Posts Tagged 'Chicago'

Friday Photos: Adventures in Chicago

Thanks to the support of the DMA and the Eugene McDermott Foundation, this past week two of my fellow McDermott Interns and I had the opportunity to attend the College Art Association Conference in Chicago. Having never before attended a conference of this magnitude, I was not sure what to expect when we arrived at the Hilton Chicago early Wednesday morning. The pictures below capture a few of my favorite moments from the conference, including the architecture of the Hilton, my favorite lecture series, and the Chicago skyline covered in a soft, white snow. Enjoy!

The hotel was packed with art historians, museum educators, professors, and curators rushing to attend their first session of the conference. I was immediately impressed with the variety of attendees, diversity of the sessions offered, and the grandeur of our location. The Hilton Chicago was breathtaking and I was happy to wander the halls of this beautiful building, originally opened in 1927. The lobby featured Roman columns, a vaulted ceiling, and a grand staircase.


I took this photograph during the question and answer session that followed one of my favorite presentations, called “Finding Common Ground: Academics, Artists, and Museums.” It included presentations by colleagues from various academic and cultural institutions across the country.


Just outside the Art Institute of Chicago, someone had decided to help a few statues stay warm with winter vests and scarves. It was a great example of the Chicago community interacting with the city’s public art installations.


Millennium Park in downtown Chicago features fantastic public art like Cloud Gate, aka the Bean. No matter how many times I visit this sculpture, I always enjoy the experience. Fun fact: when you stand in the center, your image is reversed on the ceiling and your reflection can be found all around the interior. Next time you visit, try to count how many times you can find your reflection!

As a native Chicagoan, it was wonderful to go home and explore the city through the eyes of a tourist! At the end of the week, however, I was ready to return to the sunny, 70 degree weather here in Dallas. 🙂

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Month at the Museum

Ever wonder what it would be like to live at a Museum?  If you read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler as a child, like I did, you may have envied Claudia and Jamie Kincaid and their adventures living in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago made this idea a reality with Month at the Museum.  They invited Kate McGroarty to live at the Museum around the clock for a month, and are accepting applications for another month-long residence later this year.  Check their web site for more details.

What would you  most look forward to if you could live at the Dallas Museum of Art for one month?

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Seldom Scene: A visit to the Windy City

Some of the Junior Associate members of the Dallas Museum of Art recently went on a trip to Chicago with Heather MacDonald, The Lillian and James H. Clark Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the DMA. Below are a few snapshots from their trip, including their visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. For more information on the Junior Associate level of membership click here.

Wright in Your Own Backyard

This weekend the Museum will open Line and Form: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wasmuth Portfolio, an exhibition drawn from a monograph of prints based on drawings produced by the architect and his studio that is widely recognized as one of the most important architectural publications of the 20th century. Having already gained prominence for a number of innovative residential projects in Chicago, Wright collaborated with a German printer in 1910 to create and distribute the portfolio to promote his work to a larger audience in the U.S. and abroad. The portfolio helped establish Frank Lloyd Wright’s reputation, and he went on to a long and prolific career as the century’s most iconic American architect.

As Frank Lloyd Wright’s reputation grew in the decades following the publication of the Wasmuth portfolio, the city of Dallas burgeoned as well; it is no wonder that Dallas’s civic and artistic leaders would look to the foremost American modernist architect to put his stamp on this growing, forward-thinking city.

In 1934 Stanley Marcus – the legendary Dallas stylemaker and retailer – and his wife began plans to build a house for their family in East Dallas, near White Rock Lake. As Mr. Marcus wrote in his autobiography, Minding the Store, the search began with architects based on the East Coast, as “modern architecture had not been discovered in Dallas up to that point.” After interviewing several prominent architects, the Marcuses met with Frank Lloyd Wright to seek his advice on potential candidates; Wright responded, “Why take the imitation while you can still get the original? I’ll do your house.” Unfortunately, the project was never completed with Wright’s designs; the notoriously temperamental architect was fired from the project, and the house was eventually completed by a Dallas-based architect, Roscoe DeWitt.

On Saturday I’m looking forward to attending the Legacies Dallas History Conference and especially to hearing Charles Marshall’s lecture When Frank Met Stanley: Frank Lloyd Wright and Stanley Marcus. Also, the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects publishes a great quarterly publication entitled Columns; the Fall 2010 issue includes two articles about the Stanley Marcus house, which you can read online.

The original model for the Marcus House, as designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Marcus House in its final form, designed by Roscoe DeWitt

Despite a rather inauspicious start, Frank Lloyd Wright did receive several important commissions from Dallas clients throughout his career. Perhaps the most notable project to come to fruition was the Kalita Humphreys Theater, which served as the primary home for the Dallas Theater Center for fifty years – from 1959 until 2009, when the company moved to the Arts District and the new Wyly Theater. Although based on earlier, unrealized theatrical designs, the theater was considered to be very innovative, and it expressed the architect’s long and strongly held principles about integrating a building into context, or the “belief that architecture has an inherent relationship with both its site and its time.” The Kalita Humphreys Theater would become one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last projects, as he passed away just months before its construction was complete. I enjoyed these interviews with members of the Dallas Theater Center company about working in a Frank Lloyd Wright building.

The plan of the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Image from the Hekman Digital Archive.

The Kalita Humphreys Theater

Take a closer look at Wright’s final project the next time you walk or ride on the Katy Trail along Turtle Creek, and explore his early masterpieces through selections of the Wasmuth portfolio, which will be on view at the DMA from January 30 until July 17, 2011.

Lisa Kays is Manager of Adult Programming at the Dallas Museum of Art.


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