Posts Tagged 'Starry Crown'

Friday Photos: Mother Knows Best

The Dallas Museum of Art is home to an encyclopedic collection of more than 22,000 works of art. While most are on display in the Museum’s permanent galleries, you can also find several in the Center for Creative Connections, including John Biggers’ Starry Crown.

starrycrown

John Biggers, Starry Crown, 1987, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum League Purchase Fund

In Starry Crown, a majestic trio of black women work together on a traditional African quilt. The quilt in the painting features patterns resembling a quilt crafted by the artist’s own mother and the string symbolizes the spoken word that passes traditions and knowledge through generations.

The next time you visit C3, be sure to check out our unique interactive connected with Starry Crown. You can share words of wisdom that an important woman in your life has given. It may come as no surprise that for many, that important woman is their mother.

In celebration of Mother’s Day this Sunday, we wanted to share some of our favorite words of wisdom that the mothers of DMA visitors’ have provided. It’s clear that mothers make an indelible, lasting impact on our lives, no matter how big or small we are!

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What words of wisdom has your own mother given you? Let us know in the comments and have a Happy Mother’s Day!

Amy Elms
McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement

Creating Connections with Writer Shay Youngblood

John Thomas Biggers, Starry Crown, 1987, acrylic and mixed media on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum League Purchase Fund

John Thomas Biggers, Starry Crown, 1987, acrylic and mixed media on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum League Purchase Fund

I began research on John Biggers’ Starry Crown, which is on view in the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections (C3), in order to create interactive elements in the gallery for visitors. When I began, it was clear that the symbols and imagery in the painting hold a lot of information that needed to be unpacked. I found that one of the overriding themes in this piece, and other works by Biggers, is the transfer of knowledge by women across generations. The three figures depicted here reference important women in Biggers’ life, and the string that connects them alludes to the sharing of knowledge, traditions and family history through dialogue.

wheniwas

As an art educator, I found it important to help visitors connect with this work of art by considering their own similar experiences. I started by posting prompts like “When I was _____ (age), ______ (an important woman in your life) taught me _________.” The responses were inspiring, sweet and at times comical. These snippets were interesting, but what I really wanted was the great stories that these sentences only hinted at.

Late_ Night_04_19_2013_AG_72

For this, the Center for Creative Connections enlisted the help of DMA Writer-in-Residence Shay Youngblood. During Late Nights, Shay interviewed visitors about family traditions and lessons they learned from important women in their lives. We chose a handful of stories from the dozens collected, and then Shay reimagined them through the lens of a creative writer and presented them at the January 2014 Late Night. Visit DMA.mobi and enter stop number 125 to listen to our visitors’ stories.
Shay
ShayStarryCrown

Jessica Fuentes is the C3 gallery coordinator at the DMA.


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