Posts Tagged 'museum'

We’ve Come a Long Way!

Since 1977 the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has promoted an annual International Museum Day, on or around May 18, to highlight how “museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Beginning in 1992, ICOM has created a theme for the annual event. The theme for 2018 is Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics.

With this theme in mind, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at one of the DMA’s earliest attempts at hyperconnectivity, our forays onto the Internet.

In 1993 the DMA was one of the first museums to go online with a gopher site, a text-based site of menus and documents, and a listing on Compuserve, the first major online services provider. The Museum also acquired two email addresses for staff to use, monitored by library staff members.

DMA website, circa 1994-1998, Homepage

DMA website, circa 1994-98

In January 1994 the DMA launched its first website. The DMA was one of the first five museums to go online with “click and view” access for visitors, presenting 200 images of collection objects. This site was hosted on University of North Texas (UNT) web servers. The DMA site was named one of the 1001 best Internet sites by PC Computing magazine in December 1995.

DMA website, circa 1998-2003, Homepage

DMA website, circa 1998-2003

By 1996, the Museum was outgrowing its UNT site and created an Internet Committee to evaluate the website and brainstorm content and ideas for what the site could be. This work resulted in the launch of a new website on DMA servers with a DMA domain name, DallasMuseumofArt.org, in the summer of 1998.

DMA website, circa 2003-08, homepage

DMA website, circa 2003-08

Since this time, the DMA website has continued to evolve in design and with new technological capabilities. The website underwent major redesigns in 2003, 2008-09, 2013 and, most recently, summer 2017 with the new enhanced Collections Online. All of these redesigns had the goal of providing more content and general information for the Museum’s multiple audiences in an easier-to-use package. DMA.org will continue to evolve with these same goals for future users.

DMA website, circa 2008-13, homepage

DMA website, circa 2008-13

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

A Day in the Life of an Intern

I have been an intern at the Museum for almost two months and have had some exhilarating moments.  I have enjoyed walking through the galleries with the curators as they speak about the works of art. They are walking encyclopedias. I have also had the opportunity to be a part of some great training sessions. The docent trainings, which occur every Monday, have been wonderful. The docents, along with the education staff, learn about works of arts in the collection and exhibitions. Sometimes these trainings are led by the curators, and other times, by an education staff member. The docents and staff  also go into the galleries and work on activities to better familiarize ourselves with the artworks in order to create great teaching moments.

Another area of the Education Department I worked with is Go van Gogh. I have also attended a few of the volunteer trainings. Sometimes during training we go into the galleries and look at the works of art and other times we get to make artwork for the different programs we teach. Go van Gogh allows me to travel to different elementary schools in Dallas and discuss with children works of art from the Museum’s collection. How cool is that! I get an opportunity to spend one hour with students and have these amazing and in-depth conversations about artists and their artworks.  By the way, another great aspect of this program is driving the Go van Gogh van.

I have recently started giving tours at the Museum. I have given two so far and each time the students have left giving me great big hugs and saying how much they have enjoyed their visit. Leading the tours allows me to continue to work with children. I will also be giving several “A Looking Journey” Tours for 4th graders  throughout the remainder of my internship.

Other moments at the Museum consists of meetings. Meeting over here, meeting over there, meeting everywhere! I want to say there is not a week that goes by in which I haven’t attended a meeting. I enjoy the meetings because it allows me to bond with the Education staff and learn how to plan for future programs. One of my favorite meeting moments was a  meeting, in which the staff brainstormed fifty Ideas based on a pair of 3-D glasses. What an incredible experience.

So there you have it. There is always something exciting going on in “A Day in the Life of an Intern.”

Karen A. Colbert
Teaching Programs Intern

Installing African Masks: The Art of Disguise

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Welcome to the debut of “Uncrated,” the Dallas Museum of Art’s new blog!

With the August 22 opening of African Masks: The Art of Disguise fast approaching, installation began the first week of August. Typically the installation of an exhibition takes about two weeks, but with the complex mounts, costumes, graphics and AV needs, this show will take a full three weeks to pull together. The exhibition will be on view in the same gallery previously occupied by The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850-1874.  However, visitors will notice a significant difference in the look and feel from the previous show. Demo and construction began in June, drastically transforming the space into a large open gallery enveloped in warm oranges and yellows.

Farewell to the Interns

On Friday we will say good-bye to our McDermott Interns, Logan Acton and Justin Greenlee.  Logan and Justin have been with us since September, and they have contributed in numerous ways to the work we do with students and teachers.  We appreciate all of their hard work this year, and we will miss them more than they know!

Below are some of their thoughts about their internship experience this year.

Molly Kysar
Head of Teaching Programs

What has been a highlight of your experience as a McDermott Intern?

Logan: When the Hoffman Galleries were installed with works of art dealing with narrative and time, I was immediately drawn to Gregory Crewdson‘s photographs.  I had numerous opportunities to share this interest with others, including leading activities in the UT Dallas honors seminar this spring. This year, the seminar included a lecture series with six guest speakers, including Gregory Crewdson.  Not only were the students and staff able to attend the lecture, but we were also given the opportunity to meet with Crewdson for a personal question and answer session.

Justin: I loved going back to a school I’d already visited with Go van Gogh and recognizing kids from classes I’d taught weeks before.  I’d get a high-five, or a “Hey, it’s that guy” reaction.  Whenever I visited a school, I was their special event for the day — like recess, but not as predictable. The Go van Gogh staff received great thank you notes during the course of the year.  My favorite: “You rock.  I wish you came every day.”

What has been your most unexpected or memorable experience?

Logan: Something unexpected occurs almost every time I have an experience with students.  On one tour, I pointed out Untitled (Perfect Lovers) by Felix Gonzales-Torres.  Initially, many students were skeptical, though intrigued, at the idea of two wall clocks constituting a great work of art.  One young lady became very engaged and vocal about the process of creating a piece of art like this.  I asked her to describe how she herself might make a work of art about life or death.  After thinking for a moment, she explained in considerable detail a dark room with a box in the middle that produced a thin but consistent stream of smoke.  I asked her how she thought someone with no knowledge of her idea or intent might feel upon walking into that room.  She smiled and looked at the clocks and said that they might not think it was art at all, and on second thought she really liked these clocks.

 Justin: Driving the Go van Gogh van around Dallas has been an adventure.  I’ve been all over Dallas, visiting the nooks and crannies of DISD.  Even after six months in Dallas, I couldn’t get anywhere if it wasn’t on the way to an elementary school.

What have you learned as a result of your experience as a McDermott Intern?

Logan: I have spent hours in the galleries with students and teachers, and this has helped me grow in my own interests and abilities as an educator.  Jumping in to work with an encyclopedic collection, I learned a lot about the works and the cultures that produced them, but also about myself and where my strongest interests lay.  Although I had always enjoyed modern and contemporary art, I really fell in love with artists who I initially knew very little about like Trenton Hancock, Gregory Crewdson, and Matthew Barney.  My time spent educating fed this passion as I was able to explore my ideas with other people.  From these experiences I began to learn which ways of teaching worked best for me and how to adapt to different situations.  I applied for this internship because it combined my passion for art and education; as my time at the Museum draws to a close, I feel more in love with both than when I began.

Justin: I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve met in Dallas.  I’ll miss TAG teachers, Go van Gogh volunteers, docents, Museum staff…  I’ve really enjoyed sit-down conversations with many different types of people.  I think I’ve become a better teacher, and I’ve gained a lot of respect for the hard-working teachers in DISD.


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