Posts Tagged 'self-guided tours'

He(ART) History

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My name is Kenzie Grogan, and I am a senior at Lake Highlands High School. This year, I was accepted into the Professional Internship Program at my school. PIP is designed to give seniors experience in the career they are interested in pursuing in college. During my junior year, I ultimately decided that I wanted to focus on art history and see what a degree in it could lead to in the real world. Art has always been an area of interest for me, and history has always been my favorite subject in school. So, I figured why not give art history a try and see if I like it?

My internship began in September and I was extremely nervous. I was shocked when my teacher told me that I was placed with Teen Programs at the DMA – I wasn’t expecting to be placed at a museum. Throughout my internship I got to participate in a variety of programs, from helping paint a canvas for Dallas Pride and assisting with Family Workshops, to helping with Arts and Letters Live and getting to see Cary Elwes.

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Since I worked with Teen Programs, a lot of my time was spent helping prepare for Teen Tours on Thursday nights, and even assisting in writing a few of them. Researching the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck opened my eyes to the incredible symbolism in the painting. It was the first time in my life where I actually wanted to study something more. I ended up teaching part of the Renaissance tour, which was a little intimidating. Let me tell you, the teenagers who go on the Teen Tours know their stuff! It wouldn’t surprise me if some of them could get up and teach the tour themselves.

When I wasn’t working on Teen Tours, my time was spent working on my official research project: an interactive teen guide for the Museum. The DMA has a series of self-guided tours for families and adults, but it lacks one specifically for teens. What better way to make a tour for teens than to have one design it?

Since my internship has been all about art history, I wanted my teen guide to reflect that experience. Narrowing down the art I wanted to use was difficult, but I chose what I felt best represented a broad range: Renaissance, Impressionism, Cubism, American, and Surrealism.

The next step was researching and writing the informational parts that would go into the final tour guide. As I began writing, I saw a universal theme throughout the paintings: each painting represented a new genre that went against the popular art style of the time. Because artists rebelled against society in their own way, I decided to call the guide Rebels With a Cause.

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All of the tours at the Museum have some sort of interactive aspect about them, whether it be prompts for drawing or questions to answer. Since music and art are my favorite things, I decided I wanted to create a playlist that represents each piece in the guide. This way, teens are able to connect with the painting using two senses. For anyone without an electronic device, there are other ways to interact with the art, like taking a selfie with Frida Kahlo or using color swatches to notice new colors in a painting.

Participating in this internship has been the best experience of my high school career. I’ve learned so much in the short amount of time I was here, and I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with so many amazing people. I can now say I plan to study art history in college because I’ve seen first-hand all the different careers it can lead to. I’ve loved getting to come to the Museum, and I definitely plan to come back and volunteer as much as I can.

Be sure to check out Rebels with a Cause at the DMA this spring and check how other teens have left their mark at the Museum!

Kenzie Grogan
Teen Programs Intern

Treasures of the Dead: Burial Art of Ancient China

Today’s post comes from Mo Gyeong Seong, a DMA Teen Advisory Council member with a serious passion for history. He currently attends Carroll Senior High School in Southlake, Texas, where he has taken several classes in world history, humanities, and global languages. Enjoy his bite-sized tour of Chinese burial sculpture from the DMA’s permanent collection!

China’s Tang Dynasty was marked as a time of prosperity and discovery that fostered a distinctive cultural sphere lasting down to the modern day. Religion and spirituality played an important part in Tang life, and great thought was put into what would happen after an individual’s last breath. With Halloween fast approaching, I wanted to share a bite-sized tour of some of the burial art made by the Tang Dynasty.

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Pair of Lokapalas (Heavenly Guardians), early 8th century C.E., Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Ellen and Harry S. Parker III

The Lokapala are guardians of the world in Buddhism, introduced to Tang China by the preceding Sui Dynasty. According to legend, the Lokapala were originally protector gods in Ancient India, called the Four Great Heavenly Kings. After witnessing the enlightenment of the Buddha, they chose to lead an army of ghosts to defend the worshippers of the Buddha from demons. The Four Kings would slowly integrate into Chinese burial traditions, guarding the four cardinal directions. Their fierce faces reflect their foreign origins. However, their armor is of a mystical Chinese style and a feng huang–an East Asian mythological King of Birds and symbol of harmony and royalty–is sculpted into their helmets.

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Polo horse tomb figure, 618-906, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Rothwell.

Some of the finest pieces from Chinese tombs are the handsome and muscular ceramic horses created by talented craftsmen for burials of the elite. This one has faded over time, but centuries ago it would have dazzled in reds and oranges. Horses, thought to be related to dragons and crucial to the countless military campaigns waged by China, symbolized strength, wealth, and power. Horses also represented a spiritual ascension, as the souls of the dead could ride them into the afterlife.

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Tomb Plaque Marker on a Tortoise Base, 1000-1200, Dallas Museum of Art, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

After the fall of the Tang Dynasty, a new burial tradition was adopted by the nobility: the use of large stone stele, or bei in Chinese. These stele were often etched with information from the deceased’s life, including occupation, age and date of death, birthplace, and their life accomplishments, as an enduring honor to the deceased. The stele is capped by carvings of mythological animals and erected on the back of a stone tortoise, an animal who could carry heavy loads according to Chinese mythology.

Make sure you visit these works of art currently on view on Level 3 of the permanent collection galleries! What other burial traditions can you uncover at the Museum?

Mo Gyeong Seong
Teen Advisory Council Member

Open Looks in the Paint, All Day (and Late Night)

DMA’s got game. And that game is basketball.

This Late Night, we’re teaming up with the Dallas Mavericks to put a sports-themed spin on our regular Late Night programming. And in a nod to both our encyclopedic collection and the Mavs always-international team roster, the evening will also have a global focus. One of the many activities featured tomorrow is our new ‘Round the World self-guided tour.

Self-guided tours are bite-sized: they focus on four to five artworks each, packaging our wonderfully expansive collection into short, themed looking adventures. Self-guides include facts about artworks you can’t find on gallery labels. They provide artwork images and gallery locations, getting you to the right space in the Museum, but letting you wander just enough that you get that fun I-just-found-something-on-a-scavenger-hunt sort of feeling when you find yourself right in front of the artwork. Self-guides are cheeky and fun, and in the case of ‘Round the World, chock-full of sometimes veiled and other times blatant Mavs/basketball references that some of us here (ahem!) are pretty jazzed about.

So if you’d like to see an artwork that’s nothin’ but net, explore a small exhibition devoted to the DMA’s Big German (he’s a 16th century print-maker), or see two objects that could fit in courtside at a Mavs game, pick up our ‘Round the World self-guided tour at the Visitor Services Desk tomorrow night.

And if you can’t make it to Late Night, ‘Round the World and our many bite-sized tours of the collection can be found in downloadable pdf versions on our website.

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs & MFFL

Learning Lab: Self-Guided Tours

To cap off a fantastic school year, visual arts students at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts enrolled in our Learning Lab created self-guides for their favorite works of art at the DMA. These eleventh-grade students began many of their Learning Lab classes with a walk down Flora Street to the Museum, where they spent time looking at works of art, asking questions about them, and responding to them through group discussions, written ideas, and their own original works of art.

For their final projects, we asked students to choose four or five works of art in our collection to include in a self-guided tour, for which they decided the title and theme. They wrote a short paragraph about each artwork to explain why they chose to include it and what stood out to them. Because self-guided tours are intended to offer visitors short and interesting factoids or interpretations of a work of art, students were encouraged to be creative with their paragraphs and incorporate prompts or provocative questions that would encourage close looking and connection-making with ideas related to the work. Here are some excerpts from their fantastic finished products!

[Maternal]

“Exploring only a few examples throughout art, this guide surfaces one relationship that every individual from every culture has experienced to some degree: a mother and her child.”

 Guillermo Meza, Mother and Child, 19531959_27

“This piece depicts a mother carrying her young child with a vibrant fleshy pink cloth, pulsing all the way though her spine, much like her love and seeming will for her child. Where do you think they are going, or rather, where are they coming from? What ties you to your mother?”

 

Ms.: An Introduction to Women in Art

“This self-guide illustrates the woman in her own, natural, (sometimes stereotypical) element.”

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Gerhard Richter, Ema (Nude on a Staircase) (Ema [Akt auf einer Treppe]), 1992

“Ema (Nude on a Staircase) is a photograph of a paintng that was created in 1966. This image was purposely blurred to create nostalgic distance. What famous work of art by Marcel Duchamp could Ema have been inspired by?”

 

Texas Beauty

“When someone says “Texas,” what are the first images that pop into anyone’s head? Probably cattle, dry land, maybe some wildflower. This self-guided tour will take you “deep in the heart of Texas” and give you a true tour of this majestic land.”

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Jerry Bywaters, Share Cropper, 1937

“It is hard to drive more than 150 miles in Texas without spotting a farmer doing his work. What do you think are some stereotypes farmers have? Does this farmer display any of them?”

 

 American Landscape Paintings

“Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be so fully immersed in a painting that you actually feel like you are inside it? This self-guided tour will show you landscape paintings all by American artists. From cold icebergs to sunny beaches, the beautiful landscapes will take you on a journey all around the world.”

1976_40_FAAlfred Thompson Bricher, Time and Tide, 1873

“Can you feel the tide pull back and forth? Can you sense the sand crunching underneath your toes, the water touching your soles, making a shiver run down your back?  Close your eyes and let your senses take over. Listen to the crash of waves as they attach the rocks, feel the sun bathe your body, and soak it in.”

 
Works shown:

  • Guillermo Meza, Mother and Child, 1953, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Weil
  • Gerhard Richter, Ema (Nude on a Staircase) (Ema [Akt auf einer Treppe]), 1992, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art League Fund, Roberta Coke Camp Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, and the Contemporary Art Fund: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon E. Faulconer, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Marguerite and Robert K. Hoffman, Howard E. Rachofsky, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, and two anonymous donors
  • Jerry Bywaters, Share Cropper, 1937, Dallas Museum of Art, Allied Arts Civic Prize, Eighth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1937
  • Alfred Thompson Bricher, Time and Tide, c. 1873, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Mayer

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Tour and Outreach Scheduling Begins Today

Teachers, grab your calendars: tour and Go van Gogh outreach scheduling for the 2012-2013 school year begins today.

As always, all outreach programs and tours booked in advance are free of charge.  Go van Gogh outreach is offered to grades 1-6 in the Dallas area.  Programs include conversations about artworks and an art-making activity, and are designed to dovetail with school curricula, per grade level.  Visit our web site to learn more about the Go van Gogh programs offered this year.

Self-guided or docent-led tours of the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions are available to K-12 students and higher education audiences.  Of special note this fall is our Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico docent-guided tour, which will feature outstanding works of Mesoamerican art.  Visit our web site for a full list of tours offered this year.

To submit on online request form, visit the tour and Go van Gogh sections of our web site.

We look forward to seeing you and your students this Fall!

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach

Vacay at the DMA

Well folks, we have officially broken one hundred degrees, which means that the Dallas summer is really here. You may get a chance to escape the weather with a trip to cooler climates. But I am here to tell you that it is possible to beat the heat and enjoy a fun-filled day of play right here in Dallas! At the Dallas Museum of Art you can travel all over the world, eat any type of food your heart desires, and participate in creative activities without ever leaving downtown.

Here are some great ways to enjoy a DMA get-away:

Self-Guided Tours

With over 25,000 works of art at the DMA, chances are that you won’t be able to see everything in one day. But don’t worry, any of our bite-sized tours will show you how to have a quality experience at the DMA instead of a quantity one. You can choose from four different themes to match your interests, either by downloading and printing them at home or by asking the Visitors Service Desk for a copy.

smARTphone Tours

For a more customized experience, use your smartphone to access interactive content specific to each gallery.

Lunch

  • With a variety of lunchtime favorites, the bright and open Atrium Cafe is a great place to have a meal.
  • The Sculpture Garden is a perfect spot to relax, soak up some sun, and enjoy your lunch while surrounded by art.
  • Or try any one of the tasty and affordable food trucks just a couple of blocks away; they have something for everyone!

After Hours

  • If you are a late-nighter, you are in luck, because every Thursday Night the Museum stays open until 9:00 pm. You can enjoy a cocktail while listening to jazz music in the Atrium Cafe, or create an original work of art in the Center for Creative Connections.
  • Every third Friday of the month the Museum stays open until midnight, offering a variety of fun and free programs inspired by the Late Night theme of the month.

Need more ideas for engaging with the collection? Check out our list of 100 Experiences.

I’ll see you at the Museum,

Hannah Burney
Go van Gogh Programs Assistant

Art is for Families

Do you remember family visits to museums as a kid?  Picking favorite artworks together, seeing something completely perplexing/absolutely beautiful, or learning (maybe the hard way) that you can’t touch the art?

My colleague, C3 Gallery Specialist Jessica Nelson, is dedicating her master’s thesis research capturing such experiences.  Last week, Jessica forwarded me a link to her more-than-excellent blog Art is for Families.  The blog documents her Art Education master’s thesis project, for which Jessica is embarking on a series of wonder-full museum adventures with her six-year-old daughter, Julia.  Jessica’s research focuses on family learning in museums: specifically, how museum-produced self-guided materials help families have meaningful experiences with artworks.  She is also interested in inter-generational collaborative research and art-making as a vehicle for storytelling.

Together, Jessica and Julia will visit six museums in the metroplex, making use of available self-guided materials, and documenting their journeys in a variety of media. The two are equal collaborators: Julia and Jessica make art together, collect stories, take separate photos of their experiences, and throughout, have a dialogue about their process.

So far, Julia and Jessica have visited the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art—taking advantage of the Modern’s self-guided sketchbook, Ten Pages and the Carter’s Postcard Tour.  Below are just a few of many pictures of their visits and resulting projects:

Julia twirled through my office last week, just in time for me to take the adorable mother-daughter photo above for this post.  Julia, we cannot wait to see more of your art and read (and read and read) more of your stories about museums.  Jessica, what an amazing project!  We look forward to learning from your research.

To have a self-guided family adventure at the DMA, ask for one of our four bite-sized Self-Guided tours at the Visitor Services desk, or print them at home.  And for more family-focused art-making and art-exploring ideas, visit We Art Family! The DMA Family Blog.

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach


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