Archive for March, 2014



The Luck of the Irish

There will be no pinching in the Museum galleries this St. Patrick’s Day, as the DMA collection has the luck of the Irish and is covered in green. Visit these clover-colored works in the collection for free.

Reagan Duplisea is associate registrar-exhibitions and Kimberly Daniell is the manager of communications and public affairs at the DMA.

Friday Photos: Picture Yourself at the DMA

Spring Break week has been a blast, but the fun isn’t over yet!  The DMA will be open until 9:00pm tonight, Friday March 14, for the Dallas Arts District Spring Break Block Party. Come by to experience our fun activities and while you’re here snap a selfie with a work of art!

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

Artist Astrology: Aquarius and Pisces

This month we are highlighting two astrological signs, Aquarius (January 21 – February 19) and Pisces (February 20 – March 20)! Both signs have produced brilliant artists but, as we will discover, the working methods and aspirations of these two zodiacs are quite different.

Aquarius

People born under the Aquarian zodiac are identified by their forward-thinking and progressive nature. They are self-directed leaders and prefer to define themselves by their originality and uniqueness. Aquarians are constantly adapting and consider change and evolution a crucial element in self-development. Because of this, Aquarians enjoy surprises–both good and bad–and thrive in exciting, stimulating environments. Banality is never an option for an Aquarius. They are extremely mentally active individuals and their mind is rarely at rest. Aquarians maintain this energy and curiosity throughout life, often described as remaining ‘young at heart’.

The DMA collection features multiple Aquarian artists, including Edouard Manet (January 23), Jackson Pollock (January 28), Claes Oldenburg (January 28), Thomas Cole (February 1), Fernand Leger (February 4), and Lewis Comfort Tiffany (February 18).

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Edouard Manet – January 23

During his lifetime, Manet was frequently criticized and satirized for his work. Some of his most significant artwork, including Olympia and Dejeuner sur l’herbe, were rejected from the Salon and hung at the ‘Salon des Refuses’ instead. Even still, Manet continued to submit works to the Salon throughout his life. Despite academic misfortune, Manet’s work inspired a new generation of artists. Edgar Degas and other members of the Impressionist movement would adopt his use of the alla prima technique and treatment of form using a single stroke or flat area of color. His tendency to avoid intermediate values in favor of sharp contrasts of light and dark, as observed in The Spanish Singer (above), also had an influential affect on art historical tradition.

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Jackson Pollock – January 28

The painting above has been interpreted as a self-portrait partially obscured by a mask. A similar image appears in many of Pollock’s artworks, largely reflective of his self-retrospective style and the influence of Jungian analysis. Pollock believed that “Painting is a state of being…Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” This interest in psychotherapy and Jungian analysis reveals the Aquarian tendency to continually seek change and evolution.

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Claes Oldenburg – January 28

Oldenburg’s Stake Hitch, an emblematic artwork in the DMA collection, was commissioned in 1981 to commemorate the opening of the DMA’s new downtown location. At 18 feet tall, the metal stake plunged through the ground of the gallery, appearing below in the museum’s receiving dock (only accessible to museum staff). Above ground, the stake was attached to the gallery’s 40-foot-ceilings with a massive rope. Stake Hitch, removed from display in 2001, is signature of Oldenburg’s artworks, as his work often features everyday objects enlarged to a monumental scale. Oldenburg’s fascination with material culture catapulted him to the forefront of the Pop Art Movement in the 1960s.

Pisces

Unlike Aquarians, Pisces individuals are not concerned with self-progression and evolution. In fact, the most definitive trait of a Pisces is their unconditionally loving and compassionate nature. Pisces often place the concerns and interests of others above their own, making them indecisive or sacrificial at times. Although they are very observant, their idealistic and emotional instincts can direct their perspective. Pisces are known as the most mature and intuitive sign. They are deeply connected to the world around them and typically choose professions where they can serve others.

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Alexandre Hogue – February 22

The works of Alexandre Hogue display the intuitive sensibilities of a Pisces. His Erosion series, currently on view at the DMA, provides a commentary on the state of North Texas during the Dust Bowl. Hogue felt very connected to the natural environment, having spent his childhood gardening with his mother. She taught him to take care of his natural surroundings and referred to the earth as “Mother Nature.” Given this background, Hogue was disgusted by the selfishness and ignorance of the migratory farmers in early 20th century, rightfully blaming them for producing the Dust Bowl. His Erosion series particularly highlights the devastating effects of land and water erosion, produced by fencing, over-plowing, over-grazing, monocropping, and expanding roadways. Alexandre Hogue: The Erosion Series will be on view through June 15, 2014.

Additional Pisces artists of note include Frank Gehry (February 28th) and Piet Mondrian (March 7th).

Thank you for reading the latest addition of Artist Astrology and don’t forget to check out next month’s section on our ambitious Aries artists!

Artworks shown:

  • Edouard Manet, The Spanish Singer, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
  • Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Claes Thure Oldenburg, Stake Hitch, 1984, Dallas Museum of Art, commissioned to honor John Dabney Murchison, Sr. for his arts and civic leadership, and presented by his Family
  • Alexandre Hogue, Drouth Stricken Area, 1934, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Words with Friends (and owls, mohels, etc.)

For the exhibition Never Enough: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art, New York-based artist Darren Bader visited Dallas to help us realize a unique work recently purchased by the DMA. Bader is known for his innovative and unconventional use of materials that push the boundaries of sculpture and activates environments with unexpected pairings and phenomenological experiences.

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For example, in the 2012 exhibition Darren Bader: Images at MoMA PS1, the artist presented a room filled with a newly upholstered couch and several live housecats, all of which were available for adoption by museum visitors. Elsewhere the artist installed a selection of vegetables, each on its own wooden pedestal, that was made into salad for gallery visitors by a museum staffer twice a week. While these works all had a social dimension, for the artist these elements are understood to be sculpture of one form or another, albeit in the most expansive definition of the word.

Bader’s work also frequently employs double-entendres and wordplay, as is readily apparent in the series of rhyming couplets that make up the recent acquisition at the DMA, and which is now on view: obi and/with SCOBY; oak with/and smoke; owl and/with towel; oar with/and store; oil with/and mohel; oat and/with note; orc with/and fork. Generally, when a museum purchases a work it has a set physical form, but in this case the work itself consists solely of the words listed in the title above and the conceptual potential for realizing these couplings. These absurd combinations can be realized in physical space (e.g., placing a rowing oar in the DMA store) or in the form of photographic or video documentation to be displayed in the galleries. Contractual agreements like this have a long history within the canon of conceptual art, including works by Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, Hans Haacke (with the aid of dealer Seth Siegelaub), and Andrea Fraser, among others.

As the curator for this exhibition, I was tasked with coordinating and/or sourcing the various elements needed to realize this work, including an obi and SCOBY, owl and towel, and even a mohel (more on that in a later blog post). In order to find an owl, we got in touch with Kathy Rogers from Roger’s Wildlife Rescue down in Hutchins, Texas.

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Kathy and her team run an amazing facility that rescues, rehabilitates and houses hundreds of birds of all varieties. For our project, Kathy had three types of owls available—Barred, Barn and Screech—and ultimately we decided to go with Forest, the Barn Owl. Forest was born in captivity, so he is very comfortable around humans and was more than happy to be filmed by the DMA’s crew.

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Next we had to find a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) to go along with the obi (a traditional Japanese sash used with a kimono) we purchased from eBay. Lucky for us, the wonderful people at Holy Kombucha in Fort Worth were more than willing to provide us with a grade-A large SCOBY. While the SCOBY itself is naturally slimy and smelly, it is probiotic, and when used in kombucha it makes for a very tasty health drink; however, in order to exhibit the SCOBY our Objects Conservator dried it in an oven for several hours until it became a tissue-paper thin wafer.

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For those that are curious, the SCOBY will be on view in the Stoffel Gallery, along with video clips representing other pairings from the Bader piece scattered throughout the galleries (included in free general admission!). We have also staged two small interventions outside the gallery spaces that you might encounter on your next trip to the DMA. So if you find an oar in the DMA store, or oats in the DMA donation box, don’t be alarmed . . . it’s only art.

Gabriel Ritter is The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the DMA.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go for Spring Break!

Many schools here in the Dallas area are keeping their doors closed this week as families venture off to enjoy Spring Break. As a kid, Spring Break for me meant going on an assortment of fun vacations, whether to a nearby locale like Huntsville State Park for camping or to the ultimate destination: Disney World!

As you wander the galleries of the DMA, you’ll notice the wonderful assortment of artworks that we have from all over the globe, of places both near and far. Since Spring Break is on the brain, I asked the DMA Education Team what work of art represents their ultimate Spring Break vacation destination. Check out what we came up with and feel free to share your own!

Jessica Fuentes picked Trevor Paglen’s DMSP F16 over Monument Valley, Navajo Nation (Military Meterological Satellite; 203-048A). Jessica hopes to spend a good amount of time camping and taking photographs during her spring break. “The light that crosses the sky reminds me of star-trail photography, something I haven’t quite mastered, but am working on.”

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Trevor Paglen, DMSP F16 over Monument Valley, Navajo Nation (Military Meteorological Satellite; 203-048A), 2009, Dallas Museum of Art, Anonymous gift

Melissa Gonzales picked Catherine Opie’s Untitled (Surfers) because when it comes to Spring Break, or really any vacation, she loves to go to the beach. “I love relaxing on the sand, listening to the waves, reading a great book, sipping a cold fruity drink, and taking a nap in the hot sun. I also like watching the surfers bob up and down in the water, and the smooth grace of those who catch a wave to shore.”

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Catherine Opie, Untitled (Surfers), 2003, Dallas Museum of Art, Anonymous gift

Amanda Batson’s ideal vacation destination was inspired by Crawford Riddell’s Bed, because she desires a long nap for her Spring Break.

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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

Michael Hartman, McDermott Intern for European Art, picked Jean-Achille Benouville’s Colosseum Viewed from the Palatine because he’s always wanted to visit Rome.

Jean–Achille Benouville, Colosseum Viewed from the Palatine, 1844, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Shutt, Dr. and Mrs. George N. Aldredge, Jr., the Societe Generale

Hayley Prihoda chose Albert Marquet’s The Beach at Trouville. “This painting by Albert Marquet encapsulates everything I look for in a Spring Break vacation. I love the bright colors, clear blue sky, and red and white striped tents, a signature of the early 20th century. Plus, Trouville is only a couple hours outside of Paris, so I could take a day trip to the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay!”

Albert Marquet, The Beach at Trouville, c. 1906, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Inspired by the bold highway signs in Coreen Mary Spellman’s Road Signs, my ideal vacation destination for Spring Break would be a road trip along Route 66. It’s always been on my bucket list to travel along Route 66 from New Mexico to the California coast and visit unique roadside stops along the way.

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J Coreen Mary Spellman, Road Signs, c. 1936, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Helen, Mick and Thomas Spellman.

Make sure to visit the DMA as part of your own Spring Break vacation. We have a ton of activities going on this week at the Museum, whether you’re visiting our Pop-Up Art Spot, voting for your favorite work of art in our Art Madness Tournament, or having a ball during our Family Block Party this Friday, March 14. Check out our full schedule of events here!

Amy Elms
McDermott Education Intern for Visitor Engagement

What’s in a (middle) name?

In honor of Middle Name Pride Day, we took some time to explore artists in the DMA collection whose middle names were part of their identity and the stories behind them.

John Singleton Copley, Woodbury Langdon and Sarah Sherburne Langdon, 1767, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

John Singleton Copley, Woodbury Langdon and Sarah Sherburne Langdon, 1767, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Following a long tradition that continues today, many artists’ middle names can be attributed to familial ties. John Singleton Copley’s middle name can be credited to his mother’s maiden name. She was from the County Clare, Ireland, but could trace her ancestors back to Lancashire, England. She was forced to take over her husband’s tobacco shop upon his death shortly after the family emigrated in the early 1700s.

John Wesley Jarvis, Portrait of a Man, c. 1815-1820, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Mrs. Sheridan Thompson

John Wesley Jarvis, Portrait of a Man, c. 1815-1820, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Mrs. Sheridan Thompson

John Wesley Jarvis was named for his uncle John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church. Jarvis was born in his uncle’s homeland of England, but his mariner father moved the family to Philadelphia in the artist’s early years. He eventually became one of the most renowned portrait painters in New York in the early 1800s but strayed from his namesake’s roots with his propensity for flamboyant fashion and alcohol.

Velma Davis Dozier, Rain Forest (pin), 1969, cast gold, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Otis and Velma Dozier

Velma Davis Dozier, Rain Forest (pin), 1969, cast gold, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Otis and Velma Dozier

Also following a tradition that continues today, several female artists in the DMA collection assumed their maiden name as their middle name after their marriages. Velma Davis was a Texas native who studies painting at SMU and then specialized in jewelry making and design while obtaining her master’s degree from Columbia University. She returned to Texas to cofound the Dallas School of Creative Arts in the 1930s, where she met her husband, painting teacher Otis Dozier.

Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, Portrait of a Man in a Blue Suit, 1760s, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Leon A. Harris, Jr.

Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, Portrait of a Man in a Blue Suit, 1760s, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Leon A. Harris, Jr.

Children in Italian families have long been named for saints for whom the parents have a special affinity, as was likely the case with Pompeo Girolamo (“Jerome”) Batoni. The artist clearly also held St. Jerome in high regard, having depicted him at least in three separate works: St. Jerome in the Wilderness, The Last Communion of St. Jerome, and in one of his most famous later paintings, The Marriage of St. Catherine with Sts. Jerome and Lucy. (It is worth noting that Catherine was the name of his first wife; Lucy, the name of his second.)

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures, c. 1909, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures, c. 1909, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds

Henry Ossawa Tanner’s parents escaped a life of slavery via the Underground Railroad. Benjamin Tucker Tanner, who became an African Methodist Episcopal minister, and his wife Sarah, bestowed the middle name of “Ossawa” upon their son, after Osawatomie – the Kansas town where the infamous abolitionist John Brown launched his anti-slavery campaign.

Norman Bel Geddes and Walter Kidde Sales Co., "Soda King" syphon bottle, designed c. 1935, plastic and chrome, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley

Norman Bel Geddes and Walter Kidde Sales Co., “Soda King” syphon bottle, designed c. 1935, plastic and chrome, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley

American theatre and industrial designer Norman Melancton Geddes adopted the “Bel” middle name after marrying his wife, Helen Belle Schneider in 1916. The couple also passed on their incorporated name to their daughter, actress Barbara Bel Geddes.

Other artists who took pride in their middle name currently on view in the DMA galleries:
John White Alexander
Thomas Hart Benton
Abraham Hendricksz van Beyeren
Richard Parkes Bonington
Alfred Thompson Bricher
Edward Coley Burne-Jones
Frederic Edwin Church
Francis William Edmonds
Laurits Christian Eichner
Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguière
Francesco Salvator Fontebasso
Jesús Guerrero Galván
Charles Sumner Greene
Henry Mather Greene
Charles Webster Hawthorne
René Jules Lalique
John Hugh Le Sage
Pierre Nicolas Legrand
Guillaume Guillon Lethiere
Alfred Henry Maurer
Alfred Jacob Miller
John Nicholas Otar
Charles Willson Peale
Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre
Giulio Cesare Procaccini
William Tylee Ranney
John Gordon Rideout
Leon Polk Smith
Walter Dorwin Teague
Louis Comfort Tiffany
Jean François de Troy
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Karl Emmanuel Martin (Kem) Weber
Adolf Ulric Wertmüller

Reagan Lynette Duplisea is the associate registrar, exhibitions, at the DMA

Friday Photos: Instagram + Booker T.

The DMA is now in the third year of its Learning Lab partnership with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a collaboration in which DMA Education staff work with Visual Arts teachers to lead experiences and projects at the DMA and at the school. The students recently completed a project that used Instagram as a means to explore artistic inspiration.  

We asked the students to choose an artist in our Modern European or Contemporary art collection and re-imagine that artist’s specific point of view in a contemporary setting. The Booker T. students did a wonderful job documenting these artistic re-imaginings by collecting images of objects, scenes, people and materials that they felt would give their particular artist inspiration.

Do you see something around you that could have been inspiration for Mark Rothko or Jasper Johns? Join the conversation on Instagram! Simply tag your images using #POVartists name. Make sure to post them in our comments section if you feel so inspired!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Having a Ball During DMA Spring Break

Check out what’s in store during Spring Break and then cast your vote for the DMA Art Madness Champion at http://www.dma.org/artmadness!

Art Madness

Having a Ball During DMA Spring Break

What do March Madness and the DMA have in common? If you are thinking that both are in Dallas, you are correct! This year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and Championship games will be played right here in North Texas. But wait, there is SO much more! Here at the DMA we are celebrating Art Madness, our own version of the beloved tournament. DMA Friends picked an artsy Sweet Sixteen that you don’t need a ticket to enjoy, and we are now down to the Elite Eight. Works of art from the Museum’s collection are competing for your vote to determine which artwork is the ultimate champion. If you haven’t voted yet, it’s not too late to get in on the game.

Since basketball is on the brain here, it seemed only fitting that we spend our spring break elevating our game, and we’ve planned an action-packed week of Art Madness family fun for everyone! Enjoy story time in the galleries, family tours, art-making in the studio, family competitions and more all week long in our art and basketball mash-up. We will even have a real piece of the NCAA here at the Museum! Be sure to score a look at the NCAA Championship trophy in the Center for Creative Connections, on view March 11-16.

Can’t get enough of the Madness? Then take an overtime for fun and join us for a Family Block Party on March 14, when we’ll stay open until 9:00 p.m. Families can sketch in the galleries, take a tour of the Art Madness competitors, do some yoga in the galleries, enjoy a puppet show, design trading cards in the studio and more. Everyone will be a winner!

But don’t take our word for it. We asked a family of museum (and sports) experts to walk us through the spring break starting line-up.

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Little B-ball enjoyed story time in the galleries, hearing favorite stories and looking at one of the Art Madness competitors.

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The entire family used the hands-on activities and games in the Art to Go Family Tote to explore color in some of their favorite paintings.

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With art supplies, a healthy dose of imagination and their competitive streak, the B-ball family worked as a team to design a jersey for their Art Madness MVP in the daily Championship Challenge.

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Mama B-ball thought yoga was very relaxing and loved finding peaceful inspiration in the art around her. (Little B-ball wasn’t quite as meditative.)

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Daddy B-ball couldn’t help but laugh at ventriloquist Nancy Worcester’s hilarious show in the Horchow Auditorium.

Their final conclusion: “Visiting the DMA is a slam dunk!”

Our analysis? Art + Basketball = A surefire hit for the entire family. We hope to see you here March 11-16!

Amanda Blake is the head of family, access, and school experiences at the DMA.
Leah Hanson is the manager of early learning programs at the DMA.

McDermott Interns: Beyond DMA Walls

You may have heard about our McDermott Internship Program, a nine-month paid internship for those interested in gaining experience within our Education or Curatorial Departments. As this year’s application deadline of March 7 is fast approaching–only 4 days left to submit your materials!–I thought it would be nice to share some other aspects of the Internship that aren’t listed on our flyer. Of course our McDermott Interns get to experience the full operations of the Museum–exhibitions and programming, research and writing, and interacting with our staff and the public. But thanks to the generosity of the McDermott Foundation, we are also able to provide them with additional experiences beyond the walls of the DMA.

Each of our eight interns is eligible to apply for special funding that can be used toward their professional development, like attending a conference or pursuing classes in continuing education. After being approved for these funds, the interns take part in the experience and then have the opportunity to reflect and summarize it into a report for us. Several interns from year’s class have already taken advantage of this excellent opportunity by attending the annual CAA Conference in Chicago. Not only were they able to attend informative sessions in their areas of art historical interest, they were also given the chance to network with colleagues and gain further advice on transitioning into their future careers.

A conference session at CAA

A conference session at CAA

In addition to a focus on professional development, we also place an emphasis on the myriad cultural opportunities available here in DFW. Not only do we visit our museum neighbors in both Dallas and Fort Worth, we also provide tickets to performances here in the Dallas Arts District. So far, our interns have enjoyed attending the ballet and seeing Philip Glass at the Winspear Opera House.

So if you know any interested individuals who would like to experience all this and more, encourage them to finish their applications! We look forward to what next year’s class will bring!

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives


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