Posts Tagged 'Permanent Collection'

A Fairly Good Time

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A view of the Esplanade at Fair Park from Jessica Thompson, Manager of Teen Programs.

Last Tuesday was our sixth annual Education Fair Day, a chance to escape the chill of the Museum for some deep-fried fun in the sun at the State Fair of Texas. For some, like Jessica Thompson, going to the Fair is a time-honored tradition. Jessica’s paid a visit to Big Tex nearly every year of her life. For others, like our McDermott Interns, it was a super-sized introduction to a slice of Texas history and culture.

Emily Wiskera and I tackled the trip together. While we chowed down on Fletcher’s corny dogs (a must!), admired the blue ribbons in the creative arts building, and searched for our favorite haunted house ride, I started wondering about what connections could be made between the fair and the DMA. A set of photographs recently installed in the Center for Creative Connections certainly provides some fair feels, but what about elsewhere in the Museum?

State and World’s Fairs

The above pair of posters was an easy connection to make. On the left, we have the 2016 State Fair of Texas poster; on the right, the DMA’s poster from the 1968 World’s Fair in San Antonio. Each was designed around a unique concept. Hemisfair, San Antonio illustrates the overarching idea of people coming from all over the globe for the World’s Fair. The artist, Robert Indiana, used circles with arrows drawn in towards a star in the south of Texas to convey this message. The star, besides featuring prominently on the state flag of Texas, acts a giant X-marks-the-spot, where the Hemisfair and San Antonio are the treasure.

Immediately recognizable in the State Fair of Texas poster is our celebrity cowboy, Big Tex, surrounded by fields, livestock, and farming equipment. The design is graphic, straight forward, and conveniently explained by a page from the State Fair of Texas website:

Originally established as a livestock exposition back in 1886, it is without question that the Fair has deep roots in agriculture. In honor of its history, the Fair constantly strives to promote agricultural education and aims to further support this initiative through its 2016 event, themed “Celebrating Texas Agriculture.”

Though on different scales, state fairs and world’s fairs both bring people together for a variety of cultural experiences. Here’s how the State Fair of Texas compares to world’s fairs:

  • The State Fair of Texas, at 24 days per season, is the longest running state fair in the United States. A World’s Fair can last up to six months–the 1968 Hemisfair in San Antonio did!
  • An estimated 1.5 million – 3 million people attend the State Fair of Texas each year. For reference, the population of Dallas is 1.3 million people, and Texas’ population is 27.47 million people. The 1968 Hemisfair brought in 6.4 million people from all over the world, and the recent 2015 Expo (or World’s Fair) in Milan had 20 million visitors.
  • This year marks the 130th anniversary of the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. In contrast, world’s fairs are held in a new city and country every year.

Creative Arts

baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland, “Album” quilt, c. 1861, Martha E. Keech, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous centennial gift

The Baltimore album quilt above, despite being 155 years old, isn’t too different from a quilt you might find on a visit to the creative arts building. This kind of quilt, with its trademark white background and squares (or blocks) with floral designs in red and green, first became popular in… you guessed it: Baltimore! The style remains popular today. This particular album quilt was made by hand by one woman, Martha E. Keech. Sometimes groups of women would join forces to make one of these quilts and each would sew one block and sign their name, hence: an album quilt.

The more than 25 categories for quilts at the State Fair this year include sections for ones made by individuals, pairs, and groups, both by hand and by machine. Overall, there are over 1,100 categories in the creative arts competitions! Many people are familiar with submissions like pies, quilts, and collectibles, but did you know the Fair also has LEGO assembly categories for kids and adults, as well as a “Glue a Shoe” contest? This year’s Glue a Shoe contest features such entries as “Grumpy Flat,” after everyone’s favorite internet cat, and “Hamilton: An American Shoesical.”

Fantastic Foods

No Fair day is complete without sampling some of the sensational snacks! Here are some numbers from Eater Dallas on a fair-goer favorite, Fletcher’s corny dogs:

  • On average, 630,000 corny dogs are sold each 24-day State Fair of Texas run.
  • Fletcher’s is in its 74th year of selling corny dogs at the Fair.
  • To satisfy corndog purists, 1,500 gallons of mustard are needed each year.
  • To satisfy heathens like myself (see selfie above), only 800 gallons of ketchup are required.

Yes, corn (sometimes called maize) is a key ingredient in the batter used for corny dogs, but it’s more than a family resemblance that ties together this State Fair staple and Otis Dozier’s Maize and Windmill. Dozier, a native Texan, was a member of a circle of artists called the Dallas Nine. He regularly submitted works of art to the State Fair of Texas’s creative arts competitions – and he often won. According to a DMA docent, Maize and Windmill is one such blue ribbon winner!

A bonus connection: Dozier’s upbringing on a Mesquite farm instilled in him a lifelong love of agriculture which can be found in his many paintings of farms, fields, flora, and fauna. This ties in pretty neatly with this year’s Celebrating Texas Agriculture theme, don’t you think?

The Fair closes this Sunday, October 23, but these three works of art will still be here to greet you on your next visit, up on Level 4. What other fairly relevant connections can you find? You know that something has to relate to the butter sculpture!

Jennifer Sheppard
Teaching Specialist

Take a Summer Safari at the DMA

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This year’s class of teen docents.

This summer, bring your summer school students and summer campers to the Dallas Museum of Art for a tour led by one of our teen docents! Our docent-guided tours allow students to form meaningful connections with works of art through close looking and interactive gallery experiences, including sketching, writing, group discussion, and more. Teen docents conduct summer tours for young visitors (ages 5-12) all summer long, during which they encourage critical and creative thinking while addressing all learning styles. If you are interested in scheduling a guided tour with one of our teen docents, the process is easy!

Step 1: Visit www.dma.org/tours. This page includes information about fees–FREE if you are an educational organization and scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance!

Step 2: Click on Docent-Guided Tour Request Form, making sure you already have a few dates approved for a visit.

Step 3: Choose whether you would like the “Animal Safari” tour or the “Summer Vacation” tour.

  • On the “Animal Safari” tour, students will set off on a safari to search for animals in works of art. They will think about how animals look and what they might mean and symbolize in works of art from all over the world.
  • On the “Summer Vacation” tour, students will travel the world without ever leaving the Museum! They will think about how they spend their summer vacation and make connections between their favorite summer activities and those they see in works of art.

Step 4: Choose a date and time. Docent-guided tours are only available in the summer on Wednesday and Friday between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. We can only tour 30 students every hour, but feel free to split them between a few hours! For example, half the students can tour at 11:00 a.m. while the other half explore our collection in small groups or eat lunch in our Sculpture Garden.

Step 5: Once the form is submitted, you will be added to our schedule in the first available time and day.

We have lots of room left in our schedule, and our teens are ready to show your students their favorite pieces! We hope you join us for a Safari or a Vacation soon!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Artist Astrology: Taurus

This month’s astrological sign, Taurus (April 20 – May 21st), is typically defined as the most stubborn and obstinate of the signs. This trait can be both an asset and an obstacle. Many Taurus individuals are able to harness their obstinacy in order to pursue their personal objectives and goals, even if they are working against the odds. On the other side, however, this persistence can manifest itself as pride and they may neglect the good-intentioned advice of others. Taurus individuals are most successful when they are provided the opportunity to set their own destiny; they do not enjoy being managed and may consider external assertion stifling. Although they are focused on their goals, people born under the Taurus sign are also patient and practical about their decisions. They make wonderful life partners and friends because once they find someone they care about, they are loyal and faithful until the end. In fact, patience, perseverance, and honor are three of their traits most admired by others.

Today we are featuring one artist, J.M.W. Turner (April 23), whose personality and artworks perfectly epitomize the traits of a Taurus!

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Joseph Mallord William TurnerApril 23

Trained at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Turner followed the instruction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, first President of the Royal Academy, to “paint pendants to a number of masterpieces.” Turner, however, was not content with merely replicating the works of earlier masters; instead, he made it his personal mission to recreate and outdo past painters. In particular, Turner viewed landscape painter Claude Lorrain as his greatest competition. Throughout his career, he sought to surpass Lorrain by imbuing his works with superior light and atmospheric effects. In fact, in his will, Turner left two of his masterpieces to the National Gallery under the stipulation that they would hang next to a pair by Lorrain; thus presenting viewers the opportunity to witness his superior techniques. The four artworks still hang in Room 15 at the National Gallery today.

For more Taurus artists in the DMA collection, check out the works by Willem de Kooning (April 24), George Inness (May 1), Salvador Dali (May 11), Georges Braque (May 13), and Jasper Johns (May 19).

Tune in next month for a look at our gifted Gemini artists (May 22 – June 21)!

Artworks shown:

  • J.M.W. Turner, Bonneville, Savoy, 1903, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Nancy Hamon in memory of Jake L. Hamon with additional donations from Mrs. Eugene D. McDermott, Mrs. James H. Clark, Mrs. Edward Marcus and the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc.

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Collection Connections: The Body Beautiful

A beautiful thing is never perfect. – Egyptian proverb

The opening of The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum has prompted an interesting dialogue on what qualifies as “beautiful.” Greek ideals have long influenced societal standards of beauty for both men and women, but many of the pieces in our permanent collection offer varied perspectives on this matter. Below are several such works of art that will hopefully challenge and diversify our concept of female beauty in particular.

Olowe of Ise, Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye), c. 1910 to c. 1938, Nigera, Effon-Alaiye, Yoruba peoples, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Olowe of Ise, Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye), c. 1910 to c. 1938, Nigera, Effon-Alaiye, Yoruba peoples, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

These types of containers, known as olumeye, are used in rituals of domestic hospitality for particularly distinguished guests. The word olumeye means “she who brings honor” and refers to the carved kneeling female figure presenting the bowl, which would have traditionally held kola nuts. Her long neck, oval-shaped face, and scarred back reveal Yoruba ideals of feminine beauty.

Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Bather with Cigarette, 1924, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase Fund, Deaccession Funds/City of Dallas (by exchange) in honor of Dr. Steven A. Nash.

Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Bather with Cigarette, 1924, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase Fund, Deaccession Funds/City of Dallas (by exchange) in honor of Dr. Steven A. Nash.

Though Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s bather does not portray the Italian Renaissance standards of beauty, her pose and the presence of the miniscule clamshell do recall Sandro Botticelli’s iconic Birth of Venus. This woman, however, flaunts her figure unapologetically, revealing a certain confidence and comfort with herself.

India, Doorjamb, 10th - 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, Wendover Fund, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation and General Acquisitions Fund.

India, Doorjamb, 10th – 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, Wendover Fund, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation and General Acquisitions Fund.

This carved doorjamb would have adorned one side of the entrance to a Hindu temple. The graceful, sensuous women at the bottom represent the Yamuna and Ganga Rivers and offer prosperity to the incoming worshipers.

Julie la Serieuse - Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet, Julie la Serieuse, 1950, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark.

Jean Dubuffet states: “The female body, of all the objects in the world, is the one that has long been associated (for Westerners) with a very specious notion of beauty (inherited from the Greeks and cultivated by the magazine covers); now it pleases me to protest against this aesthetic, which I find miserable and most depressing. Surely, I am for beauty but not that one.”

Untitled 122 - Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #122, 1983.

Photographer Cindy Sherman, whose retrospective is currently on view at the DMA through June 9, 2013, received several fashion commissions throughout her career. These photographs subvert expectations by featuring a wide range of eccentric characters rather than traditional fashion models. She states: “The world is so drawn toward beauty that I became interested in things that are normally considered grotesque or ugly, seeing them as more fascinating and beautiful. It seems boring to me to pursue the typical idea of beauty, because that is the easiest or the most obvious way to see the world. It’s more challenging to look at the other side.”

Fertility Goddess - Syria

Syria, Fertility Goddess, late 2nd millennium BC, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark.

This kind of ceramic female figuring was quite common in Syria during the Bronze Age. The statuettes consist of standing frontal female figures that are nude, though usually wearing ornaments and headdresses. These common figurines were possibly votive offerings or amulets to a mother-goddess, and their form may have been influenced by cult statues in a temple.

The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece will be on view through October 6, 2013. And be sure to check out the new self-guided tour available in the exhibition, Beauty Beheld, to further explore the complex concept of beauty within the DMA’s permanent collection.

Alex Vargo
McDermott Education Intern for Gallery Teaching

Friday Photos: Featuring Texas

Today’s Friday Photos features a selection of pieces from the Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection that were purchased with the Texas Artists Fund. The DMA is dedicated to supporting Texas artists through acquisitions, Awards to Artists grants, and exhibitions such as the upcoming DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art 1963 to Present, a show that celebrates the history of the North Texas art scene and opens here at the DMA on May 26, 2013.

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Featured Works:

  • Helen Altman, Pig, 1995, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund and gift of Karol Howard and George Morton.
  • Kelli Connell, Giggle, 2002, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.
  • James Drake, Valley of the World, 1994, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.
  • Adrian Esperanza, Here and There, 2002, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.
  • Patrick Faulhaber, Glo, 1997, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.
  • Sam Gummelt, Jacksboro, 1971, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund
  • Benny Joseph, Couple Dancing, Eldorado Ballroom, Houston, negative 1962, print 1988, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.
  • Barbara Maples, Plastic Boxes 2, c. 1967-1968, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.
  • Nic Nicosia, Untitled (Floor Painting), 2009, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.
  • John Pomara, Deadline No. 5, 2001, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.
  • Allison V. Smith, Hall Pass. February 2006. Marathon, TX, 2006, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund.

Alex Vargo
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching

Collection Connections: Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman, the groundbreaking artist’s retrospective that spans her career from the mid-1970s to the present, is currently on view at the DMA through June 9, 2013. Her photographs derive inspiration from a myriad of sources, including television, film, art history, high society, and cultural stereotypes. These themes, influences, and connections that run throughout her work can also be explored in many seemingly unrelated artworks in the DMA’s permanent collection.

Photography
Like the work of many of her contemporaries, Sherman’s photographs operate in opposition to her modernist predeecssors, like Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams, who elevated form over content. Sherman, on the other hand, is more interested in how photography and images shape and exist within contemporary society. In fact, instead of identifying as a photographer, she sees herself as an artist who uses photography.

  • Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #28, 1979, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Fredericka Hunter and Ian Glennie, Houston. (left)
  • Paul Strand, Abstraction, Porch Shadows Connecticut (1915), negative 1915, print 1976, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Joseph W. Gray, M.D. (right)

Female Contemporaries
Sherman cites several women artists, including Hannah Wilke, Lynda Benglis, Eleanor Antin, and Suzy Lake, as role models for bringing their own female bodies into their artistic practice. She also acknowledges the leading role that females, herself included, played in the formation of postmodernist work, observing: “In the later ’80s… what probably did increase the feeling of community was when more women began to get recognized for their work, most of them in photography: Sherrie [Levine], Laurie [Simmons], Sarah Charlesworth, Barbara Ess… There was a female solidarity.”

  • Sherrie Levine, After Man Ray (La Fortune): 6, 1990, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift. (left)
  • Lynda Benglis, Odalisque (Hey, Hey Frankenthaler), 1969, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund. (upper right)
  • Hannah Wilke, Pink Champagne, 1975, Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman. (lower right)

Portraits and Self-Portraits
Though Sherman serves as the model as well as the artist, director, and producer for all her photographs, she is adamant that none of her photographs are self-portraits. In fact, she feels rather detached from the characters she portrays: “It’s not like I’m method acting or anything. I don’t feel that I am that person… I don’t become her.” Along with the varied works below, Sherman tests the traditional definition of portraiture and self-portraiture.

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #89

  • Cindy Sherman, Untitled #89, 1981, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund.
  • Jackie Saccoccio, Portrait (Hermetic), 2012, Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman. (left)
  • Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated. (upper right)
  • Jim Dine, Self-Portrait Next to a Colored Window, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, Contemporary Arts Council Fund. (lower right)

Rococo Influences
Through her partnership with a Limoges porcelain house, Sherman produced a dinnerware and tea service set inspired by Madame de Pompadour. On the DMA’s soup tureen pictured below, Sherman appears dressed up as this famed and influential mistress of King Louis XV. The Museum’s Abduction of Europa was painted by Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre, the Rococo artist who was named First Painter to King Louis XV in 1770.

  • Cindy Sherman, “Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson)” soup tureen with platter, 1990, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund. (left)
  • Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre, The Abduction of Europa, 1750, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund.

Film
Sherman states: “Film has always been more influential to me than the art world.” In fact, her seminal body of work–the Untitled Film Stills produced from 1977 to 1980–visually recalls 1950s and 1960s Hollywood, film noir, B-movies, and works by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Douglas Sirk. The two artists whose works are shown below found a similar inspiration in film.

  • Marlo Pascual, Untitled, 2009, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund. (left)
  • Luc Tuymans, The Man from Wiels II, 2008, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAr Benefit Auction Fund. (right)

Alex Vargo
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching

Friday Photos: Leading Ladies

On this day in 1935, Amelia Earhart left Honolulu for a 2,400 mile trans-Pacific flight to Oakland, CA. She was the first person to complete that flight solo. To celebrate the anniversary of this flight, I wanted to highlight some female ground-breakers in our collection:

  • Georgia O’Keeffe’s artistic career began with a series of abstract charcoal drawings, which were some of the most radical artworks of their time.
  • Lee Krasner is one of the only female artists associated with Abstract Expressionism, despite constant overshadow by her fellow artist husband Jackson Pollock.
  • Berthe Morisot was the first woman to exhibit with the Impressionists.
  • The innovative photography of Cindy Sherman, who serves as both the photographer and model, challenges and questions the role of women in society and art.
  • The first work by a 20th century Mexican artist to be purchased by the Louvre Museum in Paris was a self-portrait painted by Frida Kahlo.

Artworks shown:

  • Georgia O’Keeffe, Bare Tree Trunks with Snow, 1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
  • Lee Krasner, Pollination, 1968, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Berthe Morisot, Winter (Woman with a Muff), 1880, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated
  • Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1981, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund
  • Frida Kahlo, Itzicuintli Dog with Me, c. 1938, Lent by private collection

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist


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