Archive for November, 2016

On the Bookshelves: CATchy Tales Edition

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This month I’ve been spending a lot of time in Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt with preschoolers. Ancient Egypt is always endlessly fascinating for young children, but add in cats and picture books, and you’ve got a triple threat! I’ve gathered up some purrrfect picture books for any kid cat-lovers—two of the stories take place in ancient Egypt and two are catchy tales you won’t want to miss.

 

Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert, illustrated by Lisa Brown

With a rustle and a whisper, a little mummy cat wakes up deep in a pyramid and goes in search of his mistress and friend, Queen Hat-Shup-Set. As he journeys through the corridors, paintings on the wall tell the tale of his past life and the tragic fate of his Queen. Brown’s illustrations paint a story-within-a-story, and young readers will love pouring over each little detail and will beg to read this book again and again. Look for three little mice hiding on many of the pages and search for hieroglyphs sprinkled throughout the illustrations. An author’s note on mummies, hieroglyphs, and Queen Hat-Shup-Set make this book an excellent introduction to ancient Egypt. And if you visit Divine Felines, you can see an authentic cat sarcophagus!

 

Temple Cat by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Kate Kiesler

A cat lives like a king in the temple, with servants to care for his every need, but all he dreams of is a life beyond the temple walls. So one night, he quietly slips out and embarks on an adventure, sleeping in barns, catching his own food, and making friends with some children. Along the way, he discovers his greatest dream—to be loved as an ordinary cat. Cat-lovers will especially love how Kiesler captures the very “cat-ness” of our hero as he licks his paws, revels in chin tickles, or weaves around a child’s leg. The background illustrations however, are just as beautiful, painting a vivid picture of what ancient Egyptian life might have been like.

 

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

“The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws…” With this lyrical beginning, Wenzel takes readers on a journey of perspective, imagining different encounters between a cat and its surroundings. With each page turn, we see the cat from a different point of view. A child sees a cuddly, friendly companion. A dog and fox see something to chase. A fish and a mouse see a huge, scary creature to be avoided at all costs! A flea sees a warm place to take a nap. The text itself is incredibly simple, but the illustrations take on a life of their own, challenging young readers to consider how one animal (or by extension, person) can be so many different things. And for art-loving kids, the way Wenzel changes his style to fit each creature’s perspective is truly magical. They All Saw a Cat is already getting some buzz for the coming picture book awards season!

 

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Mr. Tiger is tired of his prim and proper life, and decides something needs to change. HE needs to change! And so he goes “wild.” But does he go just a little too far? I’ve written about this book before here, and it still continues to be a go-to favorite for story time. One page turn in particular ALWAYS elicits shrieks of laughter and gasps, and I can’t help but love it when the children roar right along with Mr. Tiger.

 

What’s your favorite meow-sterpiece in cat picture books? Please share in the comments below!

And as always—happy reading!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs

Cyber Monday

Congratulations! You survived Black Friday 2016! But if you are like us, you might be spending this evening searching Cyber Monday deals to finish off your list.

Black Friday is the ultimate day to go shopping for all of the best deals, steals, and doorbusters, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. If you busted down the doors of all your favorite stores (or even if you didn’t), we would like you to enjoy 10% off a one-year DMA membership. This incredible Cyber Monday deal is only good until MIDNIGHT TONIGHT.

Experience 12 full months of exclusive DMA Member benefits, including:
Free parking in the Museum’s garage
Free admission to all special exhibitions
EXCLUSIVE exhibition Member Preview Days
And so much more!

Most importantly, no doors to bust down.
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Patrick Faulhaber: Homage to a Beloved Dallas Artist

A few months ago, when I first saw images of Patrick Faulhaber’s paintings, it was hard to believe they weren’t actually photographs. His paintings capture a unique view of Dallas street life, imbuing what might be seen as common and everyday with a sense of magic.

Sadly, in May this year, Patrick Faulhaber passed away at the age of 70. Faulhaber first debuted his small canvas paintings at the DMA’s Concentrations 31 exhibition in 1998, and we’ve recently put them on view again in our Center for Creative Connections. In an interview with former Museum curator Charles Wylie, Faulhaber shared a wonderful thought about the close link in his work between painting and photography:

Photography is fast and gathers and immense amount of information in a fraction of a second; painting is studying all that information and adding all your emotions and understanding.

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This quote resonated with us so much, we knew we had to create a gallery activity in the Center for Creative Connections that reflects his concepts and commemorates his life’s work. The photo-realistic paintings didn’t just happen overnight; he worked tirelessly to perfect all the information gathered from over twenty photos shot of each scene. We found a way to simplify this for our visitors: bring in light boxes, paper, colored pencils, and snapshots of scenes that are uniquely Dallas, and leave the creativity to you.

In just a few weeks, I’ve collected a wide variety of drawings that visitors have left behind. Here are a few of my favorite themes discovered among them. Of course, we have to start with the detailed drawings…

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We also loved our visitors’ personal add-ins to the photographs…

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And we can’t leave out the abstracted drawings…

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How detailed can you be when recreating a photograph? Stop by the Center for Creative Connections and put your own skills to the test!

Kerry Butcher
Center for Creative Connections Coordinator

Gobble This Up!

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Ceramic bowl, Mogollon-Mimbres, c. 1000–1150 C.E., ceramic and slip paints, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift 1988.99.FA

Did you know that there’s a lot more to turkeys than just a delicious Thanksgiving meal? Archaeologically speaking, we know that populations in the US Southwest have domesticated turkeys since around 600 C.E. That’s a long time before the early American settlers sat down to dine with the Wampanoag Indians! Turkeys were common animals around the household (move over Fido) and would feed on centipedes and millipedes like you see in the scene on the bowl above . . . yum. Turkeys appear to have been primarily kept for their feathers (not to hold stuffing), which were used to make feather blankets and may occasionally have been consumed.

Come to the DMA this Thanksgiving weekend to view this bowl and to go on a “hunt” for even more works that remind you of the holiday! We will be closed on Thursday, but stop by for a relaxing Black Friday. Gobble, gobble!

Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the DMA. 

 

 

Friday Photos: Egypt’s Youngest Queens!

During our recent Divine Felines themed Arturo’s Art and Me Family Workshop, some of the participants pretended to be the ancient queens we learned about. Here they are in all their regalia!

The royal kiddos learned about how the Ancient Egyptians loved their cats so much that they gave them fancy jewelry to wear and turned them into mummies once they passed away. They then made their own bejeweled cat sculptures out of Model Magic and a personalized sarcophagus for them. Here are some of the finished kitties!

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Our next Arturo’s Art and Me Workshops take place on December 7, 8, and 10th. Click here for more info!

Grace Diepenbrock
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Shaken AND Stirred

Whether you like your adult beverage shaken or stirred, we think you’ll enjoy this. A celebration of over 100 years of cocktail ware design, Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail opens at the Dallas Museum of Art this Friday, November 18, during the DMA’s Late Night event. Organized chronologically and divided into sections that correspond to major shifts in the consumption of cocktails, the exhibition features nearly 60 works drawn primarily from the Museum’s collection. It explores the relationships between political, social, and economic currents, developments in technology, quotidian practices of consumption, and design styles. An interactive display prompts visitors to explore the history of spirits and cocktails alongside that of the vessels in which they were prepared and served. Below are a few highlights paired with historically accurate cocktails included in the exhibition’s interactive display. Cheers!

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“Skyscraper” cocktail shaker, cups, and tray, William Waldo Dodge, designer, 1928–31, silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange, 2008.48.1–12

It would not be surprising if this monumental skyscraper-inspired cocktail shaker once held the ingredients of the Sidecar, one of the most popular cocktails during Prohibition.

The origin of the Sidecar—a shaken mixture of cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, served in a sugar-rimmed cocktail glass—is debated, but commonly believed to be Paris or London at the conclusion of World War I (1914–18). Whatever its origin, the Sidecar quickly crossed the Atlantic and conquered the speakeasies in the newly “dry” United States.

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Penguin cocktail shaker, Emile A. Schuelke, designer, Napier Company, manufacturer, Meriden, Connecticut, 1936, gilded silverplate, Dallas Museum of Art, The Jewel Stern American Silver Collection, gift of Jewel Stern, 2002.29.8.a–b

The owner of this gold-accented, silver-plated Penguin cocktail shaker, touted by its manufacturer as the “master of ceremonies at successful parties,” may have utilized it to shake Daiquiris, which peaked in popularity in the 1930s.

Despite possible antecedents native to Cuba, the Daiquiri as it is known today—a shaken mixture of white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup—was first recorded by American mining engineer Jennings Cox in 1902. The Daiquiri shares its moniker with the Taíno (indigenous peoples of the Caribbean) name for a beach near Santiago de Cuba.

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Circa ’70 pitcher-mixer with mixer spoon, Gorham Manufacturing Company, Providence, Rhode Island, designed 1960, silver and ebony, Dallas Museum of Art, The Jewel Stern American Silver Collection, Decorative Arts Fund, 2002.29.68.a–b)

This futuristic Circa ’70 beverage mixer was likely used to stir dry gin Martinis in the 1960s.

Like the Manhattan, the Martini is a spirit-based and vermouth and bitters-laced cocktail that originated in the 19th century. It appeared in print in Jerry Thomas’s How to Mix Drinks, published in 1862. While 19th-century recipes recommend sweet vermouth, by the 1950s dry vermouth was mixed with dry gin and orange bitters and then poured into a classic cocktail glass.

Samantha Robinson is the Interim Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the DMA.

 

Volunteer Spotlight: DMA Docents & Mesquite Week

Here at the DMA, you might notice both staff and our amazing DMA docents breathing a sigh of relief. Last week we successfully wrapped up Mesquite Week, one of our most challenging and significant partnerships of the year.

Mesquite Week was started in 1985 by Dr. William Hooper, the arts coordinator for the Mesquite Independent School District. Inspired by MISD’s tradition of offering students an opportunity to visit the symphony and the opera, Dr. Hooper hoped to establish an annual visit to the DMA. However, the DMA had just moved to the new downtown building—folks were wary about too many kids, too much of a time commitment, and not enough docents. Susan Cueller, the Head Docent at the time, took up the challenge of writing the teaching materials, coordinating a schedule, and overseeing the tours. Interestingly, Mesquite Week was the first time we provided pre-visit materials for teachers to build into their lesson plans. The partnership was very successful the first year, and MISD and the DMA have been coordinating to plan trips ever since.

This year we served all of MISD’s 6th grade students and the 8th grade visual arts students. That’s a staggering 2,740 students in six days–wow!

We sat down with Susan Cuellar and Joanie Smith, who currently shares Head Docent responsibilities with Jane Sibley, to chat about Mesquite Week and their experience as DMA docents.

 

 

Thanks to the DMA docents, we’re able to pull off ambitious programs like Mesquite Week and offer thousands of students guided tours of the Museum each year. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we’re reminded of how grateful we are for our volunteers who share their time and passion for art so generously, and I’m sure 2,740 MISD students would agree.

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching


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