer upside down.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Ice Skater (verso), 1929–30, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Ice Skater (verso), 1929–30

Read more about the appearance of athletic activity in Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s work here.

Reagan Duplisea is the associate registrar, exhibitions at the DMA


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