Posts Tagged 'Halloween'

Confectionery Connections

Ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, spider webs—these are some of the things that come to mind when thinking about Halloween. But the most important of all might be candy! I love how there is no shame in eating as much candy as I like this time of year. I must admit, sweet treats are on my mind a lot—so much so, that I couldn’t help but make some sugary connections with our collection.

Candy dish, Louis Comfort Tiffany (maker), date unknown, iridescent glass,  Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Waggener, 1983.18

If the title of this piece is not enough to spark your imagination, maybe the gorgeous color of Tiffany’s candy dish will. Tiffany may be best known for his stained glass windows, but his creative versatility was also renowned. Lamps, vessels, jewelry—you name it, he could do it. The iridescent glass on this dish reminds me of old-fashioned pulled taffy, delicately thinned out into a flower-like shape, or an unraveled, satiny candy wrapper inviting us to share its saccharine delights.

Dale Chihuly, Hart Window, 1995, glass, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Linda and Mitch Hart, 1995.21.a-ii, © Dale Chihuly

Speaking of glass, Dale Chihuly’s blown glass sculpture is an iconic installation commissioned for the Hamon Atrium. One of my fellow interns shared a story of a little girl who disagreed that Chihuly’s piece was made of glass. She asked the young girl what she thought it was, to which the girl answered, “plastic.” I was hoping she was going to say candy, because that’s what I think of every time I pass by. The vibrancy of the colors and the seemingly soft forms make me think of fruit roll-ups.

Pendant: macaw head profile, Mexico or Guatemala, Maya, 600–900 CE, Dallas Museum of Art, given in memory of Jerry L. Abramson by his estate, 2008.76

This Maya pendant of a macaw head profile has me dreaming of a flavorful lozenge. When viewed in person, this jadeite pendant pops out from the gallery’s gray walls, almost as if glowing. It’s no wonder that the Mayans valued jadeite and other greenstones as some of their most precious materials, just like diamonds are to us.

Wassily Kandinsky, Murnau, Burggrabenstrasse 1, 1908, 1908, oil on cardboard, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1963.31

Wassily Kandinsky had a neurological condition called synesthesia, a rare phenomenon in which one sense simultaneously triggers another sense. In Kandinsky’s case, he saw colors when he heard music. I like to think that I taste things when I look at art, but that’s not really true. This landscape painting reminds me of Munchkinland from The Wizard of Oz. Can you imagine the sidewalks lined with gumdrops and lollipops?

I blame candy makers for conditioning my brain to associate bright colors with candy, but I hope my connections have emphasized the enchanting qualities of these works of art. Art truly transcends visual response and transforms into palpable sensations, or at least that’s what I tell myself to feel better about my sweet tooth. I encourage you to explore which pieces from the DMA’s collection speak to you.

Paulina Martín is the McDermott Intern for Gallery & Community Teaching at the DMA.

Spooky Sightings

The debut of Yayoi Kusama’s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (2016) conveniently coincides with seasonal celebrations of bounty. Inside this reflective chamber, visitors encounter an infinite field of illuminated gourds—Kusama’s immersive expression of universal, continuous connectivity. Her imaginative use of pumpkins and Halloween’s emphasis on otherworldly beings inspired us to search the galleries for metaphysical motifs.

Olivia Feal, the McDermott Intern for Interpretation, assembled a short tour highlighting five works that relate to events after life. From an example of European needlework to a portrait completed nearly two decades after the sitter’s death, these objects offer glimpses of artists who, like Kusama, tackled the creative challenge of visualizing immense, intangible ideas.

Please enjoy this Spooky Sightings tour on your next visit to the DMA!

Emily Schiller is a Digital Collections Content Coordinator at the DMA.

 

Pumpkin Perfect

Our Education Department is always up for a creative challenge, so we celebrated today’s holiday by dressing up our pumpkins in their DMA finest for our annual Great Pumpkin Contest. Competition was fierce, but the winning, Linus-approved trophy was awarded to Emily and Jennifer, for their take on everyone’s favorite, somewhat creepy, DMA toddler, Dorothy. Check out all the terrific submissions below. Happy Halloween!

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator at the DMA.

Friday Photos: Great Pumpkin Contest 2.0

Education staff celebrated Halloween with some festive pumpkin decorating fun this afternoon. For our second annual Great Pumpkin Contest, we had a spirited pumpkin patch full of artistic gourds sure to knock the socks off of Linus himself.

But there can be only one winner, and this year that honor went to Jessica Fuentes and Jessica Thompson, for their detailed interpretation of The Minotaur. Snoopy was so proud.

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Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

Haunting Opera

We were digging through the archives and found the photo below. The back states “‘The Sacrifice’ DMFA comic opera 1962 (Aug).” We don’t know the full history of this photo but we thought it was a fitting image for Halloween. We hope your holiday is perhaps less eventful than this trio’s in the 1960s.

“The Sacrifice” DMFA comic opera 1962 (Aug) L to R: Gene Mitchell, John Lunsford, Jerry Jane Smith

“The Sacrifice” DMFA comic opera 1962 (Aug); left to right: Gene Mitchell, John Lunsford, Jerry Jane Smith

 

 

Gourds Gone Wild

The always creative DMA Education Department celebrated Halloween with a Museum-inspired pumpkin decorating contest. Staff members paired off and created a patch of pumpkins disguised like works in the DMA’s collection and special exhibitions. The pumpkins were judged by a team from the Exhibitions and Curatorial departments. An Isa Genzken re-creation took home the coveted Great Pumpkin Prize. We hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

 

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The pumpkin prize winners, Rhiannon and Betsy, with their pumpkin inspired by Isa Genzken’s Empire/Vampire III

Friday Photos: All Saints’ Day

This time of year, it feels as if the city is overflowing with costumes, jack-o-lantern’s and trick-or-treaters! But in all the festivity, many of us tend to forget the origin of the holiday. Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ (Saints’) Eve, was historically a day for Christian worshipers to pray and prepare themselves for November 1, All Saints’ Day, a feast day dedicated to all the saints and martyrs of Christianity.

The DMA has a large number of artworks that depict saints, ranging in time period and media. I would like to take this occasion to highlight some of my favorites, from St. George slaying a dragon to St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters.

For more information on any of these saints or works of art, check out the DMA Collections webpage! And from all of us here at the DMA, enjoy your All Saints’ Eve and Day!

Liz Bola
McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching


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