Posts Tagged 'Labor Day'

From Pickets to Picnics

The late 1800s were a pretty dismal time for the American worker. People often worked more than 12 hours a day just to get by! It was then, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, that the first “Labor Day” took place. On September 5, 1882, more than 10,000 fed-up employees took to the streets of New York to rally against poor conditions and unfair wages.

Men Working on West Lancaster


Blanche McVeigh, Men Working on West Lancaster, c. 1933–34, aquatint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Public Works of Art Project

Since then, the “working man’s” holiday has been celebrated on the first Monday in September, although it did not become a federal holiday until 1894! Today, Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer and new beginnings for most Americans, but let us not forget those workers that came before us to fight for the safe and sanitary conditions we enjoy today.

newbeach

Lynn Lennon, Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, 1984, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Homer B. Jester Fund, © 1984 Lynn Lennon

The DMA is closed today, but you can enjoy free general admission every day during Museum hours (Tuesday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Thursday, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; third Fridays, 11:00 a.m.–midnight). Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

All in a Day’s Work – 1940s

It’s Labor Day and while it is time to say an unofficial goodbye to summer, it is also the perfect time to recognize some of the staff that worked hard to make the Museum what it is today.

The Museum staff in the 1940s was small. Counting the names on the rosters in bulletins and annual reports, there were fewer than 20 people, including the teaching staff, which is about 10% of the people currently employed by the DMA. Some did multiple jobs covering both administrative and teaching duties, for example, or managing both the library and education programs.

Staff-JimmyGarrett-1940s-002

This is Building Superintendent Jimmie Garrett in 1940. He joined the staff after working on the construction crew that built the Museum in 1936. Unfortunately, I can’t quite figure out what he is doing in the photo, maybe guarding an installation in progress, or maybe just pondering the small figures on the shelves.

Staff-EdBearden-SculptureClass-1946-001

Ed Bearden, in the coat and tie, was both the Museum’s Assistant Director and a member of the teaching staff. Here, he instructs a sculpture class with a live model in 1946.

The 1947 State Fair was an exciting time as the Museum secured a loan of Rosa Bonheur’s famous painting The Horse Fair from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and staff worked hard to promote the event.

Membership_drive

Mary Bywaters (left) and Fran Bearden (right) use The Horse Fair to promote Dallas Art Association membership. The man in the center is unidentified, but it would be great to learn his name if you recognize him.

Bonheur_Horse_Fair_1947_002

In addition to administrative and art class teaching duties, Ed Bearden also gave public lectures. Here he is speaking about The Horse Fair in 1947.

DMFA_staff_1948_001

Standing left to right: Herb and Jett Rogalla, Ed and Fran Bearden, Mellville Mercer, Jeanette Bickel, Rusty Grimes, Barbara Mercer, Margaret Milam; seated left to right: Jerry Smith, Mary Bywaters, Tom Grimes.

Thankfully it wasn’t all work for our 1940s staff. Here are some DMFA staff and friends in what I like to imagine was a staff picnic-type outing, but maybe I am reading too much into the grass and trees in the picture. It would be quite a happy coincidence if the photo happened to be taken on Labor Day 1948.

Stay tuned next Labor Day to see Museum staff of the 1950s doing interesting things . . .

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

 

DMA Works at Work

We hope you have a relaxing break this Labor Day and aren’t hard at work like these pieces in the DMA’S collection.

Work vs Play on Labor Day

We hope your Labor Day is less like this Jackson Pollock lithograph . . .

Jackson Pollock, Hayride, 1935-1936, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Arthur Kramer, Sr.

Jackson Pollock, Hayride, 1935-1936, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Arthur Kramer, Sr., (c) Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

and more like this Lynn Lennon photograph.

Lynn Lennon, Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, 1984, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Homer B. Jester Fund

Lynn Lennon, Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, 1984, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Homer B. Jester Fund, (c) 1984 Lynn Lennon

The DMA is closed today, but you can enjoy free general admission every day during Museum hours (Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Thursday 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; third Fridays 11:00 a.m.-midnight).

Seldom Scene: BBQ and Salad

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Bill Owens, "Sunday afternoon we get it together. I cook the steaks and my wife makes the salad.", 1971, Gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund


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