Posts Tagged 'Maxwell L. Anderson'

Forward Facing

With the onset of a new year, it’s useful to take stock of what is up next at the Museum. At the end of January, we will mark the second anniversary of DMA Friends, our much-heralded free membership program. With more information gleaned from our visitors than ever before, we are excited to share insights among four major art museums exploring the opportunities presented by this program, thanks to a six-figure grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and DMA are partnering in a roll-out of the museum Friends program, and will have much to learn in the months ahead.

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Maxwell L. Anderson discussing the Wittgenstein Vitrine with AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Chris Heinbaugh

 

Following the evocative exhibition of 19th-century oils titled Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse, which local critics hailed as one of the best  exhibitions of 2014, we look forward to presenting three remarkable exhibitions of art of the last half-century. Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga opens on February 8 in the Hoffman Galleries, for the first time revealing some of the breadth of the Museum’s newly formed collection of postwar Japanese painting and sculpture, which augments an already major collection of European and American art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The newly acquired Marcia H Travels (1970), the first work in the DMA’s collection by the Guyanese-born British painter Frank Bowling, will be displayed along with four other paintings by Bowling from private collections. Frank Bowling: Map Paintings, opening February 20, will mark the first time in nearly forty-five years that these “Map Paintings” will be brought together since their debut at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1971.

Rounding out the spring, the US premiere of the internationally traveling exhibition, Michaël Borremans: As sweet as it gets, on the work of contemporary Belgian artist Michaël Borremans opens at the DMA in March 2015. Co-organized by the DMA and Center for Fine Arts, Brussels (BOZAR), this retrospective will draw our visitors into the fascinating realism of one of today’s most heralded painters.

A feast for the eye, all are made possible by the generous supporters of the DMA, to whom the Board and staff extend our sincere appreciation. I look forward to welcoming you to the Museum this winter and spring, and hope you will encourage others to join as DMA Partners to undergird free general admission—a year-round gift to our community.

Maxwell L. Anderson is The Eugene McDermott Director at the DMA

Caravaggio, Crime, and Conservation

Here at the Dallas Museum of Art, the month of July has turned into a celebration of art conservation.  On July 1, Mark Leonard began his tenure at the DMA as Chief Conservator. Mark began his career as a restorer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before heading west to the J. Paul Getty Museum, where he worked for twenty-six years. This Saturday, in conjunction with an Arts & Letters Live event, Mark will meet visitors in the galleries and discuss upcoming restoration work for Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre’s The Abduction of Europa. At 7:30 p.m., author Daniel Silva will be in conversation with Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA, discussing his new book, The Fallen Angel. Silva is a celebrated “spy fiction ace,” and is known for his hero, Gabriel Allon. Gabriel has a longtime, on-again off-again relationship with Israel’s secret intelligence service, but he also happens to be one of the world’s finest restorers of old master paintings.

Mark Leonard, Chief Conservator at the Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Morning News has said that “in Gabriel Allon, Silva has created a credible secret agent with skills that would make James Bond weep.” Our very own Chief Conservator, Mark Leonard, also has a unique perspective that sets him apart from others in his field: He is an artist as well as a conservator.

Mark, as an artist, do you think you approach your work differently than your contemporaries? How has your work as a conservator affected your work as an artist?
Every artist approaches his work differently. By working with great works of art, from the old masters to contemporary artists, I’ve been able to learn from their work. Not every artist gets this opportunity!

Gabriel Allon is an art restorer by day and a spy and assassin by night. Mark, tell us about your night job as a painter.
For a while in my career, working with a brush in my hand every day, conserving someone else’s work was enough for me. About four or five years ago, I became aware that while I loved restoring paintings, it was really a blank panel that I wanted on my easel. In a series of geometric abstractions, I wanted to explore the theme of love and loss. If you have ever loved, you have experienced loss–the two are interwoven. That’s how I began working on this particular motif. In December of this year, an exhibition of my work inspired by John Constable’s “Cloud Studies” will be on display–side-by-side with the Constables–at the Yale Center for British Art.

Mark Leonard, “Triptych III,” March 2011, gouache and synthetic resin on panel, Private Collection, Austin, Texas

In Silva’s new novel, Gabriel Allon is sent to the Vatican to restore a Caravaggio masterpiece. Mark, in all of your experiences, can you tell us about a particularly challenging project you’ve worked on?
[He chuckles.] That would have to be a Caravaggio I worked on at the Met. “The Musicians” was heavily damaged. It took about six to eight months to bring it back to life. Restoring a painting could take as little as an afternoon to as long as several years.

Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), “The Musicians,” c. 1595, oil on canvas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1952, 52.81, Image courtesy metmuseum.org

What are some of your upcoming plans for the DMA’s collection?  Is there any spy work in your near future?
The Museum is very excited about its plans to build a new paintings conservation studio. We are carefully planning for it to include a public space; we want to be able to share the work that we are doing with our visitors. In the meantime, I am planning on spending the next year really getting to know our collection. [He laughs.] I don’t think there is any spy work in my future here. He’ll leave that to Gabriel Allon.

For more information on Saturday’s event with Daniel Silva, please visit our website. For tickets and to register for the tour, call 214-922-1818.

Hayley Dyer is the Audience Relations Coordinator at the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Quality Instinct

Join us Wednesday, May 2 at 7:30pm for an Arts & Letters Live Special Event, Seeing Art Through a Museum Director’s Eye: Dr. Maxwell Anderson in Conversation with Krys Boyd.

The Quality Instinct: Seeing Art Through a Museum Director's Eye by Maxwell L. Anderson

The Quality Instinct: Seeing Art Through a Museum Director’s Eye was published less than a month after Maxwell L. Anderson began as The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art.  In an interview, he said “The book is really an introduction to a ground floor of understanding about artistic intention and artistic result, and I hope people will take something away from it in feeling more comfortable with objects that, even today, great professors of artistic and art historical theory may be a little out of touch with.”

Maxwell describes his family’s travels when he was a child as “great exposure to new ways of seeing the world”.  These experiences clearly made an indelible impression on him, as he states “I used, in the course of a career as an art historian, and a museum curator and director, to go back and refresh my eye about what I learned as a child and how it would influence the way I see today as an adult.”

Rather than our standard interview format, I decided instead to ask our new Director five quick questions:

  • Are there any books you’ve read multiple times?  Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger.  The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope.
  • Do you have a “can’t miss” TV show?  The Big C is one Jacqueline and I don’t miss.  That, and Shark Tank.
  • What is your favorite quote? “I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.” – Albert Einstein
  • If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be? Montesquieu – he was so funny and casual and arch.
  • Coming from Indianapolis, how are you preparing for the Dallas summer?  I’m looking forward to it.  It will be cooler than growing up in New York in the summer; there, I would walk out on the hot street, get in a cab and stick to the vinyl seat, and go to a walk-up apartment without air conditioning.

Don’t miss what will surely be an interesting conversation between Maxwell Anderson and Krys Boyd.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community


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