Posts Tagged 'Shiva'

The unofficial guide to the couples you will see this Valentine’s Day (as told through art)

The OG
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Move over Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Step back Kim and Kanye. The Adam and Eve couples of Valentine’s Day have been at this game for a while. If you happen to ask them for relationship advice, watch out—their knowledge on the subject seems to go back to the beginning of time itself. This couple has been through a lot together—from temptation to family drama—but they learned to love each other no matter what befell them. Their higher connections will probably get them excellent reservations at the most desired restaurants as well.

The Swoon Worthy
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Here come the new kids on the block, spending their first Valentine’s Day together. In their eyes they are the sun and the moon, and they will do absolutely anything for each other. At this point in their relationship, chivalry and romance is rampant, and Sunday will be a test of their affection. Much like the Muslim Princess Erminia disguised herself as a knight to find her precious Christian Knight Tancred during the Crusades, their love knows no bounds. These are the couples you will see around town undertaking grandiose gestures like renting hot air balloons, or casually forsaking their families, homeland, and religion for the love of another.

The #Relationship Goals

1991'107, 11/14/02, 1:46 PM, 8C, 5816x8782 (148+81), 112%, Repro 1.8, 1/30 s, R67.2, G32.6, B36.6

Dinner at 5, home by 7, and in bed by 9. This couple’s unconditional love is something to aspire to. Much like the god Shiva and his wife, the goddess Parvati, shown here entwined in a passionate embrace, this couple might partake in too much PDA, but it’s acceptable due to how perfect they are for each other. This couple does not need to go to elaborate lengths this Valentine’s Day, because every day is a chance for them to do an act of kindness for the other.

The Tinder Date Gone Awry
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The fear of being alone and celebrating Single Awareness Day led these individuals to take to dating apps to find their special someone. Much like the uncomfortable scene depicted here, you will find these forced couples in painfully awkward attempts at conversation. Some will try to woo their Valentine with their musical prowess, while others will rely on their good looks, lack of clothing, and charm. One or both members of the party may look to you in desperation, but remember it was they who chose to swipe right.

Images: Jean François de Troy, Adam and Eve, 1718, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 1990.145.FA; Guillaume Guillon Lethière, Erminia and the Shepherds, 1795, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 2013.1.FA; Uma-Maheshvara, India, Rajasthan (?), c. 8th century A.D., grayish green stone, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation in honor of Colonel and Mrs. Alvin M. Owsley, 1991.107; Pietro Paolini, Bacchic Concert, c. 1625-30, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation, 1987.17

Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the DMA

Cuddly Symbols of Undying Love

Uma-Maheshvara, central India, likely late 11th to 12th century, buff sandstone, Intended bequest of David T. Owsley

Uma-Maheshvara, central India, likely late 11th to 12th century, buff sandstone, Intended bequest of David T. Owsley

Dr. Anne Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art at the DMA, can always be counted on to discuss the representation of love in various forms in the works in the DMA’s collection. We asked her to pick out a work on view for a special Valentine’s Day post:

In this sumptuous temple relief, the great Hindu god Shiva embraces his wife Parvati in a sensuous and romantic way. As both gods are deities of fertility, they are shown as almost naked and with beautifully modeled bodies. By their feet are their two sons, the elephant-headed god Ganesha and Skanda, a war god. Over the couple is a scene with Shiva in his other aspect, as the great god of yogic meditation. According to a Hindu text, Parvati longed for a baby after she and Shiva married, but he remained stubbornly ascetic. Finally, the beautiful Parvati said, “Alright, just give me a child and you can go on being the divine yoga master.” So he did, but since Shiva is the god of life, death, and rebirth, it wasn’t that simple. When Shiva found the child Ganesha barring him from Parvati when she was bathing, he cut off his son’s head. Then, moved by Pavati’s despair, he said that he would restore the boy with the head of the first person he saw, which turned out to be an elephant. Elephant-headed Ganesha became the god who removes obstacles from people’s path and gives them prosperity. He is the most popular god in India today. So the tumultuous story has a happy ending, and Shiva and Parvati are cuddly symbols of undying love.

Detail of Ganesha

Detail of Ganesha

Visit this work, and many other works that embody love, in the DMA’s collection galleries for free this Valentine’s Day.

Anne Bromberg is The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art at the DMA.

Reading the Cards: Part 5

This is the fifth and final post in a larger series finding connections between the ever-mystical tarot cards and the extraordinary collection of the Dallas Museum of Art. Head over to the first, second, third, and fourth posts for an introduction and earlier connections.

Temperance

Temperance is the fourteenth trump card in a traditional Tarot desk.  Representing the cardinal virtue of temperance, the winged figure pours water from one chalice to another diluting the unseen wine.  This, as well as the stance of one foot on land and one in water, symbolizes balance and moderation in one’s life.

Mark Manders, Composition with Three New Piles of Sand, 2010, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Mark Manders, Composition with Three New Piles of Sand, 2010, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Leaning backwards, the one-limbed figure in this piece remains perfectly balanced with the assistance of taut ropes.  While the figure does not express general comfort, its expression is distinctly calm.  As the figure is in control of its balanced stance, it accurately represents the equilibrium of temperance.

Tower

The Tower is the sixteenth of the Major Arcana cards.  Considered an ill omen, the image shows two people falling or fleeing from a burning building.  Thought to refer to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, the Tower symbolizes looming failure, ruin and catastrophe.

Claude-Joseph Vernet, A Mountain Landscape with an Approaching Storm, 1775, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund

Claude-Joseph Vernet, A Mountain Landscape with an Approaching Storm, 1775, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund

Claude-Joseph Vernet’s monumental landscape captures the terror associated with the destructive power of natural disasters.  Amidst the ominous clouds, craggy coast, and wind-whipped trees, anxious workers struggle to find sanctuary far from the violent storm’s path.

Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is the tenth trump card.  Depicting a six- or eight-spoked wheel crested by a sphinx, the Wheel of Fortune card is inscribed with the symbols for the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  Also visible are the letters T-A-R-O with reference to the card deck or R-O-T-A, the Latin word for wheel.  The Wheel of Fortune signifies a turning point in one’s life and often represents destiny and the cycles of life.

Shiva Nataraja, 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation, and an annonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley, with additional funding from The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

Shiva Nataraja, 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation, and an annonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley, with additional funding from The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

Deity of creation, destruction, and rebirth, the Hindu god Shiva is shown as Shiva Nataraja, the Divine Dancer.  In this form, Shiva embodies the energy of the entire cosmos and, surrounded by flames, dances the rhythm of the universe.  The precise positioning of his hands promise release from the endless wheel of rebirth.

World

The World is the final card in the major arcana.  Surrounding an untarnished nude woman, figures referenced in the Book of Revelation are depicted in each corner, including a lion, a calf, a beast with the face of a man, and an eagle.  These figures also signify the classic four elements in astrology: Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, and Scorpio.  The World represents completeness, accomplishment, and wholeness.

Miguel Covarrubias, Genesis, the Gift of Life, 1954, City of Dallas, Gift of Peter and Waldo Stewart and Stewart Company, 1992

Miguel Covarrubias, Genesis, the Gift of Life, 1954, City of Dallas, Gift of Peter and Waldo Stewart and Stewart Company, 1992

Inspired by a budding acorn, Miguel Covarrubias created the 12-foot tall and 60-foot long mural Genesis, the Gift of Life.  Saturated with creation stories, the mural explores the beauty of the earth and the life it sustains.

I have greatly enjoyed researching for and writing my Reading the Cards series.  I have learned a great deal and hope you have as well!

Pilar Wong
McDermott Intern for Community Teaching

Music Connections to the DMA Collection

The DMA’s collection offers a number of opportunities for cross-disciplinary study. Shannon has written blogs that focus on the literary connections to Abstract Expressionist works of art and other areas of the DMA’s collection. In this post, I thought I could share a few of my favorite music-related objects.

Below is a collage by Romare Bearden called Soul Three. In addition to being an accomplished artist, Romare Bearden also occasionally composed jazz music and associated with musicians such as Branford Marsalis, Duke Ellington, and Fats Waller. This musical influence appears frequently in his collages in the form of musical themes and subjects. Soul Three, for instance, shows three musicians playing guitar and tambourine.

Romare Bearden used music in many ways when he created art. Sometimes he drew while listening to music. He described this experience by saying, “[o]ne of the things I did was to listen to a lot of music. I’d take a sheet of paper and just make lines while I listened to records—a kind of shorthand to pick up the rhythm and the intervals.” Bearden also advised that, in making art, you “become a blues singer—only you sing on the canvas. You improvise—you find the rhythm and catch it good, and structure as you go along—then the song is you.”

Romare Bearden, Soul Three, 1968, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund and Roberta Coke Camp Fund

Shiva, the Hindu god of creation and destruction, is shown in the bronze sculpture below in his most transcendent state as Nataraja, or Lord of the Dance. Here, Shiva is the embodiment of cosmic energy who dances the rhythm of the universe and beats his drum in time. Music and dance, in the Hindu tradition, are considered pathways to divinity, and worshippers perform to honor the god.

Shiva Nataraja, 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation, and an anonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley, with additional funding from The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

 

Next, this black serpentine bust of Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter shows the musician as he appeared a few years before his death. Leadbelly was a troubled folk singer and two-time murderer who was reputedly pardoned for his crimes when the governor of Texas heard his music. In this bust, he is portrayed sensitively by the sculptor Michael G. Owen, Jr.

Michael G. Owen Jr., Leadbelly, 1943, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Gooch Fund Purchase Prize, Twelfth Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1951

 

Finally, for the Senufo peoples of Côte d’Ivoire, the drum is an instrument of music and communication. Drums are used by Senufo women to accompany songs sung in a secret language to deal with gender conflicts and other frustrations, and serve as a sort of “public address system” for the Senufo community announcing important events or rituals. They are also pounded to create a rhythm which encourages competition among young men hoeing the fields.

Drum, 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus

 

These are only a few of the many works at the DMA which celebrate music. List your favorites in the comments below.

 

Tom Jungerberg

IMLS Grant Coordinator

Saying Goodbye the Only Way I Know How

My time as a McDermott Intern at the Dallas Museum of Art is drawing to a close. Along with my seven fellow interns who began at the DMA in September, I will be walking the galleries with the McDermott title for the last time next Friday afternoon. I have had amazing experiences while working at the Museum and getting to know the collection, and even though I will only be moving up the road to UTD as I finish my Master’s degree this summer, I felt a ceremonial goodbye way in order, the best way I knew how. Here are a few of my favorite works of art at the museum and my loving tribute to them!

Emma-O, the Japanese Buddhist Judge of the Dead

Untitled (Perfect Lovers) by Félix González-Torres

Luba Arrow Holder with Head and Three Prongs

Rembrandt Peale's Porthole Portrait of George Washington

Emblem by Sam Francis

Hindu God Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the Dance

New Resources for Teachers

ATWAS Pachy imageExplore ten works of art in the new All the World’s a Stage:Celebrating Performance in the Visual Arts teaching materials.   These resources include information, images, music, and  much more! 

I encourage you and your students to discover ways that these works of art communicate ideas about the power of performance.

Until next time…

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Learning Partnerships with Schools

A Sneak Peek Behind the Curtain

Last week, our new special exhibition was unveiled to the public.  All the World’s a Stage brings together works of art in our collection that deal with the idea of performance.  Performance is a key theme at the DMA this year, as we get ready to welcome a new neighbor to the Arts District: the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.

 All the World’s a Stage is an exciting exhibition because it brings so many of our favorite works of art together in one place.  You usually never see Shiva Nataraja and Romare Bearden’s Soul Three side-by-side, but they’re only one gallery apart from now until February.

Yoruba Egungun

Yoruba Egungun costume

I’m especially excited that our Yoruba Egungun costume from Nigeria is back on display.  This is one of my favorite works of art in our collection.  Its multiple layers of cloth were added year after year by family members, and it is fun to imagine who added them and why.  This costume is used during a ceremony to honor ancestors—quite different from how we honor our ancestors.  The Egungun ceremony includes singing and drumming, and the Egungun twirls through the crowd like a whirlwind.  It’s definitely a spectacle for the senses, and one I hope to see in person some day!

We’re offering a variety of programs for teachers and students relating to the theme of performance this year, including docent-guided tours of the exhibition.  I hope you’ll attend one of these programs so we can share the excitement of this exhibition with your students.

Shannon Karol                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Tour Coordinator


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