Posts Tagged 'Dallas Texas'

Impressions of Dallas: Then and Now

Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas allows you to compare the Dallas we live in today with the Dallas of 1952. Below are a few images of familiar landmarks from then and now. See more in our first e-catalogue, available as a free iPad app.

Fair Park Esplanade at night with State Fair, October 21, 1950. County, Squire Haskins Photography Collection, The University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arlington, Texas. AR447-11-37.

Fair Park, 2012, Dallas Museum of Art

Adolphus Hotel, 1954, Hayes Collection, Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library. PA76-1/17625

Adolphus Hotel, 2012, Dallas Museum of Art

Pegasus atop the Magnolia Building, 1927. Bud Biggs Collection, Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library. PA84-9/212.

The Magnolia Building, 2012, Dallas Museum of Art

Akard Canyon, 1940, Dallas Municipal Archives

Akard Canyon, 2012, Dallas Museum of Art

All in a Day’s Work: George Grosz in Dallas

On May 13, 1952 George Grosz arrived in Dallas to begin work on his Impressions of Dallas series. 60 years ago today, according to entries from Grosz’s diary, he met the DMFA’s director Jerry Bywaters and later in the day enjoyed a cocktail party at the Cipango Club. You can view twenty works from his series this Sunday when Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas opens at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Leon Harris, left, welcomes Reeves Lewenthal, center, and George Grosz at Love Field Airport, May 13, 1952. Clint Grant Collection, Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division. PA2001-1/17.

George Grosz sketching in front of the skyline of Dallas, May 16, 1952. Archiv Bildende Kunst, Akademie der Kϋnste

There’s a New Girl in Town

Earlier this year, the DMA was very fortunate to receive a lovely gift from SMU’s distinguished Art History professor emerita Dr. Alessandra Comini. She gave us a beautiful sculpture of Lady Godiva by one of 19th-century America’s premier female sculptors, Anne Whitney. Whitney’s work frequently reflects her commitment to social activism. In fact, before Whitney became an artist she often wrote essays and poems that were published in a contemporary periodical dedicated to women’s rights called Una. Soon she became notable for expressing her abolitionist and feminist views through both the written word and sculpture. Whitney’s sensibilities made Lady Godiva’s story particularly appealing.

Anne Whitney, Lady Godiva, c. 1861–64, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Alessandra Comini in memory of Dr. Eleanor Tufts, who discovered the Massachusetts-backyard whereabouts of this long-forgotten statue and brought it to Dallas.

Generally, we think of Lady Godiva on her legendary ride, but Whitney chose to depict a moment much earlier in the story. Godiva lived in Coventry England during the 11th century. As the story goes, she complained to her husband that the tax he levied against his subjects was excessively high. He agreed to lower them if in return she would ride naked on a horse through the streets of Coventry. Whitney depicts the moment when Godiva accepted her spouse’s challenge. Gazing heavenward, fully clothed and just starting to remove her girdle, she is about to begin protesting on behalf of Coventry’s vulnerable and oppressed.

It is especially unusual to own an artwork depicting the earlier, more poignant moment in the account of Lady Godiva’s famous ride. Moreover, owning a full-sized marble sculpture of a woman by a woman artist is quite rare. We are grateful to Dr. Comini for her generosity, and we encourage you to come see this exquisite sculpture in the DMA’s American Galleries on Level 4.

Join Dr. Alessandra Comini on Thursday, October 27 for a special lecture on women sculptors from America who descended upon the seven hills of Rome during the 1860s and beyond.  Click here for additional details.

Martha MacLeod is the Curatorial Administrative Assistant in the European and American Art Department at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Dallas Museum of Art’s C3: A Space To Channel Your Creative Energy

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Center for Creative Connections is a unique, hands-on space for museum visitors of all age. C3 gives Dallas creatives of all ages a place to learn about art and develop their own creativity in a fun, interactive environment. Find out more about C3 in the video below.

Art and Amps: Getting Media Works Up and Running

Uncrated tracked down DMA staffer Lance Lander to talk about his job at the Museum, which often involves climbing in and out of holes in the sheetrock of our gallery ceilings and walls.

Describe your job in fifty words or less.

I am the Collections Media Technician and an Assistant Preparator. I design, install, manage, and maintain all of the technology hardware used within the galleries. Additionally, I provide support to the preparators in all facets of art handling.

What might an average day entail?

For me there is no average day. One day I am hanging paintings in a gallery and the next day I am running cables through the ceiling. There are days that I work in the Carpentry Shop building crates, and then there are days that I spend programming computers.

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?

The best part of my job is the team of people I work with directly (Martha, Elia, Mary, Vince, Brian, Doug, John, Mike, and Russell). Everyone is extremely talented and supportive of one another. Each person has his or her own niche or skill set and together as a group we are very strong. We all work well together and have a lot of fun at the same time.

The biggest challenges are dealing with so many forms of technology and keeping the equipment running. I deal with technology ranging from the 1960s to the present day. Some of the works in our collections rely on the equipment they were created with. We can’t just upgrade and “digitize” a work of art. We must maintain the integrity and aesthetic of the work. Technology changes at such a fast rate that it is hard to balance between our needs today and our needs for the future. We have started adding high-definition videos to our collections, so the equipment we use on current works won’t accommodate these new ones. The Museum is open fifty-two hours a week and sometimes more, so I need industrial equipment and creative ways to automate everything.

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum?

Growing up I always wanted to be a recording engineer and producer. That’s what got me interested in technology. I loved recording music on jam boxes and then four-track cassette recorders. I would spend hours experimenting with sounds and recording techniques. I would take apart electronics just to have a peek inside. I studied music and engineering, and I worked in several studios and made some really nice-sounding records. I was lured to the DMA as a live sound engineer when they began the Late Night program.

What is your favorite work in the Museum’s collections?

That would be Ave, by Mark Di Suvero. It is powerful, poetic, simple, and elegant. The sculpture was made the year I was born and I have a strong affection for it. Last year someone cable locked his bicycle to it and I was the one who cut the lock!

Is there a past exhibition that stands out in your mind as a favorite, or is there a particular upcoming show you’re looking forward to seeing?

Fast Forward was the exhibition that made the Exhibitions and Collections departments realize the importance of having a Media Technician. I was working in the Audio Visual Department and gallery installations were just a side part of that job. The media installations were just thrown together with little or no concern for aesthetic or function. Fast Forward was my chance to show everyone that media installations could be better. I always strive to show an artist’s work as best I can because I know it will enhance the visitor’s experience. But for me, personally, the world won’t listen by Phil Collins was the most rewarding installation. There were many challenges and problems to solve, and right at the end everything came together. It was a beautiful installation and people really loved it. It will probably be awhile before we take on such a large-scale video installation. As far as future installations, I would like to see the Museum install Bill Viola’s The Crossing. I installed it a few years ago in Palm Springs, and when everything is set and you play it for the first time it is a chilling experience. I remember coming to the DMA in 1998, when the work debuted, but at that point in time I never knew I would work here or be responsible for such a magnificent work of art. I believe it is the strongest video in the DMA’s collections and I hope to install it soon.

Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs by Skyline High School

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The Center for Creative Connections (C3) welcomes the unique perspective of community partners through a series of C3 Community Partner Response Installations (CPRI). Installed in a central gallery for approximately six months, each CPRI is a response to the current exhibition in the Center and offers visitors an opportunity to consider the themes of the exhibition in new ways. CPRI are the products of close, collaborative, and interactive working relationships between community partners and DMA staff.

Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs is the sixth CPRI to be installed. Students and faculty from the Architecture Cluster at Skyline High School in the Dallas Independent School District created this installation of classroom chair assemblages that stretch, hang, fly, and twist throughout a central gallery in C3. For these students, the process of creating Sculpting Space involved the application of classroom ideas and concepts to a real-world scenario and fostered many new connections with the DMA and Dallas-based cunningham architects.

“In order for us to flourish and bloom as students, we must first open ourselves to new ideas.”—Alberto Huerta

“Working with more people, you will hear interesting ideas that you never would have thought of alone.”—Erica Jackson

Several months ago, the students began the project by sketching chairs. Skyline teachers Tom Cox and Peter Goldstein then led students in a variety of exercises including the study of negative and positive space in DMA artworks as well as investigating spatial concepts such as fluent, voluminous, implosion, organic, and rotating through the making of 2D drawings and 3D models. Several workshops with architects Gary Cunningham and Rizi Faruqui and DMA staff focused on how to connect the chairs, what connectors would hold the chair assemblages together, and how to consider the visitors’ experiences in a space sculpted by chairs. Along the way, three DISD elementary schools swapped out their old kindergarten chairs for new ones, thus providing the high school students with chairs full of character and marked with history.

Google Sketch-Up was used to build scale models of the gallery space, providing a blueprint for the final installation of the assemblages. Videos created by Element X Creative accompany the installation, documenting behind-the-scenes aspects of the project and featuring several Skyline students sharing their experiences.

“The one true connection we have made was with the chairs and when we were little kids. They bring back memories of childhood.”—Luis Garcia

“The new connections we make will be with the people that view our work. We will not be there to explain what we made, so we have to try to convey that in shape and form.”—Sandra Benitez

Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs will be on view in the Center for Creative Connections through October.

Nicole Stutzman is Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships.

C3’s Interactive Space Takes Center Stage

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Our Center for Creative Connections (C3) is an interactive space and innovative learning environment at the heart of the Museum’s galleries where museum-goers can explore their own creativity and discover new ways of experiencing and connecting with art from the Museum’s collections. C3 especially encourages active learning for people of all ages and learning styles through exhibitions and programs. You may have left (literally) your mark on C3 by measuring your height against Jacques Lipchitz’s 6 and ½ foot tall bronze sculpture of The Bather or by submitting your photos of varied spaces to our monitor wall. The theme for it changes every 6 months so you can continue to contribute to it throughout the run of our current exhibition Encountering Space.

C3 is easy to find: centrally located on the Museum’s first level it includes an exhibition gallery and several distinct learning areas, including an Art Studio, an interactive learning space for children under the age of four called Arturo’s Nest, a Young Learners Gallery for children 5–8 and their families, a theater, and a digital studio called the Tech Lab. There are always activities happening in one or more area of C3 for all of the Museum’s visitors, and hands-on experiences at the Museum aren’t just for kids.

Museum visitors can literally grow-up with C3 by participating in exploratory programs as early as 2 years old in Arturo’s Nest during Toddler Art through an Artist Encounter for grown-ups to celebrate creativity and the artistic process.

Here is what some of you, our visitors, have said about your experiences in C3:

“A visit to the Center for Creative Connections is like visiting Alice in Wonderland because magic happens here.” – Kelaine, 50

“[C3 is] a fun place with a lot of imagination, where the imagination flies.” – Victor, 17

“[C3 is] a place where art actually comes alive, where it’s more than just something pretty to look at but never touch.” – Caitlin, 18

“A visit to the Center for Creative Connections is like going back to preschool because you are looking at things through new eyes.” – Rob, 38

“I don’t want to leave. Can I live here?” – C3 visitor, 4


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