Archive for the 'Social Media' Category

Dallas Activities Get a Splash of Color with Late Nights

As you know, our Late Nights are a staple for Dallas activities in the Metroplex. For our second YouTube video, we chose to feature what makes this program so special. If you know anyone who has not experienced Late Nights, share the video with them and plan your visit!

The Night Owl and the Pussycats: Adventures in Igniting the Power of Art

From the very beginning in February 2009, this exciting book project inspired by the DMA’s director, Bonnie Pitman, was a collaborative effort. And my responsibility was to serve as the publication’s gatekeeper, charged with trafficking the manuscript, compiling and incorporating the numerous edits and comments, and keeping track of all the details and loose ends. There were “those days” when I imagined masses and masses of rapidly proliferating Hydra heads—and, like a metaphorical Hercules, the faster I lopped them off (i.e., completed a task), the faster they seemed to regenerate.

To keep track of all the edits to the digital manuscript, we used the Microsoft Word feature known as Track Changes, where, like a board game, everyone gets a different color. With five or six people making rainbow-colored edits, the manuscript became a vivid, almost psychedelic, dazzle of clashing colors, from bright pink to pale brown. Since large chunks of text were moved around, Word could only track this by keeping the old, lined-out passages on the page, so I found myself on “fast forward” through whole paragraphs on occasion. Then when comments were added to the screen, a running series of squashed balloons of text crowded in along the right-hand margin. Pretty soon we were laughing about eye strain.

Our quest for a perfect set of images became the next challenge. We pored through hundreds of DMA images—sorting, juxtaposing, weighing, and discarding—for each of the 141 photographs finally chosen. So it was definitely an exciting moment when the book went to the printer in early October 2010. As I write this blog two years later, we have distributed the printed copies. While this project “had its moments,” it’s also been enormously rewarding. I’ve learned a lot about data analysis, the design and packaging of information, and the challenges and pitfalls of fact checking. Even at moments of relatively frazzled morale, our spirits were always kept up by the knowledge that we were presenting something new and important. This book was a labor of love for a large group of people, especially for the two authors.

Ending on a light note, Bonnie kept us entertained throughout the editing and production process by sending digital pictures of her two cats, Leda and Perseus. Owing to the late hours she usually keeps, Bonnie was frequently hard at work on this book at one or two o’clock in the morning, seated at her glass work-table, with Leda and Perseus lying on—or playing with—stacks of galleys, photo contact sheets, charts, layouts, and reports—all of which offered the cats an ideal playground. I still have the early photographs showing them stretched out on a hoard of papers and folders. The later pictures depict their puzzlement as the glass tabletop finally resurfaced and the papers receded. And there’s a final shot of the cats sitting wistful, but perhaps also slightly triumphant, on a table cleared of everything but a vase of flowers and a single copy of the printed book. I’m sure Leda and Perseus look forward to a sequel.

Eric Zeidler is Publications Coordinator at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Foursquare perks

We adore our visitors and we enjoy connecting with them through Facebook, Twitter, Uncrated, and Foursquare. It is a great way for us to hear directly from you, like on Ask a Curator Day on Twitter, and now, we want YOU to help us pick our special on Foursquare.

Specials can be for the Mayor (the person with the most amount of check-ins at one location, for more info click here), a certain number of total check-ins, and maybe even for a particular badge.

We will accept suggestions for a week on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog, and then we will let you vote on the top four suggestions. It needs to be something special since it is a special, but it also has to adhere to a few guidelines. We encourage you to use your creativity when coming up with specials, but we request that you keep in mind our social media guidelines. Also, we won’t be able to include requests like hanging your art in the Museum galleries or behind-the-scenes passes to our art storage in the running for the special. Some examples of things we would be able to do are discounted admission for certain badge holders (the Warhol badge is pretty cool), discounts at the store after a certain number of check-ins, and Sneak Peeks for the Mayor.

We can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

Ask a Curator Day in the Twittersphere

Wednesday, September 1, was the first ever “Ask a Curator” day on Twitter. The event was organized by Jim Richardson of Sumo, a design agency in England. Over 300 museums worldwide participated and the DMA was thrilled to be one of only three in Texas to sign-up. Our curators, from the areas of ancient to contemporary art, jumped into the Twittersphere to talk about their work. They answered questions from what to visit at the Museum if you only had one day (so hard to pick when we have over 24,000 works!), to their favorite work of art in the collections (Decorative Arts and Design curator Kevin W. Tucker says it is impossible, like picking your favorite child) and favorite city to see art (Anne Bromberg, who curates our ancient and Asian art collections, named Isfahan, Iran). A lot of people wanted to know what to study to become a curator (DMA curators studied Art History, Studio Art, and Anthropology to name a few). The biggest challenge of the day, other than avoiding all the spam that hit the world-trending topic midday, was figuring out how to answer all of the great questions in only 140 characters! If you still have a question, post it on Facebook and Twitter and we will do our best to track the curators down in the galleries.

#askacurator Day @ the DMA was a blast; below are some of our favorites:

@JoseSPiano #askacurator How often does a curator walk through the galleries and interact with the public once an exhibit has opened?
Roslyn Walker, Curator of the Arts of Africa, likes to walk through the gallery daily and to give talks and tours when she can.

@deadsunflower #askacurator What part of your job do you love the most?
Anne Bromberg, Curator of Ancient and Asian Art, says the best part of her job is thinking about art all day

@hoperobertson How do you decide what exhibitions to feature at your museum? Personal choice, or is it all pre-arranged? #askacurator #iloveart
Olivier Meslay, Curator of European and American Art, says, One of many factors is to see how it relates to the rest of the museum’s collections. #askacurator

@kayommm What did you study at schools and what career will be required to be a curator? #askacurator
Curator of Contemporary Art Charles Wylie studied American Studies and Art History. #askacurator

@hummeline @DallasMuseumArt What piece in your collections still stops you in your tracks when you see it?
Anne Bromberg, Curator of Ancient and Asian Art, answered, Brancusi’s “Beginning of the World #askcurators

@artistMFReid @DallasMuseumArt What art would you love to add next to your collection? Dream big…
Olivier Meslay, Curator of European and American Art, would love to have a large painting of the Grand Canyon by Thomas Moran


Flickr Photo Stream