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Flat Stanley’s Latest Adventure

Flat Stanley is no stranger to the Dallas Museum of Art. In fact, he has visited a few times over the years, and each time he gets to experience a new adventure. We were happy to welcome him back this year to help him explore the DMA and beyond!

This year, Flat Stanley came on a mission! He wanted to see the collection, but specifically he was hoping to see some artwork with dolphins. Unfortunately there weren’t dolphins to be found in the works of art currently on view, but he took a tour around the Museum and found some wonderful water related works of art.

Flat Stanley’s next adventure was a trip with Go van Gogh, a program that brings the DMA to Kindergarten through 6th grade students in schools throughout DFW free of charge.

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Next on Stanley’s agenda was a quick stop at our neighbor’s the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Mostly hoping to spot a dinosaur, Flat Stanley was thrilled to also find a dolphin!

After spending some time in and around Dallas, Flat Stanley caught the travel bug and decided to hop some flights with DMA educators to explore a few cities. First on his itinerary was a quick trip to Washington D.C., where Flat Stanley spent some time at the National Mall. He got to see both the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial!

Next, Flat Stanley caught a flight to the Big Apple! Of course he had to take the subway system to navigate this new city, so he snapped a photo at the 42nd Street station. He enjoyed visiting some museums, but Flat Stanley’s favorite stop was experiencing the sights and sounds of Times Square.

After the rush of New York, Flat Stanley couldn’t just come back to Texas. So instead he made his way across the pond to London! This required a bit of a costume change–luckily, he was able to find a foot guard uniform just his size for the journey. All suited up, he got to visit Buckingham Palace, where the flag was raised indicating that the Queen was on the premises. While in the area, he also stopped by the Queen Victoria Memorial and the Wellington Arch.

After all that traveling, Flat Stanley was happy to get some rest and return to Dallas and the DMA. He took one last tour around to see the new México: 1900-1950 exhibition before heading home.

Jessica Fuentes
Manager of Gallery Interpretation and the Center for Creative Connections

Flat Stanley Becomes a Friend

Flat Stanley has returned for another visit to the DMA, and boy was he excited to learn about our new Friends program. He decided to sign up to discover new ways he could have fun at the Museum.

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Flat loves European art, so he was really interested in completing the Grand Tour badge. After visiting the Monet and the ancient gold wreath on the second floor, he walked up to the third floor and found some super cool decorative arts. His final stop was the Reves Collection.

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Can you spot the gallery code label?

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Visiting the Reves Collection Library

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After touring all those wonderful galleries, he went back down to the Friends kiosk. Once he entered all the codes, he received the Grand Tour badge. Hooray!

Have fun like Flat Stanley and sign up to be a Friend during your next visit. And if you see Flat in the galleries, be sure not to accidentally step on him!

Artworks visited by Flat Stanley:

  • Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1908, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation
  • Olive Wreath, Greek, 4th century B.C., Dallas Museum of Art, Museum League Purchase Funds, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., and Cecil H. and Ida M. Green in honor of Virginia Lucas Nick
  • Walter Dorwin Teague, “Nocturne” radio (Model 1186), designed c. 1935, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Flat Stanley: On the Road

While Flat Stanley enjoyed his time exploring the DMA, he really had fun hitting the road with me.  I took Flat Stanley to a wedding in Ontario, Canada and to a conference in New York City.  He had fun seeing the sights and meeting my family and friends!

Crossing the Blue Water Bridge from Michigan into Canada

Crossing the Blue Water Bridge from Michigan into Canada

After crossing the bridge, Stanley waits with his passport to go through Customs

After crossing the bridge, Stanley waits with his passport to go through Customs

With a replica of the Statue of Liberty in New York

With a replica of the Statue of Liberty in New York

Flat Stanley in Times Square

Flat Stanley in Times Square

With the Empire State Building lit up in the distance

With the Empire State Building lit up in the distance

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

Flat Stanley: In the Galleries

You might have noticed a small, somewhat thin, two dimensional visitor at the DMA recently. Flat Stanley has been all across our galleries, looking at and learning about many different artworks in our collection. Feel free to bring him along on your next tour!

Flat Stanley with the DMA’s Banquete chair with pandas.

Flat Stanley with the DMA’s Bed.

Flat Stanley with the DMA’s Red-figure krater.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Artworks visited by Flat Stanley:

  • Banquete chair with pandas, Fernando Campana and Humberto Campana, 2006, stuffed animals on steel base, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2009.9
  • Bed, Crawford Riddell, c. 1844, Brazilian rosewood, tulip poplar, and yellow pine; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation, 2000.324
  • Red-figure krater, Metope Group, c. 340-330 B.C., ceramic, pigment; Dallas Museum of Art, the Melba Davis Whatley Fund and Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund, 1996.147

Printmaking: A Process

Modern technology makes creating multiples easy. With a click of a button, we can print full-color images and entire articles of text in seconds. Making copies wasn’t always so quick and simple—entire books were scribed by hand, and artists and their studios would labor over multiple versions of a painting or sculpture for their clientele.

Today’s electronic printers can trace their origins to the early printmaking innovators in East Asia. In China, engraved blocks of wood were used to create copies of written text as early as the 8th century. Korean printmakers took woodblock printing a step further by creating the earliest form of metal movable type in the early 13th century, nearly two centuries before Gutenberg brought movable type to Europe.

While printmaking facilitated a wider distribution of text and knowledge, how did it impact artwork and images? Innovations in the 17th century gave artists the ability to create multicolored prints on a single sheet. Engravers would create multiple carved blocks for a design, with each block carrying a different color. Previously, an outline had been printed in one color, and artists would hand paint in the rest of the design.

Utagawa Hiroshige, Hara: Mount Fuji in the Morning, 1834, woodblock print, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus, 1984.202.14

The addition of multiple blocks in the printing process meant that artists and publishers could speed up production, to the great benefit of everyday people. In Japan, Utagawa Hiroshige produced a series of 53 prints representing the stops along the Tokaido Road, which linked Edo and Tokyo. Hiroshige’s series was extremely popular; it was printed thousands of times and sold as a souvenir or keepsake for display in homes, indicating that prints were priced cheaply enough to make them accessible to travelers for purchase.

After spending time with Japanese woodblock prints, it’s easy to understand their popularity. In Hiroshige’s Tokaido Road series, as well as later works created by Hiroshi Yoshida, prints transport the viewer to new places and captured with spectacular detail and color how people interacted with their environments .

Hiroshi Yoshida, A Glimpse of Ueno Park, 1935, polychrome woodblock print, Dallas Museum of Art, the Abram C. Joseph and Ruth F. Ring Collection, gift of Miss Ruth F. Ring, 1985.44

Curious about what it takes to make a print? While woodblock printing does require some special equipment, you can get a taste of the process using everyday materials you might already have at home. Here’s what you need:

  • 1–2 flat sheets of styrofoam, cut from a take-out container or paper plate 
  • Scissors or exacto knife  
  • Flat paintbrush 
  • Watercolor or acrylic paint 
  • Cup of water 
  • Rag or small towel  
  • A large metal spoon  
  • Watercolor paper 

1. Cut a design out of the styrofoam sheet using a pair of scissors or an exacto knife. The styrofoam will act as a stamp that will carry the color to the paper.  

2. Using paint and paintbrush, apply a thin layer of color to the styrofoam. It’s helpful to thin the paint down slightly with water so the layer is even.  

3. With the rag, dampen the watercolor paper slightly. This will help the paper receive the color from the paint.  

4. Place your styrofoam sheet paint-side down onto the watercolor paper, like a stamp. Use the metal spoon to press down on the paper.  

5. Gently peel the styrofoam away from the paper to reveal your design.  

6. Wipe off the leftover paint from the styrofoam and reapply color to print another edition of your print! Each print will look different, but that’s also a part of the process that’s lost when we turn over the work to machines. When something is handmade, there will always be a degree of human error that reveals the presence of an artist behind the artwork.  

Jessica Thompson-Castillo is the Manager of Teen Programs at the DMA.


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