Posts Tagged 'painting'



Off the Walls: Erminia and the Shepherds

The DMA’s galleries house art from around the world, and each work has a story. Olivier Meslay, the Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, shares insight about the recent acquisition Erminia and the Shepherds, by Guillaume Guillon Lethière. After you learn about the artist and the history of the painting, visit the work on Level 2 for free!

Make This: Poured Paint Sculptures

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Studio Creations participants share their thoughts about Lynda Benglis’ work.

During Studio Creations this month, we looked at Lynda Benglis’ Odalisque (Hey, Hey Frankenthaler), part of the special exhibition Difference?. There are many aspects of this work of art that make it fun to talk about with people, but what I find the most interesting is the way it challenges how we define painting and sculpture. To me, it really lives between the two! This idea provided the catalyst for our Studio Creations art making activity. During each workshop, visitors created poured paintings based on chance, which, when dry, could be peeled from the painting surface and made into something sculptural. Here’s a quick tutorial for creating the project at home with your family:

Supplies

  • Gloss medium or Liquitex pouring medium (available at most art supply stores)
  • Acrylic paint (I prefer gloss acrylics, but any type will work well)
  • Painting surface: A sheet of cardboard covered with heavy plastic (or something similar)
  • Squeeze bottles or cups for dispensing paint
  • Toothpicks for adding designs (optional)

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Plastic-covered painting surface, gloss medium, and acrylic paint in squeeze bottles

Steps

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Squeeze a small amount of gloss medium onto the painting surface. Using your squeeze bottles or cups, drop a little bit of paint into the medium. There’s no right or wrong way to do this so feel free to experiment! Try planning it out or putting the paint in randomly.

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Now try tilting your painting surface in different directions. The paint will start to run depending on the direction and angle that you tilt it. This is where the part about chance comes in–you only have a certain amount of control over the paint as it moves. Chance played a big role in the way that Lynda Benglis created Odalisque–she didn’t have any control over the paint after pouring it.

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Whenever you feel like it, add more paint. But be sure to drop it into the medium–otherwise, it could break off from the rest of the painting when dry. Continue adding paint and tilting the surface until your painting almost reaches the edge.

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When you are finished, let your painting dry for at least one day. If you added a lot of paint, it may need an extra day or two to fully dry. Afterwards, carefully peel the painting away from the painting surface–it should be plastic-like in consistency.

Now try making it into something sculptural! Your painting can easily be cut and molded. Some ideas that came up during Studio Creations were: a mask, a bowl, a mouse pad, a jacket, and a sun catcher, among others. If you’d like to share your creation with us, feel free to send an image to jbigornia@dma.org and I’ll post it on our Flickr page.

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Finished painting

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Almost sculptural, don’t you think?

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Detail of paint surface

Tips

  • Your painting does not have to look a certain way. Have fun and experiment!
  • For best results, I suggest using pouring medium instead of gloss medium. It’s a little bit more expensive, and it’s only made by Liquitex, but it was designed for projects just like this one and can prevent “crazing” in the paint. For super-duper results, mix a little bit of gloss or pouring medium into your paint before you start your project. One part medium to ten parts paint should be perfect. You can also try string medium!
  • You can get different designs by letting the paint run in one direction for a while and then turning it in another direction. This is really good for making swirls, circles, etc. You can use a toothpick to create fine lines as well.
  • The medium dries clear.
  • Lots of other cool poured paint projects can be found online!
  • Further questions? Feel free to shoot me an email!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Five, Six, Seven, Eight

Chagall: Beyond Color opens on Sunday, February 17, and the highlight of the exhibition is sure to be the costumes designed by Chagall in 1942 for the production of the ballet Aleko. The ballet’s première took place in September 1942 in Mexico City, followed by the Ballet Theatre of New York production, and the costumes have not been seen in the U.S. since. Recently, DMA staff whipped out their jazz hands and did their best mannequin impersonations to assist in the installation of the Aleko costumes.

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Back to School: From the Classroom to the DMA Collection

Now that all the kiddos are settled back into school, I began to think about how the Museum‘s collection could inspire them to keep learning outside the classroom. With the most common school subjects in mind, I decided to find works of art that might help them with their studies. Check out my pairings below.

Math

Upon first glance, it’s hard to tell if this large scale sculpture is symmetrical or asymmetrical. It takes a careful walk all the way around the work of art to find out.

Untitled, Ellsworth Kelly, 1982-1983, Dallas Museum of Art, commission made possible through funds donated by Michael J. Collins and matching grants from The 500, Inc., and the 1982 Tiffany & Company benefit opening

History

An historical figure, period, or event is often the subject of a work of art. This particular work features all three. Some of the imagery in Skyway includes President Kennedy and images of space exploration. Overall, the haphazard, overlapping composition captures the tumultuous time of change in the Sixties. What else does this colorful collage tell you about the Sixties?

Skyway, Robert Rauschenberg, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr. and General Acquisitions Fund

English

Some works of art are inspired by literature, like Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire. While it’s easy to find Cinderella in this beautiful work of art, it’s not as easy to tell which part of the Cinderella story is being depicted. Come to the Museum to get a closer look at all the details a photograph can’t capture, so you can guess which part of the classic fairy tale this could be. I’ll give you a big hint: there’s more than one right answer!

Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, Thomas Sully, 1843, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation

Geography

From the icy waters of the North Atlantic to the rolling hills of the French-Italian Riviera, wandering through the Museum galleries can take you on a trip around the world to a variety of climates and terrains. How many new places can you discover on your next visit?

The Icebergs, Frederic Edwin Church, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt

Valle Buona, Near Bordighera, Claude Monet, 1884, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated

Homework

Hopefully these collection connections will make learning in the Museum more fun for you and the kiddos than studying is for this little boy:

The First Thorns of Knowledge (Les premières épines de la science), Hugues Merle, 1864, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated

Hannah Burney
Community Teaching Programs Assistant

An Artistic Aegean Anniversary

A few weeks ago, my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary on an amazing cruise through the Aegean Sea. I majored in Ancient History at the University of Texas, so you can imagine my excitement at getting to experience numerous ancient sites in person. In particular, I have always been fascinated with prehistoric Aegean cultures, so the stops on both Crete and Thera (Santorini) were definitely a highlight.

One of the most interesting cultures is the Minoan civilization, which thrived during the Bronze Age from 2100-1500 B.C. on the island of Crete. Named for the mythical King Minos, the Minoans developed a centralized political system ruling from urbanized palace centers, the largest of which was located at Knossos on the north central coast of Crete. As prosperous sea-farers, the Minoans established extensive contact and trade with the contemporary cultures of Egypt and the Near East. Ancient writers even asserted that King Minos ruled over a maritime empire which included many Aegean islands. Although the extent of the Minoan political sphere is unclear, the Minoans were certainly in contact and influencing the culture of nearby islands like Thera, as attested by the surviving art.

Looking into the caldera on Thera, with the active volcano at left

Thera is a unique island whose history has been shaped by the active volcano at its center. During the period of Late Minoan 1A (c. 1625 B.C. or c. 1550 B.C.—dating is disputed by different scholars), the volcano erupted with such extreme force that it spread ash across the entire eastern Mediterranean and likely created a global cooling event. This eruption not only formed the distinctive caldera and picturesque cliffs seen on the island today, it also covered an entire ancient site in ash and pumice, perfectly preserving it like a prehistoric Greek Pompeii. Because of this eruption, the archaeological site of Akrotiri has yielded frescoes that are much more complete than those found elsewhere in the Aegean.

To execute their frescoes, Minoan artists used mineral pigments in white, red, brown, yellow, black, and blue. The wall surfaces were divided into three zones: the upper zone, above windows and doors, contained miniature friezes or decorative patterns; the middle zone included the large main subject; and the lower zone served as the base, sometimes using patterns to imitate stonework. The basic composition was painted in buon fresco technique, on the wet lime plaster surface. Additional colors and details were added after the plaster dried (fresco secco), using an organic fixative like egg white. The scenes include themes from nature (landscapes with plants and animals), daily life (fishing, sea-faring), and ritual (offerings to a goddess). The Theran fresco style is similar to the style found in Knossos and other palace centers on Crete, but utilizes a livelier, though less refined, hand.

A visit to Thera is certainly not complete without a trip to the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, where you can see examples of these beautiful frescoes, along with other objects found at Akrotiri. But visiting the extensive ancient sites of both Knossos and Akrotiri really allows for a more complete understanding of the Minoan culture that flourished thousands of years ago. That such beautiful art could be created so long ago—simply amazing!

Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.

Further Reading:

  • Chapin, A. (2010). Frescoes. In E. H. Cline (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean (ca. 3000-1000 BC) (pp. 223-236). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Doumas, C. (1992). The wall-paintings of Thera. Athens: Thera Foundation.
  • Rutter, J. (n.d.).  Lesson 17: Akrotiri on Thera, the Santorini Volcano and the Middle and Late Cycladic Periods in the Central Aegean Islands. Retrieved from Dartmouth.edu.
  • Shelmerdine, C. W. (2008). The Cambridge companion to the Aegean Bronze Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas

Even if you have never heard of the German Expressionist George Grosz, many of his paintings may be very familiar to you. The Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas exhibition highlights a range of Grosz’s work over a lifetime, with graphic works, paintings, and contextual photographs. Recently opened at the DMA, this special exhibition features twenty paintings Grosz created of our very own home: Dallas, Texas.

Born and raised in Germany, Grosz gained fame and notoriety in the 1920s with his satirical drawings of life in Berlin. His open and ever-increasing dissatisfaction with German government ultimately led to his move to America in 1933. As a child, he fantasized about America as a perfect place where everyone’s dreams could come true. He loved reading books about American life, especially the Wild West, and he dreamed of one day going to Texas to see it for himself. His childhood dream came true when he was commissioned to paint a series about Dallas. In 1952, Leon Harris, Jr., the young vice president of the department store A. Harris & Company, commissioned the series as a part of the celebrations for the store’s 65th anniversary.

At fifty-nine years old, Grosz arrived in Dallas to discover that it wasn’t quite as wild as he imagined. Dallas of the 1950s was a bustling, prosperous metropolis undergoing continuous change and growth. Primarily execeuted in watercolor, Grosz’s series illustrates the modernity of the new city, but also seems to capture the dreamlike quality of his imagination.

In celebration of Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas, the museum has created a variety of fun programs throughout the summer for all ages.

Hope to see you all there,

Hannah Burney
McDermott Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Artworks shown:

Self Portrait, George Grosz, 1936, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of A. Harris and Company in memory of Leon A. Harris, Sr.

A Dallas Night, George Grosz, 1952, watercolor on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift in memory of Leon A. Harris

Cowboy in Town, George Grosz, 1952, watercolor, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of A. Harris and Company in memory of Leon A. Harris, Sr.

Cattle, George Grosz, 1952-1953, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of A. Harris and Company in memory of Leon A. Harris, Sr.

Flower of the Prairie, George Grosz, 1952, watercolor on paper, University Art Collection, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas Gift of Leon A. Harris, Jr.  UAC.1961.10

Facing Off

Our exhibition Face to Face: International Art at the DMA is composed of never before seen pairs of objects drawn straight from the Museum’s collection. They are joined across cultures, great distances, and centuries of time to present an entirely new way to experience and celebrate a collection that is thrillingly diverse and over one hundred years in the making.

David Smith’s Cubi XVII and Aristide Maillol’s Flora

Organizing Face to Face required the collaboration of every member of our curatorial staff. Dr. Anne Bromberg, our curator of Ancient and Asian Art, spearheaded its sprawling course, spending weeks and weeks stalking the galleries, storage areas, and even her own colleagues to negotiate across departmental divides and ensure that what came to fruition was groundbreaking.

The result is a rare chance to see some of our “greatest hits” in lively and entirely new contexts. Visitors are welcome to speculate for themselves upon the many ways paired works might be related. I expect there are no right or wrong answers to these investigations, and that the discoveries one can have touring Face to Face are essentially limitless.

Peruvian Panel and Ellsworth Kelly’s Sanary

This is the first pair to welcome you to the exhibition. The composition of both works relied upon geometry and the stunning experience of pure color. The ceremonial textile from the Huari culture of Peru is beautifully composed of hundreds of blue and yellow macaw feathers—the yellow offering soft complement to the naturally iridescent shimmering of the blue.

Sanary, by American artist Ellsworth Kelly, presents a more complex pattern created from recycled paintings. No two colored squares repeat side by side, and like the feather panel, their summation elicits an explosive though carefully controlled punch of pure color. Their paired visual impact must be seen to be believed.

Egyptian mummy mask and Amedeo Modigliani’s Portrait of a Young Woman

Of all the pairings, Dr. Bromberg has said this one raised the most eyebrows among her colleagues, but after placing them side by side for the first time during installation, it became clear that though derived from wholly different civilizations and made for completely different purposes, they were easily relatable as unique expressions of the very human desire to immortalize beauty through portraiture.

Male figure from Nigeria and Naum Gabo’s Constructed Head No. 2

There’s much to be learned—things you may never have noticed before until you’re faced with this unique installation. This pair in particular enables audiences to reflect upon decisions the artists made in depicting their subjects abstractly. One might spend hours ruminating over their own visceral reactions to their striking features.

Eugène Delacroix’s Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban and Standing femail figure from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Our Exhibition Design Coordinator, Jessica Harden, worked closely with Dr. Bromberg to create specific lighting, color, and spatial treatments for every pair in Face to Face. Its dynamic installation highlights the need to take one’s time in the exhibition. Here each artwork can be appreciated more intimately on its own terms.

This is particularly true with the pairing of Eugène Delacroix’s Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban and the standing female figure from the Luba peoples of Africa. Lengthy meditations over the artists distinct but relatable choices in depicting their subject’s tranquil and quintessentially feminine beauty are highly encouraged.

An entire case in Face to Face is dedicated to things that sparkle! And here it’s true that not all that glitters is literally gold. The DMA maintains a strong collection of decorative, functional, and ceremonial objects fashioned from precious materials by a variety of cultures for an even greater variety of reasons.

Shiva Nataraja from India and The Dharmapala Vajrabhairava from Tibet

Face to Face’s broad representation (albeit in a small space) of the DMA’s expansive, internationally renowned collection is inspiring. The exhibition not only draws our attention to the mysterious nature of creating and studying art but also to that lesser realized art form of building a collection.

While exploring any museum, it’s easy to forget that a collection is built by people, and at the DMA these people have for over a century now nursed a vision that not only tells the history of art but also the story of our great museum.

Auriel Garza is the Curatorial Assistant for Ancient Art, Non-Western Art, and Decorative Arts & Design at the Dallas Museum of Art.

First Day of Spring

It’s official, today is the first day of spring! Which means I get to do some of my very favorite things.
Like picnics and swimming
Brunch and tennis
Smelling the flowers
And wearing dresses
Playing outside and enjoying nature
Once again, it’s my favorite time of the year.

I guess there’s just something about the sunshine that makes me want to rhyme. In the spirit of the new season, I have paired a few beautiful springtime scenes from the DMA’s collection with poetry. I hope you enjoy!

River Bank in Springtime, Vincent van Gogh

Never Mind, March

Never mind, March, we know
When you blow
You’re not really mad
Or angry, or bad;
You’re only blowing the winter away
To get the world ready for April and May

~ Author Unknown
.

Early Spring in Central Park, Nicolai Cikovsky

I Meant To Do My Work Today

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand–
So what could I do but laugh and go?

~ Richard Le Gallienne
.

Bougival, Maurice de Vlaminick

Sunflakes

If sunlight fell like snowflakes
gleaming yellow and so bright
we could build a sunman
we could have a sunball fight.
We could watch the sunflakes
drifting in the sky
We could go sleighing
in the middle of July
through sundrifts and sunbanks
we could ride a sunmobile
and we could touch sunflakes-
I wonder how they’d feel.

~Frank Asch
.

A Host of Golden Daffodils, Charles Webster Hawthorne

Daffy Down Dilly

Daffy Down Dilly
Has come to town
In a yellow petticoat
And a green gown.

~ Mother Goose nursery rhyme
.

Jeanne: Spring, Edouard Manet

March

Dear March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before.
Put down your hat-
You must have walked-
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me,
I have so much to tell.

~ Emily Dickinson

What do you love about spring?

Hannah Burney
McDermott Education Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Artworks shown:

River Bank in Springtime, Vincent van Gogh, 1887, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott in memory of Arthur Berger

Early Spring in Central Park, Nicolai Cikovsky, date unknown, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Bougival, Maurice de Vlaminick, 1905, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

A Host of Golden Daffodils, Charles Webster Hawthorne, before 1927, oil on canvas affixed to composition board, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Edna Smith Smrz in memory of Mrs. Ed C. Smith, Sr.

Jeanne: Spring, Edouard Manet, 1882, etching and aquatint, Dallas Museum of Art, Junior League Print Fund

Friday Photos: Youth and Beauty

This Sunday is the opening of Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties. With over sixty-five artists represented, this dynamic exhibition expresses life as an American in the period between World War I and the Great Depression. The “Roaring Twenties“, as they are known, may bring to mind iconic flappers and lively jazz music. From the outside this may seem like a period of frivolous fun, but taking a closer look reveals a complex time of transition. With the rapid urbanization of America, modern ideals and industry created a lot of change and disorientation, which can be felt throughout the exhibition. With so much to see and discover, don’t miss your chance to peer into the psyche of this topsy-turvy decade.

Below is a little sneak peek of some of the artworks in the exhibition.

Don’t miss all the fun and engaging Youth and Beauty programs for you and your students!

Hannah Burney
McDermott Education Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Artworks shown:

Nickolas Muray, Gloria Swanson, circa 1925, gelatin silver print, George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York, Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray

George Wesley Bellows, Two Women, 1924, oil on canvas, Portland Museum of Art, Maine, Lent by Karl Jaeger, Tamara Jaeger, and Karena Jaeger

John Steuart Curry, The Bathers, circa 1928, oil on canvas, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Purchase: Acquired with a donation in memory of George K. Baum II by his family, G. Kenneth Baum, Jonathan Edward Baum, and Jessica Baum Pasmore, and through the bequest of Celestin H. Meugniot

Edward Hopper, Lighthouse Hill, 1927, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Purnell

Bumpei Usui, 14th Street, 1924, oil on canvas, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art

Joseph Stella, American Landscape, 1929, oil on canvas, Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the T.B. Walker Foundation

Gerald Murphy, Razor, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist

Lewis Wickes Hine, Power House Mechanic, 1920-1921, gelatin silver print, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum

Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. Major support for this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Exhibition Fund, The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Winter Break: Taste of the Holidays

One of my very favorite holiday traditions is all the delicious treats. Between stuffing, turkey, candy canes, and cookies, what’s not to love about the holidays? To inspire this season’s holiday feasting, you’ll find the tastiest food of our collection below.

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Happy holidays!

Hannah Burney
McDermott Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Images used:

Still Life with Landscape, Abraham Hendricksz van Beyeren, 1650s, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation

Brioche with Pears, Edouard Manet, 1876, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, lent by the Wendy and Emery Reves Foundation

Still Life: Bouquet and Compotier (Nature morte: bouquet et compotier), Henri Matisse, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Dr. Bryan Williams

Stirrup-spout vessel depicting a clustered pepino fruit, Moche culture, c. A.D. 1-300, ceramic, 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, and Mr. and Mrs. John

Still Life with Spanish Peppers, Camille Pissarro, 1899, oil on canvas, Lent by the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation

Flowers and Grapes, Henri Fantin-Latour, 1875, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated

Still Life with Apples, Pear, and Pomegranates, Gustave Courbet, 1871 or 1872, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Still Life with Vase of Hawthorn, Bowl of Cherries, Japanese Bowl, and Cup and Saucer, Henry Fantin-Latour, 1872, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund and gift of Mrs. Bruno Graf by exchange

Munich Still Life, William Michael Harnett, 1882, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Nature or Abundance, Leon Frederic, 1897, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund


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