Archive for July, 2015

Summer Interns: Creative Young Minds

When I got the email saying I would be one of the five Summer Art Camp Interns at the Dallas Museum of Art, I was so excited because I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to blend my passions for both art and working with children. I am a transfer student from Kenyon College, and I will be attending the University of Texas at Austin this fall where I plan to be a psychology major. My dream would be to someday become an art therapist.

From the New World Kids Camp–a two week long camp that dedicates each day to an element of the sensory alphabet–I recognized that each child had a unique style and voice in their artwork. In only two short weeks I could pick out which artwork belonged to which child because of reappearances in themes such as warships or the color red. Working with these children as a summer intern has changed my opinion about art and its usefulness as a way to reveal interesting traits about each child. For example, certain kids used more curvy and open lines, whereas others were more exact and meticulous. These tendencies to create artwork with certain patterns revealed a lot about each child, and I enjoyed getting to learn about each camper through their art.

Not only was I startled by the overwhelming talent and interest in art created by all of the campers, but I also was excited to observe how creativity in young minds still holds strong, even with distractions today like video games and technology. I love what the DMA achieves in helping children by giving them a place and opportunity to express themselves in a way that is productive and meaningful.

Sara Stahl
Summer Art Camp Intern

French Riviera Fête

Celebrate artist Gerald Murphy and the Roaring ‘20s on Thursday, August 13, at the DMA’s French Riviera Fête!

Gerald and Sara Murphy on La Garoupe beach, Antibes, summer 1926 Gerald and Sara Murphy Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald and Sara Murphy on La Garoupe beach, Antibes, summer 1926. Gerald and Sara Murphy Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly.

In 1921, Gerald Murphy, his wife, Sara, and their three children set sail from New York to France. Their house, Villa America on the coast of Antibes on the French Riviera, became the site of legendary parties and the hub of an illustrious social circle that included expatriates F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, and many others. (Gerald and Sara were the real-life inspirations for Fitzgerald’s novel Tender Is the Night.) There, in their oasis by the sea, the Murphys entertained their friends with flamboyant beach parties, fiery debates over the newest ideas, and dinners beneath the stars.

On August 13, we’re having a French Riviera Fête of our own! Kick off the evening with jazz music by the Texas Gypsies and bring your dance partner. Come dressed in 1920s attire or borrow some of our props and take a selfie in our Murphy-inspired photo booth. Sip the featured cocktail (Gerald’s own recipe for “Juice of a Few Flowers”), and take tours of art by Murphy and those who inspired him.

Gerald Murphy, Razor, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald Murphy, Razor, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist, © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist, © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald Murphy only painted for seven years, and only eight of his fifteen known canvases survive today. The DMA is fortunate to own two of those surviving works: Watch and Razor. Murphy gave them directly to the Museum out of gratitude for the role its curator Douglas McAgy played in reviving his reputation as an important artist.

In 2008, the DMA hosted the exhibition Making It New about the Murphys; in a review by the New York Times, Murphy was called “the progenitor of Pop Art.” So after learning more about Gerald Murphy on August 13, mark your calendars for our International Pop exhibition opening in October.

duo

As part of this celebration, Arts & Letters Live will feature bestselling author Liza Klaussmann at 8:00 p.m. She will share insights into her new historical novel, Villa America. Pre-order your book and buy tickets to hear her speak. Actors will also do dramatic readings of letters between Gerald, Sara, and their friends. How about bringing your book club to enjoy this festive night together?

Liza Klaussmann has quite the literary pedigree herself—she’s the great-great-great granddaughter of Herman Melville. A former journalist, Klaussmann was born in Brooklyn and spent ten years living in Paris. She currently lives in London.

“Liza Klaussmann’s Villa America is so artful and compassionate that I couldn’t fail to love the Murphys and everyone who fell into their orbit during those Lost Generation years, all of them fascinating and flawed and human. This is a beautifully rendered story.”―Therese Anne Fowler, author of “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”

Want to read more about Sara and Gerald Murphy? I highly recommend these books too:
Amanda Vaill, Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy, a Lost Generation Love Story, 1998
Linda Patterson Miller, ed., Letters from the Lost Generation: Gerald and Sara Murphy and Friends, 2002

 

Carolyn Bess is the Director of Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the DMA.

What’s That Smell?

Art Babies 1

In our family classes here at the Museum, we try to make sense of the art in more ways than one! Whether it’s through tactile objects that mimic textures we see in a painting, or listening to music that inspired certain works of art, we do our best to find creative ways to engage more than just our sense of sight when exploring the galleries. For this month’s Art Babies class, we kicked it up a notch and focused on our sense of smell.

Since babies already naturally rely on the five senses—sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing—to learn about the world around them, they were the perfect audience for this sort of experiment. For me, though, it was a fun challenge to imagine smell as a pathway for exploring art. How could I bring smells into the galleries that were both baby-safe and art-safe? And how could I be playful and engaging in my approach? My solution—puppets and spice jars!

Art Babies 2

We began with a story featuring Jack the dog, inspired by Claude-Joseph Vernet’s painting A Mountain Landscape with an Approaching Storm. Jack smells something new in the air and sniffs from one furry friend to the next trying to discover what the smell could be. I used a loveable puppet to bring the story to life, and Jack quickly became fast friends with our little visitors. Several wanted to hug and kiss him, but they also imitated the puppet’s sniffing, and as the story progressed, more and more babies would scrunch up their noses and make sniffing noises along with Jack. (The little one pictured above was one of my most expressive sniffers!) When Jack finally discovers that his mystery smell is the scent of rain, the children and their caregivers made their own discovery too—finding a little dog in Vernet’s painting and noticing the ominous clouds in the top corner of the landscape.

Now that we had planted the idea of using smell to better understand what we see, families set off on a smelling adventure through the galleries, using repurposed spice jars filled with a variety of scents—from apple blossom and rain to fresh hay and mountain air!

Art Babies 3

Babies sniffed, shook the bottles like rattles, and stuck them in their mouths. Adults searched for paintings with objects that matched the smells. Together grown-ups and children found new ways to experience art.

Art Babies 4

Before the shrieks of delight and giggles could dissolve into tears or frustration at not being able to touch, we left the galleries and made our way to our sensory play stations. Here, any and everything can be picked up, mouthed, dropped, smelled, rolled, bounced, and more. And for a special smell-inspired play area, we offered the babies fresh flowers, oranges, lemons, and limes to smell and investigate.

I do believe that these little ones have quite a nose for art!

You can create your own smell-based sensory play at home with recycled spice jars, cotton balls, and scents. I found inspiration from this blog post. Be sure to avoid scents that might create a burning sensation (like wasabi, chili powder, mustard or pepper). My go-to source for unusual scents is the Demeter Fragrance Company. Smells like art to me!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

 

Moore on the Move

Photos showing the North Entrance of the museum prior to the start of renovation efforts.

The North Entrance of the Museum prior to the start of renovation efforts.

Henry Moore’s Two Piece Reclining Figure, No. 3 has greeted visitors at the Museum’s North Entrance for many years. Last week, Moore’s sculpture moved to a new home on the south side of the building, where it will welcome visitors into the Sculpture Garden. The move involved a lot of planning, and many precautions were in place to move the 2,200-pound bronze sculpture. Follow the sculpture’s journey below:

Summer Interns: Preparing for the Future

Hello all! My name is Christina Miller and I am a first year graduate student at Texas Woman’s University, earning my Masters of Art in Teaching. Interning at the DMA this summer has really taught me so much about children and art. Rather than the camp teachers and interns teaching the children about art, throughout this experience, the children have been teaching me. The camp that was by far the toughest but most rewarding was the Hands-On Art for Children with Autism. This was my first experience working with children with special needs. I am pretty sure that I was just as nervous as the children were on their first day of camp, but I knew it was important for me to learn to work with children with a variety of abilities, since teaching will be in my near future.


The children all had different personalities and were on different levels of the autism spectrum. It was amazing to see how some had such an incredible memory! From remembering artists and their artworks, to songs, to even art history movements. One thing they all had in common was hard work and participation. Although each of them may have differing needs, they are all talented. I was so happy that I had the opportunity to work with this camp. I can proudly say that this internship has prepared me for my future as an art teacher and taught me how to truly bond and work with students with a variety of abilities.

Christina Miller
Summer Art Camp Intern

African Art Sketching Party

Full wall

Just before the Arts of Africa gallery closed for reinstallation in May, the DMA invited the public to a Late Night African Art Sketching Party. Over 100 sketches of visitors’ favorite African artworks were gathered during the party. It was an opportunity to tap into the creativity and perspectives of DMA visitors. Sketching is a fun way to slow down, look closely, and discover something new about an artwork.

Visitors’ drawings are on view on a temporary wall on Level 3 in the Museum. Come for a visit before August 30 to see this installation of sketches and experience the DMA’s African art collection as seen through the eyes of another.

Nicole Stutzman Forbes is the Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education at the DMA.

Cool Down with Pop

Not only is July National Ice Cream Month, but yesterday ice cream had an entire day dedicated to its wonderfulness. During the Dallas summers, we certainly love cool treats, which has us thinking of cooler weather and a colorful exhibition opening this fall at the DMA, International Pop. So, in honor of this month dedicated to the coolest dessert there is, we’re highlighting Wayne Thiebaud’s Salads, Sandwiches, and Desserts. You can see this work at the DMA beginning October 11, 2015.

Wayne Thiebaud, Salads, Sandwiches, and Desserts, 1962, oil on canvas, Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, NAA–Thomas C. Woods Memorial © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud, Salads, Sandwiches, and Desserts, 1962, oil on canvas, Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, NAA–Thomas C. Woods Memorial, © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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


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