Posts Tagged 'Collection Connections'

Let’s Get BooksmART!

 

Our literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live just announced the 2017 lineup of award-winning authors and performers, and we are just overflowing with excitement! Arts & Letters is the only literary series that is part of an art museum (that we know of!), and we love celebrating the connections between reading, writing, and art! Every year we host some wonderful children’s authors, and this year is no different. Get cozy with these books while the weather is still chilly, then come see us at the DMA to make some artful literary connections with the whole family!


the-inquisitors-tale-coverAdam Gidwitz
Sunday, February 26, 3:00 p.m.

Adam Gidwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of the Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching his latest book, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, in which the adventures of three children take them through medieval France to escape prejudice and persecution. They save sacred texts from being burned, get taken captive by knights, face a farting dragon, and face a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel. Learn more.

Before the talk, your family can embark on a scavenger hunt exploring works of art in Art and Nature in the Middle Ages.


thumb-erin_philipsteadErin and Philip C. Stead
Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 a.m.

Erin and Philip Stead live and work side by side creating heartwarming stories such as A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Erin’s forthcoming book Tony returns to themes of friendship and loyalty with the late poet Ed Galing’s tale of a boy and his horse. Philip’s latest, Samson in the Snow, highlights the power of simple acts of kindness to bring hope and light to even the coldest world. Learn more.

Following their talk at 3:30 p.m., join us for an illustration workshop (ages 6 and older) led by Erin and Philip Stead. Advance reservations strongly recommended as space is limited.


playbookKwame Alexander
Saturday, June 10, 2:00 p.m.

New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander kicks off summer reading with his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. A strategy guide written with middle grade readers in mind but motivational for all ages, The Playbook “rules” contain wisdom from inspiring role models such as Nelson Mandela, Michelle Obama, Lebron James, and more. The author of 21 books, Alexander received the 2015 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor for his book The Crossover. Learn more.


See the entire lineup for the January-June season to see if your favorite author will be coming to town this year. Hope to see you there!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

How to Own Your Face

This year is the 25th anniversary of the DMA’s literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live! We celebrated this great achievement with a fantastic lineup of award-winning authors and performers earlier this spring, and then decided to extend the celebrating this fall. We’ve scheduled six programs that strongly connect to the DMA’s collection, and one of them is a wonderful book about celebrating our differences.

Robert Hoge

The Australian author Robert Hoge was born with a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. The surgeons were able to remove the tumor and built a new nose using one of his toes! He survived, but his face would never be the same.

This didn’t stop Robert, though. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. Then he had to come face to face with the biggest decision of his life: undergo a dangerous surgical procedure that might make him look less different but potentially make him blind, or live with his “ugly” face forever.

His memoir Ugly, designed for middle grade readers and older, offers a powerful message about being yourself, shaking off bullying, and accepting your appearance–themes we can all embrace!

“We all have scars only we can own.” —Robert Hoge

Hoge

Robert Hoge: Own Your Face

Sunday, September 11, 3:00 p.m.
Promotional Partner: TEDxSMU

Buy Tickets

 
 
 
At 2:00 p.m.: Join us for a pre-event tour of art that explores self-image and ideas of beauty, including Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait Very Ugly. Tour sign-up will begin 30 minutes prior to the start time. Tour space is limited and is first-come, first-served.

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon

Have you ever played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? This week, the Digital Collections Content team played Six (plus a few more) Degrees of Francis Bacon and sought interesting connections across DMA artworks. On a daily basis, this team extensively tags artworks in the collection with terms related to material, maker, subject matter, and more, so they are pretty adept at finding connections!

Let’s start with a figural painting—a man in stark green surroundings—by 20th century artist Francis Bacon, part of the DMA’s contemporary collection.

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960; oil on canvas; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison, © Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Next is another painting from the contemporary collection. This one is on paper, incorporates non-conventional materials, and is by Dallas artist Stephen Lapthisophon.

Stephen Lapthisophon, Rabbit, 2010; Spray paint, ink, coffee and pigmented bacon fat on paper; Dallas Museum of Art, Mary Margaret Munson Wilcox Fund, © Stephen Lapthisophon

Stephen Lapthisophon, Rabbit, 2010; Spray paint, ink, coffee and pigmented bacon fat on paper; Dallas Museum of Art, Mary Margaret Munson Wilcox Fund, © Stephen Lapthisophon

Our third work of art is a print, Barnyard with Tanks and Pigs, by another Dallas artist and supporter of the arts, Velma Davis Dozier.

Velma Davis Dozier, Barnyard with Tanks and Pigs, n.d.; crayon; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Denni Davis Washburn and Marie Scott Miegel, ©Denni Davis Washburn, William Robert Miegel Jr, and Elizabeth Marie Miegel

Velma Davis Dozier, Barnyard with Tanks and Pigs, n.d.; crayon; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Denni Davis Washburn and Marie Scott Miegel, ©Denni Davis Washburn, William Robert Miegel Jr, and Elizabeth Marie Miegel

This next container from our Pacific Rim collection incorporates the same subject: a pig!

Pig-form container, Borneo: Kayan or Kenyah peoples, 19th century; ironwood; Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Pig-form container, Borneo: Kayan or Kenyah peoples, 19th century; ironwood; Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Pigs also adorn this glass from our decorative arts collection.

Glass with decoration of pigs, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Glass with decoration of pigs, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Another work in our decorative arts collection is this porcelain plate by artist Acee Blue Eagle, which shows a figure in a headdress.

Acee Blue Eagle, Plate with "Bacon Rind" pattern decoration, c. 1955; porcelain and decal; Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund

Acee Blue Eagle, Plate with “Bacon Rind” pattern decoration, c. 1955; porcelain and decal; Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund

Like the central figure on Acee Blue Eagle’s plate, this Maya figure, riding a peccary, wears a headdress.

Lidded bowl with a man riding a peccary, Maya, 250–550 C.E.; ceramic; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association purchase

Lidded bowl with a man riding a peccary, Maya, 250–550 C.E.; ceramic; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association purchase

At a little over two inches long, this ridiculously cute little piggy tape measure is comparable to the size of the peccary.

Tape measure, 19th century; brass and silk; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elizabeth Weaver

Tape measure, 19th century; brass and silk; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elizabeth Weaver

This print depicts the inside of an antique store, full of interesting odds and ends–just the sort of place you might find a collection of sewing accoutrements like the one in which our little piggy tape measure was donated.

Peggy Bacon, The Priceless Find, 1944; lithograph; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Peggy Bacon, The Priceless Find, 1944; lithograph; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Another print—also inscribed near the bottom—is a portrait is of Nicholas Bacon, English government official and father of philosopher Sir Francis Bacon.

Crispijn Van De Passe, Nicholas Bacon, 1620; line engraving; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg

Crispijn Van De Passe, Nicholas Bacon, 1620; line engraving; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg

Which brings us back to the painting by Francis Bacon (not to be confused with the aforementioned philosopher), Walking Man.

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960; oil on canvas; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison, © Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960; oil on canvas; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison, © Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Perhaps you might notice a broader theme running throughout our list? The connections really are endless! Which ones will you make on your next visit?

Andrea Severin Goins
Head of Interpretation

Get BooksmART at the DMA!

Looking to spark your young reader’s interest in fun and artsy books? Check out our Arts & Letters Live BooksmART series, which will be welcoming lots of great authors to the DMA this spring!


Brown_Girl_Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, a collection of beautifully wrought poems depicting her childhood in South Carolina and New York, won the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Much of her writing in Brown Girl Dreaming explores the issues of gender, class, and race, as well as family and history, themes she addresses in groundbreaking ways.

Jacqueline Woodson
Sunday, February 22 at 3:00 p.m.

 


 

Peter Lerangis SEVEN WONDERS coverAuthor Rick Riordan has hailed author Peter Lerangis’ The Seven Wonders adventure series as a “high-octane mix of modern adventure and ancient secrets.” In it, thirteen-year-old Jack McKinley learns he has a rare genetic anomaly that gives him a unique skill, but the cure is located at each of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Peter Lerangis
Sunday, March 15 at 3:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. Enjoy an adventure-filled tour of the DMA’s collection related to themes and cultures in the Seven Wonders series.

 


 

InsideThisBook_GrandmaBlue2Illustrator Harry Bliss asks audiences, old and young alike, the question “what is art?” in his newest collaboration, Grandma in Blue with Red Hat. In this book, a young boy offers up his grandmother for a museum exhibition. Bliss is also a cartoonist whose work appears regularly in the New Yorker.

Barney Saltzberg, author and illustrator of almost 50 books for children and a singer/songwriter, explores the creative process of writing and illustrating in his latest work Inside this Book. The story features three siblings crafting their own books and learning about their creative processes.

Harry Bliss & Barney Saltzberg
Sunday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m.

This is event is designed primarily for families with children ages 6 and younger

 1:30 p.m. Enjoy an illustration workshop with Harry Bliss – for ages 10 through adults.
 


 
Get cozy with these books while the weather is still chilly, then come see us at the DMA to make some artful literary connections!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Collection Connections: The Body Beautiful

A beautiful thing is never perfect. – Egyptian proverb

The opening of The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum has prompted an interesting dialogue on what qualifies as “beautiful.” Greek ideals have long influenced societal standards of beauty for both men and women, but many of the pieces in our permanent collection offer varied perspectives on this matter. Below are several such works of art that will hopefully challenge and diversify our concept of female beauty in particular.

Olowe of Ise, Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye), c. 1910 to c. 1938, Nigera, Effon-Alaiye, Yoruba peoples, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Olowe of Ise, Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye), c. 1910 to c. 1938, Nigera, Effon-Alaiye, Yoruba peoples, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

These types of containers, known as olumeye, are used in rituals of domestic hospitality for particularly distinguished guests. The word olumeye means “she who brings honor” and refers to the carved kneeling female figure presenting the bowl, which would have traditionally held kola nuts. Her long neck, oval-shaped face, and scarred back reveal Yoruba ideals of feminine beauty.

Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Bather with Cigarette, 1924, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase Fund, Deaccession Funds/City of Dallas (by exchange) in honor of Dr. Steven A. Nash.

Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Bather with Cigarette, 1924, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase Fund, Deaccession Funds/City of Dallas (by exchange) in honor of Dr. Steven A. Nash.

Though Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s bather does not portray the Italian Renaissance standards of beauty, her pose and the presence of the miniscule clamshell do recall Sandro Botticelli’s iconic Birth of Venus. This woman, however, flaunts her figure unapologetically, revealing a certain confidence and comfort with herself.

India, Doorjamb, 10th - 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, Wendover Fund, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation and General Acquisitions Fund.

India, Doorjamb, 10th – 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, Wendover Fund, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation and General Acquisitions Fund.

This carved doorjamb would have adorned one side of the entrance to a Hindu temple. The graceful, sensuous women at the bottom represent the Yamuna and Ganga Rivers and offer prosperity to the incoming worshipers.

Julie la Serieuse - Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet, Julie la Serieuse, 1950, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark.

Jean Dubuffet states: “The female body, of all the objects in the world, is the one that has long been associated (for Westerners) with a very specious notion of beauty (inherited from the Greeks and cultivated by the magazine covers); now it pleases me to protest against this aesthetic, which I find miserable and most depressing. Surely, I am for beauty but not that one.”

Untitled 122 - Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #122, 1983.

Photographer Cindy Sherman, whose retrospective is currently on view at the DMA through June 9, 2013, received several fashion commissions throughout her career. These photographs subvert expectations by featuring a wide range of eccentric characters rather than traditional fashion models. She states: “The world is so drawn toward beauty that I became interested in things that are normally considered grotesque or ugly, seeing them as more fascinating and beautiful. It seems boring to me to pursue the typical idea of beauty, because that is the easiest or the most obvious way to see the world. It’s more challenging to look at the other side.”

Fertility Goddess - Syria

Syria, Fertility Goddess, late 2nd millennium BC, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark.

This kind of ceramic female figuring was quite common in Syria during the Bronze Age. The statuettes consist of standing frontal female figures that are nude, though usually wearing ornaments and headdresses. These common figurines were possibly votive offerings or amulets to a mother-goddess, and their form may have been influenced by cult statues in a temple.

The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece will be on view through October 6, 2013. And be sure to check out the new self-guided tour available in the exhibition, Beauty Beheld, to further explore the complex concept of beauty within the DMA’s permanent collection.

Alex Vargo
McDermott Education Intern for Gallery Teaching

Collection Connections: Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman, the groundbreaking artist’s retrospective that spans her career from the mid-1970s to the present, is currently on view at the DMA through June 9, 2013. Her photographs derive inspiration from a myriad of sources, including television, film, art history, high society, and cultural stereotypes. These themes, influences, and connections that run throughout her work can also be explored in many seemingly unrelated artworks in the DMA’s permanent collection.

Photography
Like the work of many of her contemporaries, Sherman’s photographs operate in opposition to her modernist predeecssors, like Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams, who elevated form over content. Sherman, on the other hand, is more interested in how photography and images shape and exist within contemporary society. In fact, instead of identifying as a photographer, she sees herself as an artist who uses photography.

  • Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #28, 1979, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Fredericka Hunter and Ian Glennie, Houston. (left)
  • Paul Strand, Abstraction, Porch Shadows Connecticut (1915), negative 1915, print 1976, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Joseph W. Gray, M.D. (right)

Female Contemporaries
Sherman cites several women artists, including Hannah Wilke, Lynda Benglis, Eleanor Antin, and Suzy Lake, as role models for bringing their own female bodies into their artistic practice. She also acknowledges the leading role that females, herself included, played in the formation of postmodernist work, observing: “In the later ’80s… what probably did increase the feeling of community was when more women began to get recognized for their work, most of them in photography: Sherrie [Levine], Laurie [Simmons], Sarah Charlesworth, Barbara Ess… There was a female solidarity.”

  • Sherrie Levine, After Man Ray (La Fortune): 6, 1990, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift. (left)
  • Lynda Benglis, Odalisque (Hey, Hey Frankenthaler), 1969, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund. (upper right)
  • Hannah Wilke, Pink Champagne, 1975, Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman. (lower right)

Portraits and Self-Portraits
Though Sherman serves as the model as well as the artist, director, and producer for all her photographs, she is adamant that none of her photographs are self-portraits. In fact, she feels rather detached from the characters she portrays: “It’s not like I’m method acting or anything. I don’t feel that I am that person… I don’t become her.” Along with the varied works below, Sherman tests the traditional definition of portraiture and self-portraiture.

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #89

  • Cindy Sherman, Untitled #89, 1981, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund.
  • Jackie Saccoccio, Portrait (Hermetic), 2012, Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman. (left)
  • Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated. (upper right)
  • Jim Dine, Self-Portrait Next to a Colored Window, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, Contemporary Arts Council Fund. (lower right)

Rococo Influences
Through her partnership with a Limoges porcelain house, Sherman produced a dinnerware and tea service set inspired by Madame de Pompadour. On the DMA’s soup tureen pictured below, Sherman appears dressed up as this famed and influential mistress of King Louis XV. The Museum’s Abduction of Europa was painted by Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre, the Rococo artist who was named First Painter to King Louis XV in 1770.

  • Cindy Sherman, “Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson)” soup tureen with platter, 1990, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund. (left)
  • Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre, The Abduction of Europa, 1750, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund.

Film
Sherman states: “Film has always been more influential to me than the art world.” In fact, her seminal body of work–the Untitled Film Stills produced from 1977 to 1980–visually recalls 1950s and 1960s Hollywood, film noir, B-movies, and works by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Douglas Sirk. The two artists whose works are shown below found a similar inspiration in film.

  • Marlo Pascual, Untitled, 2009, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund. (left)
  • Luc Tuymans, The Man from Wiels II, 2008, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAr Benefit Auction Fund. (right)

Alex Vargo
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching

Collection Connections: Jekyll & Hyde

What I like most about the story of Jekyll & Hyde is the timeless theme of duality—the two-fold, dichotomous nature of all things. It’s a story in which the good (Dr. Jeykll) and the evil (Mr. Hyde) within one human being are constantly at odds with one another.  Last week at the Winspear, I watched Jekyll and Hyde the Musical and thought about the idea of duality in the visual arts.

Duality refers to a whole that is composed of two opposing or opposite parts. While Jekyll and Hyde references the duality of good and evil, artists in our collection present varying kinds of dualities:

Light and Dark
Image

Big and Small
Image

Male and Female
Image

Organic and Geometric
Image

Natural and Manmade
Image

Reality and Dreams
Image

 

I challenge you to post a comment with an example of a work of art that presents some kind of duality!

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Artworks shown:

  • Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis
  • Tom Friedman, Untitled (big/small figure), 2004, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund
  • Male and female ancestor figures, Indonesia, North Sumatra, Lake Toba Region, Toba Batak People, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
  • Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark
  • Robert Smithson, Mirrors and Shelly Sand, 1969-1970, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of an anonymous donor; the Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation; an anonymous donor in memory of Vin Prothro and in honor of his cherished grandchildren, Lillian Lee Clark and Annabel Caren Clark; The Eugene McDermott Foundation; Dr. and Mrs. Mark L. Lemmon; American Consolidated Media; Bear/Hunter; and donors to the C. Vincent Prothro Memorial Fund
  • René Magritte, Persian Letters, 1958, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of J.B. Adoue, III

Collection Connections: War Horse

Recently I enjoyed a fantastic performance of War Horse over at our Arts District neighbor, the Winspear. I was completely blown away by the horse puppets, created by the South African Handspring Puppet Company. Classifying them as puppets, however, does not seem to do them justice. The beautiful craftsmanship of the puppets along with the expertise of the puppeteers magically breathed life into horse protagonist Joey and his other horse and animal companions. (I was highly entertained by Joey’s hysterically energetic goose friend.)

What I found most amazing was how the puppets, puppet artists, and actors were able to so powerfully communicate the strength of an animal-human bond. I was so moved by the relationship between Joey and his owner Albert that I teared up throughout much of the play!

I wanted to explore how works of art in the DMA’s collection could similarly convey the potential of human and animal relationships. I thought of the following works:

This small ivory sculpture from the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria presents a man with the most important import: the domestic horse. Horses were introduced to Africa via Asian conquerors in Egypt between 1640 and 1532 BC. Because of their speed, strength, and ability to lift a rider taller than any standing man, horses symbolized power and prestige to the Yoruba.

In this nineteenth-century painting, Cinderella and her pet cat gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes. As pets are the best listeners, I would imagine she is venting about her mean stepsisters, who vainly admire themselves in the mirror behind her.

In this sculpture, the Hindu god Vishnu appears as a man with a wild boar head.  The earth goddess, whom he just saved from a demon, sits on his shoulder and embraces his snout.

Coats of arms often included representations of animals. Throughout history, humans have admired certain characteristics of animals and used animal imagery to symbolize human values. Think of a courageous lion or a wise old owl…

Here a man stands with open arms, locking eyes with two birds. The stylistic similarities between man and bird suggest man’s undeniable connection to the animal and natural world.

Artworks shown:

  • Horse-and-rider figure (elesin Shango), 17th to 18th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
  • Thomas Sully, Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, 1843, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation
  • Vishnu as Varaha, 10th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation and the Alconda-Owsley Foundation, E.E. Fogelson and Greer Garson Fogelson Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Wendover Fund, and gift of Alta Brenner in memory of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen
  • Plate with coat of arms, c. 1740, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
  • Rufino Tamayo, Bird Watcher, 1950, Dallas Museum of Art, Collection of Robert Harville Bishop, gift of Eugene H. Bishop

Signing off,

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

Collection Connections: Jersey Boys

I adore spending my day at the Dallas Museum of Art. But in the evenings, I also love exploring beyond the museum’s perimeters and checking out what our neighbors in the Dallas Arts District are up to. Last week, I thoroughly enjoyed swaying along to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Walk Like a Man, and some of my other favorite songs during Jersey Boys at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. I thought about the legacy of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Their music and lyrics are everywhere!  I started to think about where we could find a little bit of Jersey Boys in our collection…

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

While I was not alive during the 1960s, Jersey Boys transports you back in time, immersing the audience in the dynamic, diverse, and high-energy culture of 1960s America. In the same way, Skyway is a giant collage of imagery representing 1960s American culture.

  • George A. Tice, Houses and Watertowers, New Jersey, 1973, Dallas Museum of Art, Polaroid Foundation grant

This photograph reminds me of the New Jersey neighborhood of Frankie’s childhood from which Frankie was so determined to escape. In Jersey Boys, Frankie’s buddy and fellow Season says, “If you’re from my neighborhood, you got three ways out. You could join the army. You could get mobbed up. Or,you could become a star.”

  • Robert Morris, Untitled, 1965-66, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund and matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

The concept of gestalt refers to a structure composed of individual parts that cannot be expressed in terms of those parts. (A song, for example cannot be recognized as a list of it individual notes.) Gestalt is important in understanding Morris’ sculpture. In this work, two semi-circles together create a full circle. Gestalt also relates to the success of the Four Seasons: their working-class roots, their resolve to leave New Jersey, Bob Gaudio’s songwriting skills, and Frankie Valli’s unique voice.

  • Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: Straight,1962, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Louise W. Kahn and Edmund J. Kahn

The clean lines and strict geometry of Albers’ Homage to the Square: Straight reminds me of the Four Seasons’ clean-cut stage appearances: clean-shaven, slick-back hair,  matching suits and ties, and perfectly in-sync dance moves. Homage to the Square was also painted the same year that the Frankie Valli and Four Seasons came to fame.

  • Bruce Nauman, Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo, 1972, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, The 500, Inc., Dorace M. Fichtenbaum, Deedie and Rusty Rose, an anonymous donor, the Friends of Contemporary Art and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in honor of Sue Graze

Many scenes in the Act I take place in seedy lounges and clubs where Frankie and his band mates performed. Neon signage is often the focal point of the set design, referencing the dark and smoky atmospheres of such places. A play-on-words, Perfect Door/ Perfect Odor/ Perfect Rodo, radiates a similar vibe.

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

Teen Docent Program: Loads of Fun

Every summer something special happens at the DMA.  High school students from around the DFW area lend us their free time to participate in our annual Teen Docent program.  Celebrating ten years of summer fun, the Teen Docent Program offers an invaluable experience for teenagers, ages 14-18, to learn about art, sharpen their speaking skills, and interact with younger students in the galleries.

Teen docent Jennifer Mayen discussing Miguel Covarrubias's "Genesis: The Gift of Life"

This summer we have eleven returning students and thirteen fresh faces, and it’s easy to spot all of them in their official “uniform,” which includes a gray Dallas Museum of Art t-shirt and a Teen Docent badge. 

Most often you’ll find them around the Museum carrying a docent bag full of fun supplies and guiding a group of students on an Animal Safari or A Looking Journey tour.  Other times, you may see them helping out on weekends with Family Experiences programming like Studio Creations and Collections Connections, or pitching in with program hits like First Tuesday or Late Nights.

Teen docent Tennessee Bonner handing out supplies

I asked one our new teen docents, Tennessee Bonner, why he wanted to join the program. “The reason I joined the docent program was the fact that I would be able to help the museum and I would have fun doing it.”

What a great answer!  Teen docents are not only summer tour lifesavers, but they help create a fun, learning environment for younger audiences.  It is the teenagers’ willingness to learn about the Museum and share their enthusiasm with younger students that makes this program work.   

2011 Teen Docents

For the past ten years, the Teen Docent Program has become an integral part of our summer programming.  I commend all the volunteers that have donated hours of their cherished summer time, and I hope to see many of them next summer.

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits


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