Posts Tagged 'Egungun'

Presenting…CONNECT! A New Teacher Resource

Since 2009, DMA educators and area K-12 teachers have collaborated and developed CONNECT Teaching Materials, accessible at dmaconnect.org, the DMA’s new and improved online teaching materials. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this new resource builds bridges between your students and cultures around the world through an exploration of works of art in the DMA’s collection and special exhibitions. The ultimate goal of these resources is facilitating a relevant, meaningful, and culturally literate understanding of those works for students and teachers.

CONNECT is designed to be accessible via a variety of learning styles. The ideas and information about each work of art are organized into various levels. Levels of access include First Glance material, which provides a brief but thorough introduction to the work of art. Extended Information is an in-depth exploration of an artwork’s content and information related to its visual, artistic, cultural, and historical contexts. Teaching Ideas are also included with each work, encouraging close looking, meaningful dialogue, and offering multidisciplinary ways to connect with a work of art, such as exercises in art making, writing, and research. Additionally, contextual images, audio and video clips featuring curators, artists, and other content experts, links to relevant websites, and a bibliography of reference books are offered for each work.

In short, CONNECT Teaching Materials provide teachers:

  • Accurate information about works of art in the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection and select temporary exhibitions.
  • Choices and levels of information for accessing and experiencing works of art.
  • Multiple perspectives on works of art through audio and video clips featuring curators, artists, and other content experts.
  • Teaching ideas that encourage close looking, dialogue among students, and personal connections with works of art.
  • Teaching ideas that emphasize multiple learning styles and connections across disciplines.
  • Support for teaching cultural literacy.
  • Extensions for learning through bibliography and website links.

Consider this neat interdisciplinary scenario: Ms. Lammers’ fifth-grade math classroom at Nathan Adams Elementary School in Dallas uses CONNECT to explore an Egungun costume made by the Yoruba people in Nigeria. They investigate the patterns and symmetry of the costume as a tool to refine their measurement skills and learn divisibility rules. Before delving into the math, however, the students explore the ritual context of the costume and consider rituals in their own families, and they begin to make meaning of this costume to the Yoruba.

We hope that you check out this new resource, and we would love to hear your thoughts about how you could connect with CONNECT in your classroom!

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

A Sneak Peek Behind the Curtain

Last week, our new special exhibition was unveiled to the public.  All the World’s a Stage brings together works of art in our collection that deal with the idea of performance.  Performance is a key theme at the DMA this year, as we get ready to welcome a new neighbor to the Arts District: the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.

 All the World’s a Stage is an exciting exhibition because it brings so many of our favorite works of art together in one place.  You usually never see Shiva Nataraja and Romare Bearden’s Soul Three side-by-side, but they’re only one gallery apart from now until February.

Yoruba Egungun

Yoruba Egungun costume

I’m especially excited that our Yoruba Egungun costume from Nigeria is back on display.  This is one of my favorite works of art in our collection.  Its multiple layers of cloth were added year after year by family members, and it is fun to imagine who added them and why.  This costume is used during a ceremony to honor ancestors—quite different from how we honor our ancestors.  The Egungun ceremony includes singing and drumming, and the Egungun twirls through the crowd like a whirlwind.  It’s definitely a spectacle for the senses, and one I hope to see in person some day!

We’re offering a variety of programs for teachers and students relating to the theme of performance this year, including docent-guided tours of the exhibition.  I hope you’ll attend one of these programs so we can share the excitement of this exhibition with your students.

Shannon Karol                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Tour Coordinator


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