Archive for December, 2014

Toasting the New Year

As New Year’s Eve is upon us, we thought it only appropriate to pop, fizz, and clink our way through the collection with some objects created for cocktails. We hope they inspire you to raise a glass and ring in an artful 2015. To get you off to the right start, we’ve got plenty of lively libations in store during our first Late Night of 2015 on January 16. Enjoy the winning cocktail from our Creative Cocktail Contest and then take a tour of more objects perfect for cocktail hour. Cheers and Happy New Year!

 

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator at the DMA.

Toasting the New Year

Wishing everyone a safe and happy new year!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

Lucky Strike

Last month, the DMA acquired an impressive work by the Guyanese-born British painter Frank Bowling. The painting, Marcia H Travels, is from Bowling’s influential Map Painting series, which he created in the 1970s. This February, the DMA’s painting, along with four additional Map Painting works from private collections, will be reunited for the first time since their debut in 1971 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the DMA-organized exhibition Frank Bowling: Map Paintings.

Frank Bowling, Marcia H Travels, 1970, acrylic on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund  [courtesy of Frank Bowling and Hales Gallery, copyright of Frank Bowling, photograph by Charles Robinson],

Frank Bowling, Marcia H Travels, 1970, acrylic on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, courtesy of Frank Bowling and Hales Gallery, © Frank Bowling

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

Christmas Tidings

It is a throwback Thursday Christmas edition on Uncrated. Re-celebrate The Twelve DMA Days of Christmas from the Uncrated 2011 archives.

first day

We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season, we can’t wait to celebrate the New Year at the DMA with an amazing lineup of exhibitions, programs, and more!

DMA Night Before Christmas

"Regimental Oak" shape dinner plate with "Christmas Tree" pattern, Designer: Harold Holdway, 1938, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stephen Harrison in honor of George Roland

“Regimental Oak” shape dinner plate with “Christmas Tree” pattern, Designer: Harold Holdway, 1938, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stephen Harrison in honor of George Roland

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the DMA
Not a painting was stirring–not the Matisse, nor Monet;
The Copley portraits were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The staff were busy working away at their desks
On visions of Late Night and art class they obsessed.
When out on the Concourse there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.

Away to the entrance I flew like a flash,
Past paintings and drawings and statues I dashed.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

Diego Rivera, Peasant Woman, 1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lewis

Diego Rivera, Peasant Woman, 1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lewis

A bundle of gifts he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his duties.
Fancy new hats for the Soyer shoppe beauties,
A new shell for Vishnu, a rug for the Reves,
And for Ivy in Flower, three sparkling new leaves.

A scythe and some seeds for the Vincent van Gogh,
A nice plate of dinner for Fox in the Snow.
Two cozy pillows for the old Gothic bed,
For mantle with condors some lovely new thread.

From the top floor to the bottom, he silently worked,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
“No touching the art!” he wisely exclaimed,
“Just use your eyes to explore frame by frame.”*

He checked off each artwork on his large museum chart,
Gave a sigh and a nod, “It’s time to depart.”

Berenice Abbot, Untitled (Reindeer), print 1983, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Morton and Marlene Meyerson

Berenice Abbot, Untitled (Reindeer), print 1983, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Morton and Marlene Meyerson

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight.
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

*That Santa–even when he is hard at work, he remembers the Museum rules!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very merry holiday!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

Merry Macarons

Our annual staff holiday party brought some French flair to the Museum with this year’s Winter in Paris theme. The Holiday Party Committee started planning in September and pulled together a sophisticated soiree fit for any Francophile, complete with a cardboard-roll Eiffel Tower-building contest, a French-themed photo booth, and an abundance of delicious French cuisine, courtesy of our amazing Chef Craig. Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and resident DMA Frenchman, served as the party’s emcee, much to everyone’s delight. The Museum’s gracious trustees, along with local businesses, donated a plethora of gifts for the staff raffle, a seasonal highlight for our much-deserving employees. It was the perfect kickoff to a merry holiday season!

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator at the DMA.

A Dallas December

Edward G. Eisenlohr, December, Dallas, 1938, pencil on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Gertrude Helmle, the estate of E. G. Eisenlohr

Edward G. Eisenlohr, December, Dallas, 1938, pencil on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Gertrude Helmle, the estate of E. G. Eisenlohr

This drawing of a Texas meadow in December by Edward Gustav Eisenlohr from the DMA’s collection of early Texas art seems simple in its portrayal, yet subtle details add texture and depth to the page. Notice the hatching on the rock formation in the foreground or the care given to the hundreds of individual leaves and petals throughout—a departure from the idea of a Texas landscape as an endless desert or barren prairie.

The temperature in Dallas in December 1938 averaged 48 degrees, but interestingly a record high of  84˚ was set on December 10 of that year. Therefore, despite being a winter month, the white patches to the left are  likely not snow. Eisenlohr often represented bare spots in the ground, a common occurrence on the prairie, with colorless patches.

Eisenlohr was a Dallas painter, printmaker, and teacher. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1872 of German descent, he died in Dallas in 1961 and is buried in Oak Cliff. Eisenlohr initially moved to Dallas as a child with his family, and later the area would become his inspiration and artistic base. He studied in the early 1900s with Texas art legends Robert J. Onderdonk and Frank Reaugh, which included lessons during outdoor trips. Eisenlohr would continue to make sketching trips to sites all over Dallas, so the above work was most likely done en plein air, or created outside from life. He was involved in establishing the Dallas Art Association, forerunner of the Dallas Museum of Arts, in 1903, which, as you know, became the DMA.

Rae Pleasant is the Research Associate for Early Texas Art at the DMA.

Christmas Cookies from the Collection

Baking cookies is part of my annual holiday tradition, but instead of sharing a recipe this month, I thought it would be fun to do some decorating inspired by our wonderful collection. Some of my colleagues in Education pitched in for this cookie swap of sorts. Check out our edible masterworks and have a very merry holiday season!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

What’s in a Name?

Last week, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School) by Arthur John Elsley was installed in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). If the title seems like a mouthful, it’s because it is actually three titles. This painting, completed in 1898, appeared in two magazines, Illustrated London News and Pears Annual, under the aliases Late for School and Any Port in a Storm, respectively. When I think of works of art appearing in magazines today, I assume they would appear under the original title. So, in this case, why the name change? In researching this work of art, we found a digital copy of the 1899 Illustrated London News edition in which Hard Pressed appeared, and we noticed some small differences between the painting in our collection and the image that appeared in the magazine. Perhaps these small differences warranted a title change. What differences can you find in the two images?

Images (left to right): Arthur John Elsley, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School), 1898, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Kim Jordan; "Late for School." Illustrated London News [London, England] [27 Nov. 1899]: n.p. Illustrated London News. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.

Images (left to right): Arthur John Elsley, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School), 1898, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Kim Jordan; “Late for School.” Illustrated London News [London, England] [27 November 1899]: n.p. Illustrated London News. Web. 24 September 2014. Gale Digital Collections

In the Center for Creative Connections, we focus on learning by doing. In planning for this installation, we designed an activity to build on this painting’s history of multiple titles. We are posing a simple question to our visitors. “What would you title this painting if you could rename it?”

Peruse these title suggestions from the Education team.

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Stop by to view this newly installed painting and participate in the renaming activity.

Jessica Fuentes is the Center for Creative Connections Gallery Coordinator at the DMA.

Arturo’s Magical Mail: Redux

Santa’s mailbox may see a lot of action leading up to December, but our own celebrity here at the Museum gets mail all year long–our family mascot, Arturo!

Amelia Wood, last year’s McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching, wrote a post in February about how magical sending and receiving mail can be, especially in the form of letters to Arturo. As we start wrapping up 2014, I think it’s only fitting to share some of the highlights from the year since then–a “best of” Arturo Letters, if you will.

What strikes me most about these letters is always how open and loving the messages are. Sometimes it’s an assortment of pencil scribbles with the child’s name and age (these are usually parent-written: from Sophie, age three, or Mikey, two years old) included at the bottom. Sometimes the sender chooses to use art instead of words. Sometimes the message takes up the whole page; sometimes it is short and sweet. Often, the child simply wants to tell Arturo “Thank you” or “I love you.”

Many days I’m surprised by the insightful questions that these children ask. How does Arturo write his letters? (Feathers make it difficult to hold a pencil, so he has a human friend that helps him write and draw pictures!) Or how do you explain why Arturo, a male bird, has eggs in his nest? Why, he’s a great babysitter, of course!

Arturo also hopes the eggs will hatch soon, Kinner! It will be great to have some new bird friends to play with.

Arturo also hopes the eggs will hatch soon, Kinner! It will be great to have some new bird friends to play with.

The creativity that this simple act of exchanging messages draws out is absolutely magical. Amelia loved “imagining the excitement as children discovered a response from Arturo,” and I’m just as excited to receive their letters in the first place. I’m in for an adventure every time I go to collect the latest crop from that little red and yellow mailbox – there will be some new question, some sharing of an experience in the galleries, or some imaginative drawing that I haven’t encountered yet.

For now, I’ll leave you with one of Arturo’s and my favorite letters yet–a rare, purely parent-written one. Signed only as “Papa Bird,” this touching drawing reminds us of our own families.

"Being a Dad is a Real Adventure - Love, Papa Bird"

“Being a Dad is a Real Adventure – Love, Papa Bird”

So as we head into the holidays, whichever one you may celebrate, don’t forget to give your loved ones a great big bird hug…

…or if they’re too far away to hug in person, a piece of wonderful, magical mail should do nicely.

Jennifer Sheppard
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching


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