Posts Tagged 'Holidays'

How Lovely Are Thy Branches

I eventually settled on a Christmas tree as a central motif for my design. The tree… was profusely decorated with gifts, baubles and tinsel adorning the fronds. – Harold Holdway

"Regimental Oak" shape dinner plate with "Christmas Tree" pattern

Maker: W. T. Copeland & Sons, Designer: Harold Holdway, “Regimental Oak” shape dinner plate with “Christmas Tree” pattern, designed 1938, earthenware, enamel, transfer-printed, enameled, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stephen Harrison in honor of George Roland, 1997.181

Many of us are familiar with this festive design that has graced our holiday tables for almost eight decades, but do you know the story behind this cheery tree? The image was born in 1938 in Stoke-on-Trent, a charming city in Staffordshire, England known for its pottery industry. Sydney Thompson, the only U.S. based agent for Spode (Copeland & Thompson Inc.) was visiting the factory in hopes of finding a new design for the holiday season. Uninspired by the current seasonal sketches, Harold Holdway, a Spode designer was tasked with producing something truly magical. Holdway’s original design did not include presents until Thompson let him in on a little secret, “in America Christmas gifts, wrapped in gaily-coloured paper and tied with ribbon, were placed at the foot of the tree,” he said. Spode continued to produce Holdway’s iconic design with slight variations until 2009 and it can still be found in stores today!

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year. We hope your day is merry and bright! – Dallas Museum of Art 

 

 

The Best Way to Spread Artsy Cheer

. . . is singing loud for all to hear!

With the holiday season in full swing, I’ve taken some liberties with a handful of my favorite yuletide melodies. If you know any Claymation experts who’d be willing to work their magic on a DMA-inspired stop-motion musical, please give me a call. Until then, here are a few remixed holiday songs to celebrate some of the works from our collection.

The Minotaur at C3
(to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)

You know Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson’s
Works in the contemporary collection,
But do you recall
Marcel Dzama’s white minotaur?

The Minotaur at C3
Has a rough and stubby nose.
His face is made of plaster
And it’s covered up with gauze.

Some say he’s funny-looking
‘Cause he only has one arm,
But all the limbs he’s missing
Minotaur makes up with charm.

Half a person and half bull,
Sitting in his chair—
Minotaur, you’re quite a sight!
Drawing you is a delight.

Now you’re our favorite figure
Found in Greek mythology.
How did you leave your labyrinth?
It’ll stay a mystery.

Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund © Marcel Dzama, 2008.43.2.A-E

Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2008.43.2.a-e, © Marcel Dzama

DMA Clocks
(to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Tiny clocks, modern clocks, freestanding clocks,
19th- and 17th-century clocks,
Up on the 3rd floor at the Reves Salon
Is William Moore’s clock shaped like a sun.

Ball Wall Clock, Tall Case Clock, Gilbert Rohde’s Clock,
Paul Frankl’s stylish “Telechron” clock,
Check out a print with clock faces to spare
By Fernand Legér.

There’s Untitled (Perfect Lovers)
Tick-tocking side by side.
Stephen King and Barbara Kruger
Placed a clock on their book’s front side.

If you ever hope to hear the clocks chime,
You may be out of luck—
So many hands, but so few that tell time
On the DMA’s clocks.

 

I Saw A Tiger Licking Its Paws
(to the tune of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”)

I saw a tiger licking its paws
After the Museum closed last night.
It didn’t see me peek
Down the Japanese gallery.
It jumped off of its scroll
Into the hall in front of me.

Then, I saw the tiger stretch out its paws,
And let out a roar with all its might.
Oh, I’ve warned everyone I see
But no one else will believe
That the tiger comes alive at night.

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, after 1792, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art, 1972.13

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, after 1792, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, 1972.13

Happy holidays!

Paulina Lopez is the McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement at the DMA.

Christmas Cookies from the Collection

Baking cookies is part of my annual holiday tradition, but instead of sharing a recipe this month, I thought it would be fun to do some decorating inspired by our wonderful collection. Some of my colleagues in Education pitched in for this cookie swap of sorts. Check out our edible masterworks and have a very merry holiday season!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

A Holly Jolly District

With the colder temps, and Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are starting to get into the holiday spirit with some fun holiday-themed programs and shopping to make your December merrier.

Every Thursday in December, enjoy a mix of seasonal and traditional jazz tunes at Jazz in the Atrium. The Thursday night concert series will feature some of the best musicians in town, led by Rob Holbert (December 4), Tom Braxton (December 11), and Freddie Jones (December 18).

Jazz in the Atrium at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Jazz in the Atrium at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Undermain Theatre continues its popular and free reading series at the DMA with an encore reading of Dylan Thomas’s classic poem A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Accompanied by traditional music and carols, A Child’s Christmas in Wales will be a charming afternoon of festive storytelling for the whole family on Saturday, December 13, at 2:00 p.m.

Undermain Reads 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' by Dylan Thomas

Undermain Reads A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

When you are at the DMA for Jazz in the Atrium and A Child’s Christmas in Wales, or at any other time, don’t forget to stop by the Museum Store and make it your one-stop shop for holiday gifts. One-of-a-kind items from around the world are available, from handmade felt animals to hand-painted, whimsical book ends, and products celebrating the DMA’s collection and the Bouquets exhibition. (I have already purchased the beautiful Bouquets 2015 calendar for a family member!)

Items available for purchase in the DMA Museum Store.

Items available for purchase in the DMA Museum Store.

'Bouquets' 2015 Wall Calendar

“Bouquets” 2015 Wall Calendar

And we’re not the only ones in the Dallas Arts District getting into the holiday spirit. On Saturday, December 6, experience Holidays in the District with a day of music, dancing, theater, art-making activities, photos with Santa, and more.

From 1:00–6:00 p.m. you can Celebrate the Holidays at Klyde Warren Park. Activities will include free photos with Santa, holiday music, face painting, and live reindeer.

Be sure to stay for the 5:30 p.m. lighting of the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus—they will be using 550,000 LED lights to celebrate the holiday season.

Holidays in Klyde Warren Park

Holidays in Klyde Warren Park

There’s also plenty of seasonal fun at the Wyly Theater, Winspear Opera House, Meyerson Symphony Center, and Dallas City Performance Hall. Details can be found on the Dallas Arts District website.

We hope your merry-making brings you here.

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.

Festive Artworks

From twinkle lights and tinsel to plastic mistletoe and inflatable snowmen, decorations abound during the holiday season. But at the DMA, our walls are “decorated” the entire year, so we poked through the Museum’s collection for particularly festive artworks that would make unique holiday deco. Here’s what we found:

Instead of felted reindeer and fake snow atop your dining room table, how about incorporating Erik Swenson’s tableau of fantastical cold-weather creatures? The one in the sweater would make for interesting dinner conversation.

Erick Swenson, Untitled, 1998, styrofoam, resin, wool, foam, epoxy, clay, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mark Babcock

Erick Swenson, Untitled, 1998, styrofoam, resin, wool, foam, epoxy, clay, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mark Babcock

I would happily exchange the star atop my tree for this Indonesian standing guardian figure (tepaung). Unlike my star, this figure is capable of warding off evil spirits.

Standing figure, c. 1300-1800, Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Mahakam River Region, Belayan River, Kenyah-Kayan Complex, possibly Bahau or Bahau-related people, ironwood, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Standing guardian figure, c. 1300-1800, Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Mahakam River Region, Belayan River, Kenyah-Kayan Complex, possibly Bahau or Bahau-related people, ironwood, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Trade in your tangled ball of twinkle lights for Bruce Nauman’s neon letters.

Bruce Nauman, Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo, 1972, white glass tubing, clear glass tubing, and suspension frames, 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

Bruce Nauman, Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo, 1972, white glass tubing, clear glass tubing, and suspension frames, 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

These ancient Peruvian beakers, which may have been used to serve a corn beer called chichi, would be a lovely table setting for any holiday dinner party. Please pass the chicha!

Group of beakers, AD 900-1100, Peru, North Coast, La Leche Valley, Batan Grande Region, Sican culture, Gold, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison

Group of beakers, A.D. 900-1100, Peru, North Coast, La Leche Valley, Batan Grande Region, Sican culture, gold, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison

To create this sculpture, Annette Lawrence tore junk mail into strips of equal width. Who needs handmade chains of paper strips when you could decorate your hearth with this?

Annette Lawrence, Free Paper 12 / 05, 2006-2008, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund

Annette Lawrence, Free Paper 12 / 05, 2006-08, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund

Andrea Severin Goins is the interpretation specialist at the DMA.

Our Living Christmas Tree

Last week, we introduced you to Russell Sublette, mountmaker extraordinaire, who is usually happy to be the invisible hand behind the displays at the Museum. But once a year, during the holiday season, he comes out from behind the scenes to become the “Living Christmas Tree.” He adorns himself with garlands, lights, and decorations, and then recruits helper elves (oftentimes unsuspecting McDermott Interns) to carol and spread holiday cheer throughout the DMA.

The tradition started in 1989, when one of the DMA registrars was upset that she had forgotten a Christmas tree to decorate the office. Sublette wanted to cheer her up, so he said, “How about I become a tree?” Since then, the annual event sees co-workers pushing him on a flat cart, toting armloads of cords for the lights and music, around the office hallways, spreading holiday cheer.

“Whenever I do it, I picture myself as Charlie Brown,” Sublette says.

Below is a video of 2013’s “Living Christmas Tree” roaming the DMA halls.


Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Reagan Duplisea is associate registrar of exhibitions at the DMA.

Home for the Holidays

With the holidays upon us, there has been a lot of talk of travel, family, and traditions. Everyone’s experience is unique, so I asked some of my fellow bloggers to choose a work of art from the DMA’s collection that reminds them of home during the holidays.

Studio of Pere Espalargues, Altarpiece, second half of 15th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Leicester Busch Faust and Audrey Faust Wallace in memory of Anna Busch Faust and Edward A. Faust.

Studio of Pere Espalargues, Altarpiece, second half of 15th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Leicester Busch Faust and Audrey Faust Wallace in memory of Anna Busch Faust and Edward A. Faust.

My choice is this 15th century altarpiece. It makes me think of my family’s annual visit to The Cloisters museum in New York. We’ve been going there around Christmastime since I can remember. I would always hunt down my favorite two pieces: the Merode Altarpiece from the workshop of Robert Campin and an insanely intricate rosary bead made from boxwood. Though as a kid I had to be dragged there kicking and screaming, I can now appreciate this wonderful family tradition, and I’m looking forward to returning very soon.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Bare Tree Trunks with Snow, 1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Bare Tree Trunks with Snow, 1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase.

Danielle Schulz: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Bare Tree Trunks with Snow reminds me of going home to Albuquerque for the holidays. I can just imagine that these bare trees are in my mother’s backyard. The few trees that we do have in New Mexico are quite bare like the painting shows, but become so much more beautiful when it snows. When I look at this painting, all I want to do is curl up in front of the fireplace, eat some green chile stew and watch A Christmas Story on repeat!

John Ward Lockwood, Magic of the Snow, 1945-1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Lida Hooe Memorial Fund.

John Ward Lockwood, Magic of the Snow, 1945-1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Lida Hooe Memorial Fund.

Pilar Wong: I chose Magic of the Snow because the colors are reminiscent of my hometown of Delta, Colorado. While snowy landscapes are dominated by shimmery whites, the blue of the mountains and tan of the shrubbery creates a winter wonderland!

Edgar Degas, Ballet Dancers on the Stage, 1883, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin B. Bartholow.

Edgar Degas, Ballet Dancers on the Stage, 1883, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin B. Bartholow.

Leah Hanson: I would pick Edgar Degas’ Ballet Dancers on Stage. When I was little, we had a tradition of going to see The Nutcracker every year. My sister and I would get dressed up in our Christmas dresses (usually matching!), and every year it was magical to watch Clara and her Christmas tree that grows and grows and the Nutcracker who comes to life. After the show, we’d twirl around in our dresses and reenact our favorite parts – the Arabian dancers, the Russian dancers, and of course, the Sugarplum Fairy. One of my favorites!

Clara McDonald Williamson, Get Along Little Dogies, 1945, Dallas Museum of Art, Ted Dealey Purchase Prize, Seventeenth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition.

Clara McDonald Williamson, Get Along Little Dogies, 1945, Dallas Museum of Art, Ted Dealey Purchase Prize, Seventeenth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition.

Amanda Blake: The work of art that reminds me of the holidays is Get Along Little Dogies by Clara McDonald Williamson because I grew up spending Christmas on farms in Oklahoma with both sets of grandparents. This painting reminds me of the view of cattle and wide-open space as we would drive from Kansas to Oklahoma.

Harold Holdway (designer), Regimental Oak shape dinner plate with Christmas Tree pattern, designed 1938, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stephen Harrison in honor of George Roland.

Harold Holdway (designer), Regimental Oak shape dinner plate with Christmas Tree pattern, designed 1938, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stephen Harrison in honor of George Roland.

Amy Copeland: For me, nothing says the holidays like this pattern. My family gathers with our neighbors for holiday meals, and the bunch of us have eaten many a Christmas dinner off plates like these.

Happy Holidays from all of us at the DMA!

Alex Vargo
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching


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