Posts Tagged 'Uffizi Gallery'

Summer Art Hopping

With today being the first official day of summer, vacations are on the minds of the DMA staff. As employees of an art museum, we tend to include museums in our travel plans. Below are a few of our favorite museum visits and some we have on our “art bucket lists.”

Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services
One of my most memorable museum visits was to The Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy. I had always wanted to see Michelangelo’s David and walking towards it, down a hallway that was lined with more of Michelangelo’s uncompleted sculptures, was an amazing and powerful experience.

The museum(s) I am most looking forward to visit are the Tate museums in England (Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St. Ives). If I had to pick just one site to visit to just look at art it would be the Tate Modern, and if I had to pick one to visit for a program it would be Late at Tate Britain when that museum stays open until 10 p.m. the first Friday of every month and offers a variety of programs.

Tate Modern at night

Hillary Bober, Digital Archivist
My favorite museum is the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, for the simple reason that I really love glass. Glass is such a unique medium; you can create incredibly beautiful and delicate pieces or amazingly durable industrial stuff, and the museum covers it all. There are also glass making demonstrations, Make Your Own Glass projects – I made a blown glass bottle and a flameworked bead when I went – and extensive courses for beginner to professional. Of course, there is also a great gift shop – I do love a gift shop – and you can’t beat the Finger Lakes setting in upstate New York.

Along this same vein, a museum that I would really like to go to is the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, Wisconsin which holds a world-renowned collection of glass paperweights and other works in glass. Since my family lives in Wisconsin, a visit is definitely going at the top of my to-do list for my next trip home.

Wendi Kavanaugh, Member Outreach Manager
One of my favorite museums to visit outside of Dallas is the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  The PMA is one of the largest Museums in the US with over 200 galleries. It’s easy to get lost in the PMA and end up in a room full of medieval armor – which I have done on one than one occasion.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

I would most like to visit the Musée National du Moyen Âge (National Museum of the Middle Ages) in Paris, France. A professor recently shared that this is his favorite museum in Paris, as someone that spent most of their life in the city – he’s one to trust.  After spending an hour (or so) on their website, it’s easy to see why you should visit.

National Museum of the Middle Ages by Giraud Patrick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hayley Dyer, Audience Relations Coordinator
I had a great experience at the SFMOMA. The summer before my senior year of college I lived in San Francisco working for a jewelry designer.  As it was my first time in the city, I spent most of my free time exploring my temporary home.  One weekend I stopped by the SFMOMA and saw exhibitions of photography from Robert Frank and Richard Avedon; what a treat!  After I soaked up all the art inside the Museum, I headed up to the rooftop garden where I got an espresso from the coffee bar and read a book.  I think I treasure this experience because I was visiting the Museum alone.  I was able to have a personal connection with the artwork, the environment, and the city, and it wasn’t something that I had to share with anyone.

SFMOMA

The Museum I would like to visit is the Magritte Museum. Located in Brussels, Belgium, the Magritte Museum is the home of Belgium’s Royal Museums of Fine Arts’ collection of works by René Magritte.  Widely known as the painter of The Son of Man, aka The Guy in the Bowler Hat with an Apple on His Face, René Magritte is my favorite surrealist painter.  His colorful paintings feature his wonderful sense of humor.  Check out the Museum on YouTube.

Magritte Museum

Brent Mitchell, Registrar, Loans & Exhibitions
My favorite museum is the Museo Nacional Del Prado in Madrid. I had the pleasure of visiting on my first trip abroad, and I make sure to stop by every time I find myself in the city. My initial aim was to see the triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, but with so many stellar works throughout the museum, every gallery holds special promise for visitors. I remember turning around after viewing a Botticelli painting and finding myself in front of the rather remarkable painting Dead Christ held up by an Angel by Antonella de Messina. It has become one of my favorite depictions of Christ.

Bosch in the Prado

If I’m ever fortunate enough to find myself in Italy, I will head to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It would be great to see Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Titian’s Venus of Urbino.

Uffizi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Martha MacLeod, Curatorial Administrative Assistant/European and American Art Department
Visiting the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts was on my “must visit” list for a very long time.  The old building is a fabulous piece of architecture and houses works by many of my favorite American artists.  Three years ago, I received a research grant to go there.  When I took a break from my work to wander through the building, I came upon a large studio filled with many plaster casts.  Suddenly it struck me that I may well have been standing in the same space where Thomas Eakins once taught life-drawing classes over 140 years ago.

Another place on my “must visit” list is not a museum per se, but I want to go to the Boston Public Library to see John Singer Sargent’s mural cycle The Triumph of Religion.  I have wanted to see it firsthand ever since I wrote a paper about it when I was in graduate school.  Until I make a trek there, the poster on my office wall of Frieze of the Prophets, which is part of the mural cycle, will have to suffice.

Martha’s private Boston Public Library

Kimberly Daniell, PR Specialist
My favorite Museum in the entire world is Musée de l’Orangerie, I have to visit every time I am in Paris. The museum is located in the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre and Seine, how could you go wrong? I fell in love with Monet in elementary school and experiencing a room filled with his large Nymphéas paintings is amazing. I think it may be one of the most peaceful galleries I have ever been to.

Monet in the Musée de l’Orangerie

The Museum I desperately want to visit is Museo Nacional Del Prado. Other than being located in Madrid, I have to see Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez’s Las Meninas (The Family of Felipe IV). Luckily the Prado already has a three hour tour, with Las Meninas as a stop, ready for me!

Las Meninas (Photo Credit: Museo Nacional Del Prado)

The Google Art Project: Art Accessible to All

Most of us usually experience artworks from books, magazines, and by visiting our local museums and art galleries. There are countless artworks all over the world that most of us will not get an opportunity to see in person. Wouldn’t it be amazing if students in Dallas could take a field trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City? How about a trip to Florence, Italy to view The Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Gallery, or a trip to Hong Kong, China to visit the Hong Kong Heritage Museum?

Google has created a way to virtually visit these museums. Thanks to the Google Art Project, anyone with internet access can have a virtual tour of artworks, and gallery spaces in major art centers all over the world. Students in any part of the world can get online and experience artworks that they may otherwise not have access to.

Right now you may be thinking, “This sounds good, but what exactly is the Google Art Project, and how does it work?”  Here is a preview.

My first encounter with the Google Art Project took place about a year ago while taking a museum education class at the University of North Texas. My instructor Dr. Laura Evans approached a few of the students about the possibility of presenting on the Google Art Project at the 2011 Texas Art Education Association Conference in Galveston, TX. After doing some research on this project, Jessica Nelson, Nicole Newland, David Preusse, and I decided to work as a team under the leadership of Dr. Evans. Our presentation, Virtual Museum Field Trips: The Google Art Project was aimed at providing ways in which high school art teachers could incorporate the Google Art Project into their classrooms. Afterward, we received positive feedbacks from the teachers in attendance.

Currently, the Google Art Project features artworks and gallery spaces from selected collections worldwide. This project is relatively new and still developing.  Similar to the street view and navigation features in Google Maps, the Google Art Project provides an interior view and navigation of art galleries and museums. It is structured to emulate a viewer’s perspective within the space. You can easily navigate from one gallery space into the next, zoom in and out of artworks, and get more information on each artwork. Moreover, you can log in and create your own personal gallery collection of your favorite artworks.

The Google Art Project is easy to use, and its structure encourages countless possibilities for art education activities in K-12 art classrooms. Some suggestions for activities include:

  • Comparisons – compare and contrast artworks in the same space or in different galleries.
  • Art critique activities – describe, interpret, and critique works of art.
  • Personal collections  – curate customized art collections for classroom projects.
  • Imaginative narratives – write stories inspired by artworks in the same gallery space.
  • Original artworks – create artworks inspired by a gallery space or by selected artworks in different museums.

Below is a summary of one of the art activities I created and presented during the TAEA conference.

Activity: Compare and Contrast: ARTexting
Grade: High school

Objective: Using the notion of texting, students create an informed conversation between two artworks in a gallery space. This ARTexting activity encourages students to make decisions and insightful observations as well as develop personal connections and individual creativity.

Outline:

  • Choose two artworks in the same gallery space that are displayed facing each other.
  • Imagine what these artworks would say if they could send text messages to each other.
  • Which artwork will send the first text?  How will the second artwork respond?
  • What interesting facts will they learn about each other?
  • Students should research basic facts about their selected artworks and write a possible conversation that the artworks could have via texting.
  • The dialogue should be fun and also informative.

Example
Museum: Uffizi Gallery, Florence Italy

Artworks:

Sample text dialogue:

Portinari: Hello Goddess of Love, what’s up?
Venus: Nothing much, I am just emerging from the sea. It’s so cold out here. You look warm over there with all those bright outfits!
Portinari: Lol. We have baby Jesus here. Some shepherds stopped by to check him out.
Venus: Ohh how fun! But why is he on the floor?
Portinari:
He is really humble – he was born in a manger
Venus: Oh I see. That must be his mom next to him. How cool!
Portinari: …

Venus: …

This activity was inspired by considering how the Google Art Project  could relate to high school students. The education link on the Google Art Project provides more ideas and examples of activities, suggestions, and videos from a variety of experts. Such resources can be useful to classroom teachers, students, museum educators, or anyone interested.

The zoom in feature is remarkable. Unlike being in a museum that has restrictions on how close you can get to artworks, the Google Art Project allows you to zoom in and experience every texture, form, or brushstroke of an artwork.

The Google Art Project is truly an innovative approach to making art available to the masses. It provides new ways to interact with artworks and exciting tools for art education. Moreover, it is free and available to anyone with internet access.  This means that a student in my home country of Cameroon can have access to artworks in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as well as artworks in the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City. This Google initiative is certainly at the core of arts advocacy, as it creates cross-cultural connections by making the arts more accessible across the globe.

The Google Art Project makes art accessible to everyone. So, do not wait any longer – visit www.googleartproject.com and let your exploration begin!

Mary Nangah
Community Teaching Assistant


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