Archive for June, 2014



Friday Photos: Old Haunts, New Friends

Museums often seem to inspire very personal and strong emotional bonds, and it is not uncommon to hear people talk of specific works in a collection or favorite locations within a building as akin to “friends and family.”  As a former DMA Education employee who has recently returned to the Museum, I have enjoyed spending the last several weeks rediscovering some of my favorite spaces and works of art here.  Of course, along the way, I have stumbled across some new works of art and changes at the DMA that I am becoming newly acquainted with!   I thought I would share this –admittedly quirky and idiosyncratic– tour of “old haunts and new friends.”

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I have always loved the tree that grows in the middle of our upper office area, particularly when viewed from one of the hallways radiating from it.   Also, the tucked-away chairs at the corner windows on the fourth floor are my favorite place to sit and read a few pages of a book during a break, followed only by the view of Fleischner Courtyard from the Mayer Library (Did you know we have a fantastic library the public is welcome to use for research?)

 

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Another favorite object is one of Winston Churchill’s paint sets, tucked away with a wonderful assortment of his letters, telegrams, small works on paper, and assorted memorabilia in the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection.

 

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As a lover and student of Surrealism, I was delighted to see two works on view that I had not previously viewed in person: René Magritte’s Our Daily Bread (Le Pain Quotidien), 1942, and Dorothea Tanning’s Jeux d’Enfants, 1942.  The deep-set frame of  the Tanning is particularly lovely, I think!

 

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Nearest the Ross entrance in the Founder’s Room are a set of window panels designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, originally from the Francis W. Little House in Deephaven, Minnesota.  It was interesting viewing the geometrically-designed “grilles” in the window against one of the orange-and-white striped hanging cloth panels in Daniel Buren’s Sanction of the Museum from 1973.

Finally, there is a little tucked away kitchenette in the Museum’s office area where I was always fascinated by a framed Dallas Morning News front page from 1984 announcing the donation of the Reves Collection, and I was pleased to discover it was still there.  I love how this is an historical artifact of the worldly context during which this important collection was added to the Museum, a preserved moment in time akin to the recreation of the Reves’ villa here.

 

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Two newer features of the Museum that I am quickly becoming quite fond of are the recently acquired painting by Norwegian Romantic painter Johan Christian DahlFrederiksborg Castle by Moonlight, and the Conservation Studio across from the Founder’s Room.  Not only is the Conservation Studio fascinating to glimpse into, but the works on display outside it offer insightful peeks into little-seen aspects of objects like gallery labels and abandoned paintings hidden by frames.  (And, if you look carefully at my reflection in the window, it appears the female figure in the painting is tapping me on the shoulder.)

What are some of your favorite works of art and tucked away places here at the Dallas Museum of Art?  Please leave your examples in the comments!

 

Artworks shown (in order of appearance):

  • René Magritte, Our Daily Bread (Le Pain Quotidien), 1942, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of Nancy B. Hamon in honor of Margaret McDermott.
  • Dorothea Tanning’s Jeux d’Enfants, 1942, Lent by Private Collection.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright, Window panels from the Francis W. Little House, “Northome” in Deephaven, Minnesota, 1912-14, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Greenlee, Jr.
  • Johan Christian Dahl, Frederiksborg Castle, 1817, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund.

 

Josh Rose
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

A Bright Evening Indeed

Teens, adults, hipsters, parents, and those strolling the halls of the DMA were treated to a wonderful evening of spoken word, music, and light last Thursday, when Denton-based collective  Spiderweb Salon hosted a poetry showcase with fifteen readers and musicians. The artists included participants from the Center for Creative Connection’s adult programs and Urban Armor teen programs mixed with well-known poets and musicians from the Denton area who are currently part of the Spiderweb Salon.

Inspired by the DMA’s exhibition Nur: Light in Art and Science in the Islamic WorldSpiderweb Salon called the event A Bright Evening and the musicians and writers used light as the basis of their compositions.  The showcase was hosted by poet and Spiderweb Salon co-founder Courtney Marie. Below are some highlights from the evening:

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Listen to one of the musical performances:

We were pleased to feature the following poets and musicians performing at A Bright Evening:

Bess Whitby

Evan Simmons

Chris Garver

Chris George

Ann Marie Newman

Ryan Creery

Monique Johnson

Nate Logan

Ennis Howard

Conor Wallace

Frank Polgar

Erica GDLR

Jordan Batson

Kiki Ishihara

Carson Bolding

Make sure to follow Spiderweb Salon on Facebook and stay connected to what is happening in the Center for Creative Connections!

Amanda Batson
Program Coordinator for the Center for Creative Connections

 

Sculpture for the Body – Art Smith at the DMA

Art Smith , Untitled, 1948-1979, wood, paint, copper, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell, 2007.61.36a-m

Art Smith , Untitled, 1948-1979, wood, paint, copper, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell, 2007.61.36a-m

This week we are putting the finishing touches on the DMA’s presentation of the exhibition From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith. Highlighting a pioneer of late 20th-century jewelry design whose work represents the progressive modernist impulse of “sculpture for the body,” the installation is both dramatic in appearance and revealing in what it contains. This collection, which also features examples of works by Smith’s contemporaries, is drawn from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, which received a major gift of the artist’s work in 2007. While we are thrilled to host this exhibition of a leading American jewelry artist, our interest in having From the Village to Vogue appear at the DMA was also to note the larger importance of this medium and reflect upon the DMA’s interest in expanding our jewelry holdings. Just as fashion boldly entered our galleries through the 2011 presentation of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, this year we will not only feature the work of Art Smith but also, excitingly, make plans for future exhibitions of jewelry and other design arts.

Art Smith, Ellington Necklace, circa 1962, silver, turquoise, amethyst, prase, rhodonite, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell, 2007.61.4

Art Smith, “Ellington” Necklace, c. 1962, silver, amethyst, chrysoprase, rhodonite, green quartz, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell, 2007.61.4

Beyond the realm of curators and collectors of modernist studio jewelry, Art Smith’s work is often unfamiliar, yet his impact and those of his contemporaries in the decades following World War II helped shape a new American movement in both design and craft. Drawing from the trend toward abstraction in painting and sculpture, Smith and other designer-craftspeople experimented with highly stylized forms, particularly the biomorphic imagery that characterized the work of sculptors such as Isamu Noguchi and, notably, Alexander Calder. Unlike other sculptors who may have occasionally produced jewelry, Calder’s passion for the medium appeared at least equal to that for his more widely known large-scale mobiles and stabiles. Like Calder, Smith reveled in the whirling organic line: bent wirework that was complemented by flattened ovoid forms, semiprecious stones, and richly finished patinas. Unlike so-called “high-style” jewelry, faceted gemstones and highly polished precious metals were typically set aside in preference for subdued materials and more direct fabrication techniques that were undoubtedly less labor intensive, but also ones that provided more visceral results by reflecting the hands of the artist as an immediate, personal expression. What could be more perfect for the medium of jewelry, which is, like other elements of fashion, an equally personal manifestation of the wearer’s preferences? And they were indeed artists in keeping with the spirit of the times; the modern sculpture, painting, and rhythmic vibrancy of jazz that Smith admired certainly echo throughout the punctuated, gestural lines, which form a type of visual play in his richly syncopated designs. You may notice this almost immediately upon entering the darkly colored main gallery, which features Smith’s work. Even in static display, each piece seems to dance with a particular life of its own.

(left) Art Smith, "Modern Cuff" Bracelet, designed circa 1948, silver, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell, 2007.61.15; (right) Peter Basch, Model Wearing Art Smith's "Modern Cuff" Bracelet, circa 1948, black-and-white photograph, Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

(left) Art Smith, “Modern Cuff” Bracelet, designed c. 1948, silver, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell, 2007.61.15; (right) Peter Basch, Model Wearing Art Smith’s “Modern Cuff” Bracelet, c. 1948, black-and-white photograph, Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

As you might expect, it is always exciting for the many hands and minds that make such exhibitions possible at the DMA to delve into a new arena as we are doing now with modern jewelry. From interpretation to design, each of our exhibitions requires hundreds of hours of brainstorming, logistical planning, and creative input, all with the hope that whatever subject we bring you will be offered in a way you will find compelling or even thrilling. As a curator, communicating facts is only one part of my job; sharing my enthusiasm for looking, learning, and celebrating the diverse creative achievements of the visual world is, at heart, what I and all of my colleagues at the DMA do every day. We hope you will find From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith and our new jewelry endeavors just as exciting as we do!

Kevin Tucker is The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the DMA.

Free Summer Fun

Summer has officially arrived at the DMA! Today we began our Summer Art Camps and launched our free summer activities. Throughout June and July, we’re offering new opportunities for fun in the Museum every day of the week, on top of our year-round free general admission. Families can catch a tall tale in the DMA galleries on Tuesdays or join a family tour every Thursday. And visitors can learn more about the DMA’s collection and exhibitions during lunchtime gallery talks every Wednesday. There are many ways to experience the DMA for free, including our upcoming Late Night on Friday, June 20, and the Dallas Arts District block party! Find out about all of this and more summer fun at DMA.org.

Friday Photos: Hope, Happiness, and Love

Last week, I wrote a blog post for our Uncrated Blog about a community project we are currently hosting in C3. Any and all visitors who enter C3 are invited to contribute to a growing collection of words that relate in some way to the concept of light, inspired by our current exhibition Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World. Check out the post and see the work of art that inspired this project, as well as a time-lapse video of our tree slowly but steadily budding leaves with our visitors’ ideas.

Nur students

Many visitors stop to read the words that others have left behind, regardless of whether they add one of their own. Below is a just a sampling of the thousands of visitor contributions that have been added over the past two months. The size of the words is directly proportionate to how many times they appear on the tree.

Nur wordcloud

Visit Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World through Sunday, June 29, 2014. Visit C3 afterward and add your own idea related to the concept of light!

Melissa Gonzales
C3 Gallery Manager

 

Welcome 2014 Summer Art Camp Interns!

School is almost out and the temperature is rising–summer is here at the DMA! As we gear up for exciting summer programs at the Museum, we’re happy to welcome five new members to our team: our 2014 summer interns! Summer interns are an integral part of Summer Art Camps, making sure campers, teachers and parents alike are having the best educational experience possible.

Say hello to our interns! These amazing portraits were created during our orientation meeting.

Ashley artAshley Ham just completed her first year of graduate school in the Art Education program at The University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Abilene, she received a BFA in Two Dimensional Design from Abilene Christian University. And if she could be any animal she would be a bear, because she’s on a bit of a honey kick right now!Laila art

 

Laila Jiwani is a rising senior at Texas A&M University, with a focus in International Studies and French. Quite the world traveler, she spent four months studying language, culture and society at Université Moulay Ismaïl  in Meknes, Morocco. Laila’s animal of choice would be a bird, because then she wouldn’t have to pay for those flights abroad!

Miyoko art

 

Miyoko Pettinger just completed her first year at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA, where she is pursuing a degree in Psychology with an concentration in art therapy. An avid musician, she plays the piano and cello and has been a part of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra for 11 years! If Miyoko could be an animal she would be a sloth, because it looks like a pretty comfortable life! denise art

 

Denise Sandoval, the youngest member of the intern cohort, is a soon-to-be graduate of the Irma L. Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School in Dallas. Her plan is to study Elementary Education when she enters Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX in the fall. Perhaps her experience working at the Dallas Zoo influenced her choice of animal to-be: she chose a giraffe because they seem to be one of the nicer species.

wilhelmina artWilhelmina Watts, the second Southwestern University member of the intern group, will begin her second year of study this fall. She is pursuing a double degree in Art History and English, with a minor in Chinese. She’ll put her studio art and collage experience to use this summer during art camp. And her animal to-be of choice? A Goat. Why? Because it’s adorable!

 
 

When you visit the DMA this summer–we hope to see you often!–you’ll recognize these new faces around the Museum and the Center for Creative Connections. Say hello and welcome them to the DMA family!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Hypnotized by O’Keeffe

Friday is the most magical day of the year, well at least to some of the DMA staff and those in the doughnut business. Friday, June 6, is National Doughnut Day, and the DMA and Hypnotic Donuts teamed up to celebrate this tasty holiday in an artistic way. James and Amy, the owners of the North Texas doughnut store, took inspiration from the DMA’s collection and created an O’Keeffe-inspired masterpiece in frosting. We had a chance to visit with them after a gallery walk-through to spur their creative and culinary juices.

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What is it about the DMA’s Georgia O’Keeffe Grey Blue & Black – Pink Circle that made you think it would make a great doughnut?
First, the shape was perfect; it had multiple circular dimensions. Next, we love the painting itself. It is very iconic and memorable.

Tell us what ingredients went into making the O’Keeffe doughnut?
We started with a base cake doughnut and then made a frosting and divided it into multiple colors and flavors. The doughnut was designed by Trevor Powers of Hypnotic Donuts. The blue is a blueberry, the pink is a light strawberry, and the green and white are both neutral.

Where there any other works in the collection that screamed “perfect doughnut” to you?
There are a lot of amazing pieces at the DMA. One thing we realized is there is a reason the works are at the DMA. These are true masterpieces and we found they are hard to duplicate, especially in doughnut form! But to answer the question, we also really liked The Icebergs and the warrior headdresses.

How long have you been making doughnut creations?
We started making doughnuts in 2010.

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What are you most excited about for National Doughnut Day this Friday?
The people that jump on board and celebrate with us. Our life is doughnuts and it is cool to have a day that celebrates something we work with for a living. We love our community, city, and, of course, doughnuts, so we have some very special things in place to bring it all together.

How can people get a peek at the Hypnotic Doughnut “DMA masterpiece”?
Like all fine works of art, they truly take time. We originally had this great plan to sell the doughnut at our store and even at the DMA; however, after the time it took to make, the fact that June 6 is already going to be a busy day, and since we will not make any doughnuts the day before, the DMA doughnut will be just like at a museum: “on display only.” We will proudly display the O’Keeffe in our glass doughnut display case for all to see. At the end of the day, we will think of something special to do with it.

Head to Hypnotic Donuts this Friday in East Dallas to see the O’Keeffe doughnut, and stop by the DMA to see the painting that inspired the sweet masterpiece.

Image: Georgia O'Keeffe, Grey Blue & Black—Pink Circle, 1929, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation © The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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

Welcome Josh Rose

 

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I am excited to introduce you to our newest teammate and colleague, Josh Rose. Josh started four weeks ago as our new Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs and we are thrilled to have him on board. Josh will oversee the DMA docent program, teen docents, school partnerships with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and the Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, and a wide variety of programs for teachers. Josh will also be responsible for the Museum Forum for Teachers and will manage gallery tours for K-12 students, higher-ed, and adult audiences.

If you are a longtime attendee of Late Nights, gallery talks, or our lecture series, you may recognize Josh from his time here at the DMA six years ago managing adult programs. During his time away from the DMA, Josh has been immersed in teaching, serving as an adjunct instructor at multiple institutions, including the University of North Texas, Eastfield College and Brookhaven College, where he taught a range of courses from Art Appreciation to advanced art history classes on comics and Surrealism. Prior to working in public programs at the DMA, Josh interned at the Nasher Sculpture Center in education and conservation, and then worked there as a staff member in the Education Department. Josh has an MA in art history from the University of North Texas. His thesis was titled: When Reality was Surreal: Lee Miller’s world War II War Correspondence for Vogue. Josh also has a BFA in Studio Art from Texas State University in San Marcos.

Here are four fun facts about Josh:

  • I drew a comic strip in college and graduate school featured in a nationally-distributed anthology published by Andrews McMeel.
  • I once answered an open casting call for the role of Robin in Batman Forever.
  • As a conservation intern, my first task was power-sanding an Alexander Calder sculpture.
  • I’ve worked hard turning my daughter into a rabid Doctor Who fan, and she in turn has turned me into a rabid My Little Pony fan.

We are excited for Josh’s fresh perspective that he brings and delighted to have him as our FAST (Family, Access, Schools, and Teachers) friend!

Amanda Blake
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences

Cities, Culture, and 170 Museum Directors in the House

The DMA was excited to host yesterday’s public program “Cities & Cultural Investment: A Snapshot.” Joining us for it were our special guests—170 museum directors from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

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