Archive for June, 2014

What Our Staff Is Viewing

Last week, DMA staff got a chance to preview our newest special exhibition, Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne, with co-curators Olivier Meslay and Bill Jordan. Because of their delicate nature, many of these works on paper by Delacroix, Degas, Cézanne, van Gogh, Manet, Schiele, Mondrian, Picasso, and more than sixty others are rarely on view. We’re open all week—including July 4—so stop by for what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them.

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Photography by Adam Gingrich, DMA Digital Media Specialist.

 

Keeping It Cool

The weather is heating up outside but it’s a cool, comfy, and constant 70 degrees (or thereabouts) at the DMA, where our temperature and humidity is monitored 24/7. More than 220 sensors are hidden throughout the Museum, and they help us record and regulate our internal environment.

With our encyclopedic collection and a vast array of media, 70 degrees with 50% humidity is the museum gold standard to best protect and preserve the precious objects entrusted to our care. If conditions are too dry, our wooden sculptures could crack; too humid, and other objects could start to mildew. What we try to avoid most are dramatic fluctuations in temperature and humidity, which could cause materials to expand and contract.

Artworks that are particularly vulnerable to climatic conditions are sometimes monitored in their cases. Wandering through our galleries, you may spot these tiny devices (just 1 x 2 inches) lurking in the corners. These hygrothermographs are temperature and humidity sensors that give us real-time environmental readings.

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Lacquer in particular, such as these works from our Asian collection, is susceptible to fluctuations, which can cause the material to lift and crack. For objects needing lower humidity, we sometimes hide the desiccant silica gel inside the casework (under decks and mounts) to create special microclimates.

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So as temperatures and humidity soar in the Dallas summer, come cool off in the Museum, where general admission (and air conditioning) is always free.

Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar of Exhibitions at the DMA. 

Friday Photos: Capturing Culture

Art is often a reflection of a society’s culture; it can range from an artist’s response to a specific experience, to a cultural relic born out of a particular time and place.  The Dallas Museum of Art’s collection represents cultures from every continent over the last 5,000 years.  Help us explore the diversity within North Texas by sharing your photographs that capture culture.

Upload your photographs here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/dmaculture 

Click here for guidelines and more information.

Submitted photos will be on view in the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections starting in July.

Jessica Fuentes

C3 Gallery Coordinator

Artist Astrology: Gemini

This edition of Artist Astrology features one of the DMA’s most beloved Gemini artists, Mary Cassatt (May 25th). Gemini’s are born between May 22nd and June 21st. They are typically categorized as multi-talented, scattered, talkative, and social. Communication is one of the strongest traits of a Gemini, and they may use this skill to clearly express their ideas and opinions. On the other hand, Gemini’s are very versatile and their companions may not be able to keep up with their often-scattered interests. Because of this adaptability, Gemini’s have an easy time making friends. The danger in this behavior may be overexertion and difficulty with time management. Gemini’s constant variety helps them maintain a fun-loving and youthful attitude throughout their lives.

Sleepy Baby, Mary Cassatt, c. 1910, Dallas Museum of Art Munger Fund, 1952.38.M

Sleepy Baby, Mary Cassatt, c. 1910, Dallas Museum of Art Munger Fund, 1952.38.M

 

Mary Cassatt – May 25th

Mary Cassatt did not let anything stop her from pursing her dream, despite many obstacles. Raised in a wealthy family, she was educated according to the typical duties expected of a woman of the time, primarily those aimed at becoming a proper wife. Cassatt, however, realized that this was not her passion and enrolled in art school at age sixteen. Unfulfilled by the curriculum, she left for Europe in 1866 in order to study from the Old Masters firsthand. Her family did not support this decision, and she was forced to pay for her materials and training independently.

As is characteristic of the social Gemini, her career was highly impacted by her relationships, especially that of Edgar Degas. Degas advised Cassatt to pursue her own artistic direction and, after doing so, eleven of Cassatt’s paintings were included in the Impressionist Exhibition of 1879. The exhibition was hugely successful and helped to launch Cassatt’s career. Her work, often focused around women and children in domestic settings, was praised for its objectivity and honesty. Cassatt would continue to play an influential role in the Impressionist movement throughout the late 1800s.

For more Gemini artists in the DMA’s collection, see the works of Paul Gauguin (June 7), Gustave Courbet (June 10th), and Henry Ossawa Tanner (June 21st).

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

DMA Art Will Be Everywhere

The votes are in, the results have been tallied, and the Art Everywhere US works have been chosen! The voting was so close that fifty-eight works of art made the cut (including ten works from the DMA) and will be reproduced on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms, and more this August. Be on the lookout for The Icebergs or Dorothy on your commute and stop by the DMA to visit the works in person.

Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA

Into the Wild with the DMA

With school out, Go van Gogh volunteers are spending their days in the community, visiting recreation centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, and libraries with art-making programs.  Summer programs are casual, always fun, and sometimes a little wild…in the best possible way!

We’re embracing summertime wildness in all its glory this year, with a new Go van Gogh outreach program called Into the Wild with the DMA.  The program was inspired by the children’s book Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, in which a very proper Mr. Tiger, bored with being so proper all the time, decides that he needs to have a little fun; so, he goes wild.  Really wild!  ROAAAR!!!  It’s a story that all of us—kids, especially—can relate to when the summer heat hits.

Into the Wild, which will be offered at Dallas Public libraries through the remainder of June and July, begins with story time and an animal game.  We then put on our safari hats and venture into the wild depths of the DMA’s collection, exploring big cats and fierce mythical animals in artworks from the African savanna to the Indonesian jungle.

Our art safari ends with time to reflect and create an artwork inspired by one of our discoveries, the DMA’s Japanese Tiger.

If you’d like to join us on an art safari this summer, upcoming program dates and locations are listed below.  Into the Wild is designed for children ages five to nine, but art and animal-lovers of all ages are welcome!   Be sure to call the library ahead of time to confirm space availability, as programs are limited to thirty participants.

JULY

Tuesday, July 1, 10:30 a.m.
Hampton-Illinois, 2951 South Hampton Road, 75224
214-670-7646

Tuesday, July 8, 2:00 p.m.
Dallas West, 2332 Singleton Boulevard, 75212
214-670-6445

Tuesday, July 15, 2:00 p.m.
Audelia, 10045 Audelia Road, 75238
214-670-1350

Thursday, July 17, 2:30 p.m.
Skillman Southwestern, 5707 Skillman Street, 75206
214-670-6078

Tuesday, July 22, 2:00 p.m.
Polk-Wisdom, 7151 Library Lane, 75218
214-670-1947

Friday, July 25, 2:00 p.m.
Lochwood, 11221 Lochwood Boulevard, 75218
214-670-8403

Tuesday, July 29, 2:00 p.m.
Skyline, 6006 Everglade Road, 75227
214-670-0938

Thursday, July 31, 2:00 p.m.
White Rock Hills, 9150 Ferguson Road, 75228
214-670-8843

And if you can’t join us at a library, stop by the Museum and use our In the Swim Family Gallery Guide to chart your own summertime animal adventure!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Highlights of Light

It’s the final week to visit the DMA-co-organized exhibition Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, on view through Sunday, June 29. The acclaimed exhibition, which features more than 150 objects from ten centuries, highlights rare and beautiful examples of the rich heritage of the Islamic world and the influences and contributions it has made to cultures throughout history.

 

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Friday Photos: Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy

Borrowing lyrics from Ella Fitzgerald’s Summertime tune seemed to fit with this Friday Photo post theme of Summer fun! Stumped for what to do this summer? You can take a hint from some works of art in the DMA’s collection.

On the Edge of White Rock Lake, Edward G. Eisenlohr, 1933

On the Edge of White Rock Lake, Edward G. Eisenlohr, 1933, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of A. H. Belo Corporation and The Dallas Morning News

 

Why not take a run or bike ride along White Rock Lake? This urban oasis has provided inspiration to many North Texans over the years, including Edward G. Eisenlohr who documented the early twentieth-century landscape of Dallas in over 1,000 drawings, watercolors, pastels, oil paintings, and lithographs.

Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, Lynn Lennon, 1984

Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, Lynn Lennon, 1984, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Homer B. Jester Fund

Jump in! One of the best ways to beat the heat is taking a dip in a local swimming pool, but would you ever think you could swim at Dallas City Hall?! Well back in 1984 that dream was a reality. William H. Whyte had the idea to revitalize the area around City Hall, and these ideas took shape as a beach party! In June of 1984, the city trucked in tons of sand, and everyone grabbed their swimsuits to soak in some sun at City Hall. Luckily photographer Lynn Lennon, who was working on a project about public spaces for the Dallas Public Library, captured images of the epic event. Find out more about this quirky time in Dallas history here.

George Inness, Summer Foliage, 1883

George Inness, Summer Foliage, 1883, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Joel T. Howard

If the pool isn’t your scene, then take advantage of the outdoors by packing a picnic or taking a day trip to one of the wonderful Texas State Parks in the DFW area. Artist George Inness often took inspiration from the outdoors, and sought to give his viewers the experience of nature through the shifting effects of light, atmosphere and season in his work.

And perhaps the best summertime activity of all is the block party, where neighborhood or community members can come together to celebrate with delicious food, good music and great conversation. And it just so happens that TONIGHT is the Dallas Arts District block party! Come celebrate the summer at this annual event that brings together programs like the Crow Collection After Dark, ’til Midnight at the Nasher Sculpture Center, and of course the exciting activities of Late Nights at the DMA!

 

This is our second annual Fourth of July block party. This year thirty-three families came for beer, barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, green salad, macaroni salad, and watermelon. After eating and drinking we staged our parade and fireworks., Bill Owens, 1971

This is our second annual Fourth of July block party. This year thirty-three families came for beer, barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, green salad, macaroni salad, and watermelon. After eating and drinking we staged our parade and fireworks., Bill Owens, 1971, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Art’s Inspiration

 

Image of Art Smith photo by Arthur Mones, 1979

Image of Art Smith photo by Arthur Mones, 1979

Last weekend, From Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith opened at the Dallas Museum of Art.  In connection with this exhibition, the Center for Creative Connections is pleased to have on view a “Baker” Bracelet by Art Smith, along with a collection of tools owned by the artist.  Because a different “Baker” Bracelet is also on view in the exhibition, we faced the challenge of providing information that would expand on and not simply duplicate the information included in the exhibition.  In the months prior to installing the bracelet, I  learned that “Baker” referred to Josephine Baker.  So, naturally, my first question (and the one that I thought visitors might have) was “Who is Josephine Baker?”

As it turns out, Josephine Baker led quite an amazing life.  Baker was an African-American dancer and singer, who rose to fame in France.  In 1926, her performance in the popular show La Folie du Jour cemented her celebrity status.  During World War II, she worked for the French Resistance both entertaining troops and smuggling hidden messages in her sheet music.  After the war she returned to the United States and was an advocate for the Civil Rights movement.  Her efforts were acknowledged by the NAACP, who named May 20th “Josephine Baker Day.”  Baker, loved for her singing, dancing, fashion and beauty, was greatly admired by artists and writers of the time such as Langston Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Pablo Picasso.  However, what I found most intriguing was that she inspired several sculptures by Alexander Calder.  Calder is known to have been an influence on modernist jewelers like Art Smith, and so their mutual interest in Baker caught my attention.

 

What similarities can you notice in the lines, shapes, angles, and curves between the bracelet and the images of Josephine Baker?

Visit the Center for Creative Connections to see the “Baker” Bracelet and Art Smith’s tools and to learn more about Smith’s inspiration and process.  On view through December 7, 2014.

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

Dad’s Day

One day isn’t enough to celebrate dads, or the fathers found in the DMA collection. Artists have shown their appreciation for their old man by capturing him in paint and pen and below are a few examples from the Museum’s collection.

Paul Cezanne, Portrait of the Artist's Father, 1868-1873, charcoal, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Paul Cezanne, Portrait of the Artist’s Father, 1868-1873, charcoal, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Gustave Courbet, Portrait of Regis Courbet, the Artist's Father, 1848-1849, watercolor and pencil on wove paper, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Gustave Courbet, Portrait of Regis Courbet, the Artist’s Father, 1848-1849, watercolor and pencil on wove paper, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Wayne V. Amerine, Father and Child, 1962, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Art Museum League Purchase Prize, 33rd Annual Dallas County Exhibition of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, 1962

Wayne V. Amerine, Father and Child, 1962, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Art Museum League Purchase Prize, 33rd Annual Dallas County Exhibition of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, 1962


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