Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category



Bluebonnets in Bloom

With spring upon us, we can anticipate the sprouting of bluebonnets along Texas roads and highways. Bluebonnets can also be found in the DMA’s permanent collection. One of the best places to look is in the work of Julian Onderdonk, a San Antonio–born artist. Onderdonk is recognized for his portrayal of his home state’s landscape, in particular the Texas State Flower, the bluebonnet. Onderdonk so perfected the portrayal of bluebonnets that to this day his name is immediately linked to scenes of these blue and violet flowers carpeting expansive landscapes.

Onkerdonk in action. Image source http://nyti.ms/2nrmieC

After studying in New York at the Art Students League and William Merritt Chase’s Shinnecock Summer School, Onderdonk returned to Texas in 1909. Back in his home state, he found that he could combine the techniques he learned in New York with his environment in Texas. The bluebonnets were the perfect subject in which to manifest his interests. Appearing initially as subtle parts of his compositions, they dominated the artist’s work by the mid-1910s.

Field of Bluebonnets

Julian Onderdonk, Untitled (Field of Bluebonnets), 1918–20, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Margaret M. Ferris, 1990.153

Although the bluebonnet became the state flower in 1901 and was represented by other artists prior to Onderdonk’s embracing them as a subject, his depictions of the flower increased their popularity and distinctive connection to the state of Texas. The bluebonnets also brought fame to the artist while defining Texas art as a regional school that paralleled other schools of regionalist art in America. The appeal of these paintings was twofold; on one hand, they played into Texas pride by giving importance to the state flower, and on the other hand, they highlighted Onderdonk’s painterly talents and ability to render nature.

Blue Bonnets

Bluebonnets in bloom.

For Onderdonk, these flowers were more than simply bluebonnets. They allowed him to find a balance between what he saw and a subject he knew well: in other words, a blending of his East Coast training and his connection to the Hill Country of Texas. Painted around 1918-1920, Untitled (Field of Bluebonnets) is an example of Onderdonk’s dedication to the flower. Onderdonk learned from Chase the importance of painting outdoors because it allowed a closer observation of the light and shadows. Here Onderdonk responded to Chase’s emphasis on painting en plein air (outdoors before the motif) and capturing the changing effects of light and shadow in a field covered with the vividly colored blossoms. He paints the bluebonnets in rich blues and greens, making each bloom in the foreground individuated and then progressing into broad strokes of color to portray the pool of flowers.

Francesca Soriano is the McDermott Intern for American Art at the DMA. 

The Emperor’s New Groove: Llama Iconography and the Inca Empire

In his 1551 chronicle The Discovery and Conquest of Peru, Pedro de Cieza de Leon recalled the former glory of the great Inca temple known as the Qorikancha:

There is a garden in which the earth was of pieces of fine gold, and it was sown with corn of gold, stalks as well as leaves and ears . . . more than twenty golden sheep with their lambs, and shepherds, who guarded them, their staffs and slings, were made of this metal.

South American camelids at the archaeological site of Tiahuanaco, Bolivia

South American camelids at the archaeological site of Tiahuanaco, Bolivia. image source commons.wikimedia.org : http://bit.ly/2ov0wXl

What Cieza de Leon did not realize is that these “golden sheep” were not sheep at all (sheep were introduced to South America through Spanish imperialism), but rather the most important animal within the Inca Empire: the llama.

Domesticated 6,000 to 7,000 years ago in the dry puna grasslands of Argentina, Chile, and southern Peru, llamas provided an important source of meat and of fiber used for manufacturing rope and bags in several early Andean communities. Andean artisans shaped and repurposed llama bones as tools and weaving supplies, while llama dung provided a source of fuel to heat homes. Llamas also allowed disparate cultures to interact and create trading networks by serving as the primary beasts of burden within the Andes region. Occupying the modern nations of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, and Colombia, the Inca Empire (1438-1532) used llamas and llama imagery to unite their territory through trade and shared socially significant iconography.

Pair of llama figures

Pair of llama figures, Peru, north coast, Inca (Inka), 1400–1550, shell, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 1972.23.5.1-2.McD

Map of Inca Empire

Our collection of Inca visual arts features several examples of llamas. These reddish-orange llamas were originally found in a Late Horizon (1400-1532) ceremonial cache on the southern coast of modern-day Peru with a variety of northern coast Chimú and southern coast Ica style feather and metalwork objects. Containing a mixture of elite items related to Chimú and Inca cultures, this bundle represents the fusion of cultures through Inca imperial expansion and trade.

Carved from the shell of a thorny oyster, or Spondylus, a mollusk imported from the tropical marine waters off Ecuador, these llama figures likely possessed multiple layers of social significance among the populations who created them. Visually, they represent the beasts of burden that enabled the extensive trade networks necessary to transport raw materials from locations that were several hundred miles away. As the inclusion of carved Spondylus shell figures in ceremonial bundles was specifically an Inca practice, these llamas may also represent South Coast groups incorporating certain aspects of Inca identity or religion into their own system of belief.

Camelid-form vessel

Camelid-form vessel, Peru, Inca (Inka), 1400–1540, stone, Dallas Museum of Art, collection of Andrew D. Christensen, gift of J. D. Christensen, 1983.632

Carved from a green and black stone, this ceremonial llama effigy, or illa, was used to promote agricultural and pastoral fertility in Inca communities. Inca religious leaders likely inserted a mixture of llama fat, blood, and other ceremonial objects into the hole located at the top of this vessel during various fertility rituals throughout the year. Several Inca-related groups concluded these fertility rituals by placing the illa in a pasture. Modern-day highland communities in the Andes continue to use illa during their fertility rituals to ensure the prosperity of their camelid herds.

Continue reading ‘The Emperor’s New Groove: Llama Iconography and the Inca Empire’

Shot Through the Heart

Have you been caught in a bad romance? Had your heart broken? Then join us for Off the Wall on Thursday, February 9, to commiserate with all of us that have been Shot Through the Heart!

Forget finding your soul mate; instead find your perfect art match as you speed date through the Museum, completing fun activities at six different stops in our galleries. To give you a head start in finding your perfect art match, we can share that one of the stops will feature Two Truths and a Lie. For this activity, you will choose a work of art and receive three statements about the object. You will have to figure out which statement is the lie. Here is one example:

Engungun costume, Late 20th century, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Pace Primitive Gallery, New York, 2008.99.1

Engungun costume, Republic of Benin, Yoruba peoples, late 20th century, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Pace Primitive Gallery, New York, 2008.99.1

  1. The cowrie shell–embroidered face panel allows visibility, while “juju” elements attached beneath it provide supernatural protection during the performance.
  2. The chief priest of the Egungun masquerades invokes the spirit of the ancestors; when he does so, the rest of the worshippers’ dance movements and drums are possessed by the ancestral spirit.
  3. The Egungun festival is usually performed during the rainy months in Nigeria because it is believed that the rain helps the ancestors arrive more quickly.

Complete all six speed dating stops and you will receive a free beer or glass of wine in the DMA Cafe. While sipping your drink, learn that it could always be worse when you play a historical version of Marry, Date, Kill with portraits from our collection. Which one of these charmers would you want to keep forever?

Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne was an instrumental figure in the Reign of Terror who hated foreigners, especially Marie Antoinette.

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Portrait of Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, early 1790s, oil on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift, 1961.105

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Portrait of Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, early 1790s, oil on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift, 1961.105

Edward Hyde was the worst governor of New Jersey and New York ever. EVER. He was also a cross-dresser, which had no impact on the quality of his governing.

Artist unknown, Portrait of a Lady, Possibly Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury in a Dress, c. 1705-1750, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Alta Brenner in memory of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen, 1992.47

Artist unknown, Portrait of a Lady, Possibly Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury in a Dress, c. 1705-50, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Alta Brenner in memory of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen, 1992.47

Semiramis wanted to rule Assyria so badly that she kinda-sorta killed both of her husbands. #WhoRunTheWorld

William Wetmore Story, Semirarmis, designed 1872, carved 1873, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Morynne and Robert E. Motley in memory of Robert Earl Motley, Jr., 1972-1998

William Wetmore Story, Semiramis, designed 1872, carved 1873, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Morynne and Robert E. Motley in memory of Robert Earl Motley, Jr., 1972-1998

End your night with unlucky in love music classics like You Give Love a Bad Name, Shot Through the Heart, Bad Medicine, and other Bon Jovi classics performed by Blaze of Glory: the Bon Jovi Experience.

And if you’ve already found your soul mate, or you’re just starting to date that special someone, please also join us this Thursday, February 9, to prove that love does conquer all!

Stacey Lizotte is the Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.
Katie Cooke is the Manager of Adult Programming at the DMA.
Madeleine Fitzgerald is the Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming at the DMA.

Memory, All Alone in the Moonlight

Some furry friends invaded the DMA back in October and set up residence for three whole months in the Museum. They told visitors from far and wide stories of ancient Egypt where they were revered as powerful deities. They also educated them on some very important practices like mummification . . . GASP. Just look at all the fun that was had!

final-cats

It’s not too late for you too to experience the PAWsitively PURRfect exhibition Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt, but it will be soon. After January 8, Divine Felines will only be a “memory, all alone in the moonlight”.  So scurry your tails down to the Museum to check out the exhibition that everyone has been meowing over!

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

 

Snow-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh

 Where it’s snowing
All winter through
That’s where I want to be
Snowball throwing
That’s what I’ll do
How I’m longing to ski
Through the snow-oh-oh-oh-oh
-Irving Berlin
kelly-snow-jpg-2015fleischner-courtyard-covered-in-snow-2011courtyard-in-the-dma-offices-covered-in-snow-2011
Here at the DMA, we have been dreaming of some snow-oh-oh-oh-oh, so here’s to past snow days at the Museum and the hope for more to come!

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

Puzzle This!

The nice thing about doing a crossword puzzle is, you know there is a solution. – Stephen Sondheim

Finally, the holidays are here and rest is near! But don’t let your brain turn to mush, instead curl up by the fire with this puzzle and tell all else to hush. Test you DMA knowledge with this battle of wits and if you get tired the answer key is at the bottom so you can call it quits.

Good luck and happy Crossword Puzzle Day!

cross-word

ACROSS
2 Until the Tutankhamen exhibition in 2008-09, this 1979 exhibition held the record for the highest attendance (without the date)
5 This woman was the first president of the Dallas Art Association: Mrs. Charles L. / Grace Leake __________
8 This popular evening program was inspired by the 100 Hours event for the museum’s Centennial in January 2003, and was initiated the following year (2 words)
9 Title of a sculpture by Mark di Suvero installed on Ross Plaza
10 This is the name of the blue bird who is the mascot for the DMA’s children’s and family programs

DOWN
1 Title of a popular “frozen” landscape by Frederick Church, installed on Level 4
3 This former director was also a Dallas Morning News art critic, taught at SMU, and has art work in the collection
4 This collection is displayed in a recreated French villa
6 The museum was located in two different buildings here (2 words)
7 This animal, named Sir Lancelot and associated with the Wise Collection of Ancient South American Art, has appeared in three Uncrated blog posts

How did you do? Click here to find out!

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the DMA and Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator. 

Prohibition Ends at Last! Bottoms Up!

“What America Needs Now is a Drink” – Franklin D. Roosevelt (supposedly)

It only took 13 years for the 18th Amendment to be repealed. What was meant to halt drunken disorder, cure mental illness, and simultaneously put an end to crime in America only increased such debauchery. Speakeasies popped up at an unprecedented rate, and corruption ran rampant. It was a dark time for the United States, but there was light at the end of the tunnel. On December 5, 1933, Prohibition was overturned, and still stands as the only constitutional amendment to ever be revoked.

Sloppy Joe's Bar

Sloppy Joe’s in Chicago when the 18th Amendment had been repealed. [American Stock Archive/Getty Images]


Celebrate repeal day by sharing a drink with a loved one, friend, or stranger, and cheers to our constitutional right to enjoy alcohol responsibly. Then stop by the Museum for a special look at cocktail culture in Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.

bottoms-up-cocktail-tumbler_2001-163-1

[Image: Bottoms Up cocktail tumbler, 1928, attributed to McKee Glass Company, pressed glass, Dallas Museum of Art, the Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, bequest of Patsy Lacy Griffith, 2001.163.1–2]


In true rambunctious and Roaring Twenties fashion, the festivities don’t end there. Join us on February 4 when the Museum will turn into a Speakeasy that will rival the Cotton Club itself!

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

Gobble This Up!

1988.99.FA

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. 

 

 

A Fête to Remember

Tomorrow evening the DMA will kick off an Annual Fête celebrating 18th-century French masterpieces from the Michael L. Rosenberg Collection and the release of a new publication, French Art of the Eighteenth Century: The Michael L. Rosenberg Lecture Series at the Dallas Museum of Art. Join us for performances, talks, art making, and a tres magnifique menu.

Before we step back in time and party like it’s 1799, I asked each of the past and present curators of the Rosenberg Collection to share a favorite work of art or a fond memory of working with this group of objects. Catch up with them at the Annual Fête, where they will be available to answer questions about your favorite Rosenberg artworks.

Nicky Myers, The Lillian and James H. Clark Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, DMA

“It is truly a privilege to be able to display and study such an important collection of 18th-century French artwork. Beyond its art historical significance, beyond its extraordinary quality and condition, the Rosenberg Collection is simply stunning. Lush colors, sumptuous costumes, and elegant figures welcome you to the Michael L. Rosenberg Galleries of 18th-Century Art, some of my favorite rooms in the Museum. When we enter these spaces, we are instantly transported back in time to a rare moment when the decorative and fine arts shared the same aesthetic, and when patrons and artists shared similar sensibilities. It is hard for me to choose a favorite work within the Rosenberg Collection, but I’m particularly drawn to the Greuze, Boilly, and Largillière paintings.”

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Dreamer, 1765–1769, 29.2004.10, Lent by the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Dreamer, 1765–69, oil on canvas, lent by the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation, 29.2004.10

Heather MacDonald, Program Officer, Getty Foundation

“What I enjoyed most about working with the Michael L. Rosenberg Collection and its annual lecture series was the opportunity to invite amazing scholars, whose work I’ve admired for years, to come to Dallas and share their research. They’re like historical detectives, piecing together bits of evidence gathered over a lifetime of research and close looking.

I don’t like to choose favorites among works of art in the galleries, but I will confess to an adoration of François-André Vincent’s portrait of the playwright Desforges. It’s such a modern, informal portrait: Desforges is shown in his (beautifully painted) shirtsleeves, with a five-o’clock shadow, looking off in the distance as if caught in a moment of creative inspiration. Vincent painted Desforges on the cusp of the Revolution, which offered new kinds of individual freedoms to French citizens, but this portrait also says so much about how the modern individual had been reimagined by the Enlightenment. There is a whole story about the 18th century contained in this image!”

François André Vincent, Portrait of Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Choudard (called Desforges), 1789, 29.2004.1, Lent by the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation

François André Vincent, Portrait of Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Choudard (called Desforges), 1789, oil on canvas, lent by the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation, 29.2004.1

Eik Kahng, Assistant Director and Chief Curator, Santa Barbara Museum of Art

“What I remember most fondly about Michael was his sincere love for the works of art that he collected. Before it came to the DMA, the collection was installed at Michael’s house. He very kindly allowed for private tours from time to time, which everyone greatly enjoyed. Michael would routinely ask me to lead the tours, starting in the living room, where the great Lemoyne Bather and the wonderful Oudry animal painting of a water spaniel confronting a heron were on view. However, about five minutes into my talk, Michael would invariably interrupt and start adding his own, detailed commentary. He was so passionate about each and every object and could speak eloquently and informatively about each one. I always teased him that he didn’t need me to be there at all, since he was more than capable of providing his own overview of the collection. It’s always such a pleasure to listen to collectors who really love their art.”

Jean–Baptiste Oudry, Water Spaniel Confronting a Heron, 1722, 29.2004.8, Lent by the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation

Jean–Baptiste Oudry, Water Spaniel Confronting a Heron, 1722, oil on canvas, lent by the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation, 29.2004.8

 

Jessie Frazier is the Manager of Adult Programming at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Off the Wall: A New Experience

What do David Bowie, James Bond, The Karate Kid, Bon Jovi, and dragons have in common? They all served as inspiration for our newest program, Off the Wall.

This spring and summer, the Adult Programming team spent many hours brainstorming themes, program ideas, and the best format for a new evening event. We wanted to be playful in our approach, making sure everyone would have a fun and unexpected experience—thus Off the Wall was born.

From 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month, Off the Wall will offer a unique way to explore our collection with a pop culture twist. We will launch Off the Wall tomorrow with an exploration of space, astronomy, and the 60s with our take on Space Oddity.

Each member of the team brought her own area of geeky pop culture knowledge to the table, for example, but not limited to, 80s TV, movies, and music (Stacey); movies and all things sci-fi and fantasy (Jessie); Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and over the top action movies (Katie); and all things 90s with a specialty in rap from the early 2000s (Madeleine).

So stop by and geek out with us, revel in the pop culture madness with us, and boldly go on this new adventure in the DMA collection with us.

October 13: Space Oddity 

Robert Rauschenberg, Skyway, 1964, oil and silkscreen on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr. and General Acquisitions Fund

Robert Rauschenberg, Skyway, 1964, oil and silkscreen on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr. and General Acquisitions Fund, 1986.8.a-b, (c) Rauschenberg Estate/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY 

November 10: Gogh Your Own Way 

Vincent van Gogh, Sheaves of Wheat, July 1890, Oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Vincent van Gogh, Sheaves of Wheat, July 1890, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.80

December 8: Winter Is Coming

Finial: Dragon head, 11th–14th century, Bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1963.24

Finial: dragon head, Iran, 11th–14th century, bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1963.24

January 12: Plot Twist

Thinking Bodhisattva, Asian, 4th-6th century C.E., terracotta, Dallas Museum of Art, Wendover Fund, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund, and General Acquisitions Fund, 2010.17

Thinking Bodhisattva, Afghanistan, 4th-6th century C.E., terracotta, Dallas Museum of Art, Wendover Fund, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund, and General Acquisitions Fund, 2010.17

February 9: Shot Through the Heart

Yinka Shonibare, M.B.E., A Masked Ball (Un ballo mascherd), 2004, high-definition digital video, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2008.26

Yinka Shonibare, M.B.E., A Masked Ball (Un ballo mascherd), 2004, high-definition digital video, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2008.26, (c) Yinka Shonibare

March 9: Et Tu, Brute?

Ceremonial Knife (Metal Inlaid Grip), African, 19th-20th century, wood, steel, nickel-silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Clark and Frances Stillman Collection of Congo Sculpture, gift of Eugene and Margaret McDermott, 1969.S.79

Ceremonial knife, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19th-20th century, wood, steel, and nickel-silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Clark and Frances Stillman Collection of Congo Sculpture, gift of Eugene and Margaret McDermott, 1969.S.79

April 13: Shaken, Not Stirred

William Waldo Dodge, Jr., “Skyscraper” cocktail shaker with cups, c. 1928-1931, silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange, 2008.48.1-12

Skyscraper cocktail shaker with cups, William Waldo Dodge, Jr., designer, c. 1928-31, silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange, 2008.48.1-12

May 11: Wax On, Wax Off

Wraparound skirt, (kain panjang) [pointed-ends cloud motif (megamenlang), Indonesia: Java, c. 1910, Cotton, commercial dye (?), Textile Purchase Fund, 1991.58

Wraparound skirt (kain panjang): cloud design (megamenlang), Indonesia, Java, c. 1910, cotton and commercial dye (?), Textile Purchase Fund, 1991.58

June 8: Make It Work!   

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, c. 1867-1868, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.59

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Lise Sewing, c. 1867-68, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.59

 

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.


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