Posts Tagged 'McDermott Intern'

Friday Photos: Until Next Time!

Wow! I cannot believe my time as a McDermott Intern is over! I would like to thank the Eugene McDermott Education Fund for providing this incredible opportunity. Through this experience, I have come to value the creative and fast-paced environment of museum education. I am especially gratefully for the opportunities to teach a summer art camp and test the Art Babies program. I may have to start my own children’s book collection because I enjoyed Story Time in the Galleries so much! It has been a pleasure to learn from and work with such dedicated educators at the DMA. Thank you to the Family, Access, and Schools Team for your patience and support, you ladies do an amazing job!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the internship.

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Holly York
McDermott Intern for Family Experiences

"Ghost" Post: A Farewell to the DMA

If this post feels a little spooky, it’s because I am submitting this from beyond the walls of the Dallas Museum of Art (OOOooooOOO)! My last day as the McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching was two days ago, but I will miss the DMA so much that I couldn’t leave without a proper farewell! Thinking back on these last seven months, I realized just how many wonderful art-filled experiences I’ve had, but since I am limited to this one post, I’ve decided to share my top five:

  • Mark Bradford’s exhibition was the first non-collection show that I learned about at the DMA. His huge works of art are overwhelming, innovative, and have wonderful background stories. It is for all of these reasons (and more!) that I loved looking at this exhibition with my fourth-grade tour groups.

  • My next favorite work of art is the ancient Egyptian coffin of Horankh. I really enjoyed speaking about ancient Egypt during our Intern Share Sessions for the Docents. I am also fond of talking to fourth-graders about the process of mummification and the Egyptian gods and goddesses.

  • One of my favorite spaces in the Museum is the American silver gallery, because the pieces have such wonderful decorations and designs. Having worked in a Victorian-era historic house full of objects from the Gilded Age, I enjoy sharing these with school groups because they really encourage close looking.

  • Hannah and I noticed this little lady as soon as we started at the DMA, and she has been one of our “favorites” ever since. I think she is funny. Hannah thinks she is scary. Either way, she will be gracing the cover of the Me & My World docent guide that I revised as my internship project.

  • Last, but certainly not least, I must include the lovely ladies that I worked with during my time at the DMA. This is one of the most friendly, creative, and fun-loving group of people I have ever had the privilege to work with.  I knew that I could always count on them to provide me with words of  encouragement, whether we were discussing an upcoming project or belting out songs during a karaoke outing. I will miss them immensely. (Unfortunately, Nicole isn’t in this group photo, but I’m talking about her too!)

Thank you for making my time here so wonderful!

Jessica Kennedy
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching

The Art of Appropriation, a Wednesday Gallery Talk

Every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., visitors can meet at the Visitor Services Desk for the Museum’s weekly Gallery Talk.   Gallery talks are 45-minute long intimate lectures and discussions that take place in the Museum galleries.  These talks are very different from a tour in that they typically focus on a narrow group of objects with a unifying theme within the Museum’s collections or special exhibitions.  They are often led by Museum curators, visiting scholars, and Museum staff.  Each year, every McDermott Intern leads a gallery talk as part of their internship experience. 

I was the first intern up to bat in leading a Gallery Talk titled The Art of Appropriation: “Exotic” Motifs in European Art.

Below are images of several of the objects I discussed during the talk.

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I decided to focus on appropriation art, a topic taken from my honors thesis as an undergraduate at SMU.  I’ve done extensive research on chinoiserie, an 18th-century European decorative arts movement inspired by Asian motifs, and this served as the starting point for my investigation of Asian-influenced objects in the DMA’s collections.  The talk emphasized four main topics in the discussion of these objects.

1. The definition and different types of appropriation art or art that crosses cultural boundaries.  For example, the colonial Mexican screen pictured in the slideshow appropriates styles, motifs, and subjects from Japan, China, the Netherlands, and ancient Rome.  See if you can determine which element can be attributed to which country!

2. Early (13th to 17th century) travel, trade, and other forms of contact between Europe and Asia.  Cosmopolitan objects, such as the Mexican screen, would not have been possible without cross-cultural exchange of information and goods between the two continents.  This exchange manifested in the early accounts of travelers like Marco Polo, the trade of goods and publication of scientific surveys through the various East India Companies, and missionary publications.

3. 17th- and 18th-century Chinese and Japanese exports and subsequent European “copies.”  Objects such as the Charger seen above represent early porcelain exports from China (made at the Jingdezhen imperial kiln) and the influence of European taste on their decorative elements.  Due to the relatively high cost of these imports, Europeans began making faience, and later porcelain, copies of Asian-produced objects.

4. The contradictory pairing of exoticism and ethnography in the 19th-century.  The 19th-century saw the emergence of the field of ethnography, fueled by the World’s Fairs and a growing body of “scientific” literature.  However, the notion of the East as a mysterious and exotic land persisted as seen in the painting above by Alfred Stevens that showcases the artist’s collection of Japanese screens, Chinese porcelain, and Kashmir textiles within the quintessentially French context of the salon.

Leading a gallery talk is a unique experience for an intern, and all in all it was very enriching, though a bit nerve-racking.  This topic was especially rich to share with museum visitors, as most everyone has experience with some type of appropriation!  It is a ubiquitous presence in our lives from advertisements that include famous works of art to the millions of souvenir stands selling Mona Lisa key chains or Mao Zedong t-shirts.  Post your example of appropriation to the comments section!

Upcoming Gallery Talks for the month of January include:

January 5th: Must be Willing to Travel: Early American Portraitists and the Transatlantic Exchange, led by Sara Woodbury (McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for European and American Art)

January 12th: Form/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present, led by Kevin W. Tucker (The Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, DMA)

January 19th: Topping It Off: Portraits of Women in Fashionable Hats, led by Sarah Vitek (McDermott Education Intern for Adult Programming)

January 26th: European Art and the Rosenberg Collection, led by Heather MacDonald (The Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, DMA)

Ashley Bruckbauer
McDermott Education Intern for Resources and Programs for Teachers

From Student to Staff

I began my relationship with the Dallas Museum of Art when I was an AP art student at Frisco High School and visited the Museum with my class.  Although I spent at least three hours a day in art classes during my senior year, the Museum felt like it was a world apart from my own, much further than the half hour drive from my school. After graduating from Frisco High, I earned a scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas where I was accepted into Collegium V, the honors program there. In addition to the courses available on campus, each spring UT Dallas and the Dallas Museum of Art collaborate to offer an innovative honors seminar that takes place at the Museum.

Me in 1717 during the honors seminar exploring the senses

I signed up for the partnership class in the spring of my freshman year,  a course devoted to the Maya, and I fell in love with the Museum. I took the class again the following year, studying modernism, then once more the next spring, studying the process of creativity. Although I had graduated with my Bachelor´s degree in Art & Performance by the time my fourth year arrived, I was able to participate as a graduate student auditing the course, this time about the senses in art and literature. As my scholarship program drew to a close, I learned that the Museum offers eight McDermott internships: four in the Curatorial Department and four in Education. I knew I loved art, I knew I loved sharing the things I was passionate about with others, so I applied to work at the Museum doing just that. Not long after, I found myself walking through the Museum’s doors as the McDermott Teaching Programs Intern.

Me leading discussion during a teacher workshop about contemporary art

Not only have I been afforded the great opportunity to participate in teacher workshops and docent training as well as leading tour groups of all ages, but I have found myself on the other side of the table in the spring honors seminar. My experiences as a high school, undergraduate, and graduate student have shaped the way I see the Museum and the educational opportunities it provides, especially the way we interact with visitors. As someone who has witnessed it firsthand, I know that transformative experiences with art in the Museum are possible. My goal as a museum educator is not to impart a specific set of facts to a group of students, but rather to spark each student’s sense of wonder and provide them a starting point for whatever journey their imagination takes.


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