Posts Tagged 'Dallas'

Sweet Sixteen!

This month, Late Nights at the DMA is turning 16! Where has the time gone?

It all started with one question: how should the DMA, first formed in 1903 as the Dallas Art Association, celebrate its 100th birthday?

The answer was to stay open for 100 continuous hours in January of 2003. We offered a variety of programs, and we saw people in the Museum at all hours of the day and night. Throughout the rest of 2003, we experimented with a few different evening programs, and this led to Late Nights at the DMA as you know it!

Late Nights launched in January 2004, and as we start our sixteenth year of the program, I thought this would be a good time to reflect back and give you another round of Late Nights by the Numbers.

Over 15 years:
165 Late Nights
1,176 musicians have performed
14 parades went down the Concourse
167 art historians and artists gave a talk or tour
50 artists performed art demonstrations
72 Creativity Challenges were fought
462 tours were offered
221 films were screened
121 bedtime stories were read by Arturo
662,499 visitors stayed up late with us
59 exhibitions were celebrated
and 49,550 staff hours were worked to bring you Late Nights each month!

Stacey Lizotte is the DMA League Director of Adult Programs at the DMA.

DMA Online Collection: An Inside Look (Part I)

As the Dallas Museum of Art’s Digital Collections project comes to a close at the end of December, we’re taking a look back at the important work the Digital Collections Content Coordinators (D3Cs) have undertaken over the past three years, including writing, researching, gathering, compiling, and condensing information for over 5,000 individual objects. Their end result is an online collection that takes advantage of its digital format. Unlike the physical limitations of the DMA galleries, the online collection promotes three unique learning opportunities:

  1. Connecting the dots—linking objects and narratives across collections or disciplines.
  2. Deep dives—providing detailed information about one or more objects in texts that far exceed typical wall labels.
  3. Hidden gems—highlighting works that are rarely on view or risk being overlooked in the galleries.

We’ve asked each D3C to recount some of the insights she accumulated on the job.

Jennifer Bartsch-Allen, Decorative Arts and Design, 2016-2018

jennifer allen
Hidden gem:
Although I’ve researched a variety of works across the Decorative Arts and Design Collection, the bulk of my last two years was focused on the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection. This enabled me to draw attention to furniture, including a Baroque cabinet by Pierre Gole. In the gallery, the cabinet remains closed and distant. Online, however, the high-res photos show the drawers in multiple positions and give close-ups of signatures and surfaces. Supplemental essays include biographies of the collectors and definitions of some of the specialized terms.

baroque cabinetCabinet on stand, Pierre Gole, Paris (?), France, 1660–80, wood, ivory, tortoiseshell, shell, and gilt bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.573.a-c

Deep dives:
One of my favorite eras is 20th-century design, so I thoroughly enjoyed exploring works featured in the Museum’s South Gallery. At first glance, Peter Muller-Munk’s relatively modest Normandie shape pitcher appears straightforward and functional. However, it becomes much more impressive and influential after reading about its context in American streamlined design.

pitcherNormandie shape pitcher, Peter Muller-Munk, Rome, New York, 1935, chrome-plated brass, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th Century Design Fund, 1996.27

Similarly, the historical references in René Jules Lalique’s glass vases become easier to identify once you recognize the popularity of neoclassical imagery at the time. Several, including the Denaides vase, rely on these mythological motifs while simultaneously embodying the early 20th century’s Art Deco movement.

vaseDanaides vase, René Jules Lalique, Lalique et Cie, Cristallerie, Wingen-sur-Moder, France, c. 1926, molded glass, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Steinberg, 2004.48.5

Heather Bowling, Classical Art, Contemporary Art, and Decorative Arts and Design, 2016-2018

heather

Deep dives:
Throughout the course of this project, I have enjoyed learning more about contemporary art and decorative arts and design, but it was fun to return to my classical roots and do some original research on a 2nd century CE portrait bust. The DMA’s Roman portrait head of a young woman joins an array of Roman portraits that reflect ideas about gender roles in the ancient world. Spoiler alert: portraits of modest, fertile, upper-class women were created largely to boost the public stature of the men in their lives. Additionally, elaborate hairstyles of wealthy Roman women imitated favored empresses and indicated the wearer’s high status, not unlike today’s celebrities.

roman headPortrait head of a young woman, Roman, 2nd century CE, marble,
Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, 2016.36

Accessioned just three years after its creation, Cathedral is the cornerstone of contemporary art at the DMA and one of the first Pollock drip paintings to enter any museum collection in the world. Because this work is so prolific, I had to wade through a substantial amount of scholarship to create a concise description that answers the question you may be asking yourself: why is throwing paint on a canvas a big deal?

paint canvasJackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, enamel and aluminum paint on canvas,
Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis, 1950.87, © Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Hidden gems:
In the galleries it would be easy to pass by this minuscule scarab beetle, but online you can zoom in and inspect each side. Although initially there was no information available about the inscription on its underside, extensive research of Egyptian amulets revealed exactly how it afforded the deceased special protection in the journey to the afterlife.

scarabScarab, Egyptian, 1785–1550 BCE, faience, Dallas Museum of Art, given in memory of Jerry L. Abramson by his estate, 2009.25.4

Connecting the dots:
Alongside my work in the Contemporary and Classical Art departments, researching modern design and postmodern design illuminated the intersection of ancient and contemporary objects, and gave me a new appreciation for how an encyclopedic museum collection can demonstrate the connections between different places and times.

Stay tuned for Part II, coming next week. Meet the other half of our D3C team and discover more insights into our collection!

Grime, Dust, and Drips…oh my! A short update from the Steichen Conservation team

If you’ve walked through the Barrel Gallery recently, you might have seen some conservators crawling around. Whether on the floor or on the ladder, the monumental size of Steichen’s mural series, In Exaltation of Flowers, has required some minor acrobatics. The team recently finished the cleaning phase of the treatment process – an essential step to protect the paintings from further degradation and ensure they can be enjoyed to the full extent that their beauty merits.

Cleaning huge paintings with tiny sponges.

You may recall from the short history of the murals that was recently posted that the canvases have been rolled up for over a century. During that time they encountered water damage, dust, dirt, grime, and other indignities that can be found in a storage room. This left the paintings with a significant amount of dust and dirt on their surfaces, which dulled the colors and deadened the sheen of the paint. To remove this disfiguring accumulation, we used special non-abrasive sponges to gently dry clean the surface and reveal the surprisingly fresh surface the paintings still exhibit. In areas of drips from water damage, tiny hand-rolled cotton swabs and a gentle chelating solution were employed.

The aftermath.

After cleaning, the paintings were brighter, more even, and much closer to the appearance Steichen intended them to have. The next phase of treatment includes loss compensation, framing, and preventive measures like backing boards. We’ll describe these processes next week.

Before and after cleaning

 

DFW Faves

Have you ever explored your own city as if you were a tourist? While the Dallas Museum of Art will always be my number #1 spot to spend time in the Metroplex, I thought I would share a few of my favorite places alongside works from the DMA’s collection. You might just discover a new hangout in your hometown!

Klyde Warren Park

Located right across the street from the DMA in Downtown Dallas, this amazing urban park is built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Pick up something tasty from one of the many food trucks, take a stroll with your pup to My Best Friend’s Park, or enjoy free public programming ranging from dance classes to outdoor concerts and films. What I love most about Klyde Warren Park is how it serves as a gathering space for the community.

Dallas Farmers Market

When I travel, one of my favorite things to do is visit the local market. Happily, the Dallas Farmers Market is one of my all-time favorites with seasonal fruits and veggies, local goodies, and fun events. Visit The Shed at the Dallas Farmers Market on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to buy directly from farmers, ranchers, and artisans (if you’re lucky, you can also enjoy some samples!) The Market is open daily and offers local specialty foods and artisanal vendors. Where else can you pick up locally grown produce, honor Texas music with a Willie Waylon George & Beyonce t-shirt, and take a wine and cheese appreciation class?

The Foundry & Chicken Scratch

I might be in hot water with my colleagues for revealing our favorite lunch spot, but Chicken Scratch is too good to miss! The fried chicken, biscuits, and coconut waffles are all a special treat (we’ve contemplated, but never ordered their big salad bowls…we’ll try them next time…maybe), and the design of the space is comfy and eclectic: shipping containers delineate the boundary of the patio and a stage made out of reused pallets created by Gary Buckner of Stash Design sits outside of The Foundry, the laid-back bar next to Chicken Scratch. Definitely give Chicken Scratch a try – just be sure to leave us a table!

As we move into the new year, I’m looking forward to visiting old favorites and playing tourist while exploring more of the Metroplex. What are your favorite places to visit in DFW?

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Friday Photos: Fun in the Sun!

Dallas had a *very* short break from stormy weather this week, just in time for our Homeschool Class for Families. After exploring landscape paintings by Frederic Church and Thomas Cole in the galleries, the class went outside to create their own scenic drawings en plein air (in the open air), using the Dallas Arts District as their backdrop!

What type of landscape masterpiece can you create using your own backyard as inspiration?

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

ARTifacts: Go for the Corndogs, Stay for the Art

It’s that time of year again: the annual pilgrimage to visit Big Tex, ride the Texas Star, see some livestock, watch a show, and, perhaps most importantly, eat plenty of unique fried foods. Yes, it is time for the State Fair of Texas.

If you were attending the State Fair in the 1950s and early 60s, when the DMA was still located in Fair Park, you would also have been able to see Dallas artists showcasing their craft in the Museum’s center court. The demonstrations were in conjunction with the annual exhibitions of Texas art and artists held during the State Fair.

H. O. Kelly, 1959

H. O. Kelly, 1959

Evaline Sellors and Octavio Medellin, 1950s

Evaline Sellors and Octavio Medellin, 1950s

Shirley Lege Carpenter (jeweler) and Stella La Mond (weaver), 1961

Shirley Lege Carpenter (jeweler) and Stella La Mond (weaver), 1961

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go for Spring Break!

Many schools here in the Dallas area are keeping their doors closed this week as families venture off to enjoy Spring Break. As a kid, Spring Break for me meant going on an assortment of fun vacations, whether to a nearby locale like Huntsville State Park for camping or to the ultimate destination: Disney World!

As you wander the galleries of the DMA, you’ll notice the wonderful assortment of artworks that we have from all over the globe, of places both near and far. Since Spring Break is on the brain, I asked the DMA Education Team what work of art represents their ultimate Spring Break vacation destination. Check out what we came up with and feel free to share your own!

Jessica Fuentes picked Trevor Paglen’s DMSP F16 over Monument Valley, Navajo Nation (Military Meterological Satellite; 203-048A). Jessica hopes to spend a good amount of time camping and taking photographs during her spring break. “The light that crosses the sky reminds me of star-trail photography, something I haven’t quite mastered, but am working on.”

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Trevor Paglen, DMSP F16 over Monument Valley, Navajo Nation (Military Meteorological Satellite; 203-048A), 2009, Dallas Museum of Art, Anonymous gift

Melissa Gonzales picked Catherine Opie’s Untitled (Surfers) because when it comes to Spring Break, or really any vacation, she loves to go to the beach. “I love relaxing on the sand, listening to the waves, reading a great book, sipping a cold fruity drink, and taking a nap in the hot sun. I also like watching the surfers bob up and down in the water, and the smooth grace of those who catch a wave to shore.”

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Catherine Opie, Untitled (Surfers), 2003, Dallas Museum of Art, Anonymous gift

Amanda Batson’s ideal vacation destination was inspired by Crawford Riddell’s Bed, because she desires a long nap for her Spring Break.

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Crawford Riddell, Bed, c. 1844, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation

Michael Hartman, McDermott Intern for European Art, picked Jean-Achille Benouville’s Colosseum Viewed from the Palatine because he’s always wanted to visit Rome.

Jean–Achille Benouville, Colosseum Viewed from the Palatine, 1844, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Shutt, Dr. and Mrs. George N. Aldredge, Jr., the Societe Generale

Hayley Prihoda chose Albert Marquet’s The Beach at Trouville. “This painting by Albert Marquet encapsulates everything I look for in a Spring Break vacation. I love the bright colors, clear blue sky, and red and white striped tents, a signature of the early 20th century. Plus, Trouville is only a couple hours outside of Paris, so I could take a day trip to the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay!”

Albert Marquet, The Beach at Trouville, c. 1906, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Inspired by the bold highway signs in Coreen Mary Spellman’s Road Signs, my ideal vacation destination for Spring Break would be a road trip along Route 66. It’s always been on my bucket list to travel along Route 66 from New Mexico to the California coast and visit unique roadside stops along the way.

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J Coreen Mary Spellman, Road Signs, c. 1936, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Helen, Mick and Thomas Spellman.

Make sure to visit the DMA as part of your own Spring Break vacation. We have a ton of activities going on this week at the Museum, whether you’re visiting our Pop-Up Art Spot, voting for your favorite work of art in our Art Madness Tournament, or having a ball during our Family Block Party this Friday, March 14. Check out our full schedule of events here!

Amy Elms
McDermott Education Intern for Visitor Engagement


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