Posts Tagged 'William Wetmore Story'

30-Minute Dash: Emily Schiller

The design of the DMA provides several places for visitors to observe disparate forms of art within adjacent spaces. I find these vantage points to be the Museum’s most unexpected assets and my recommended route passes three of them.

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Take the mid-Concourse stairs to the third-floor balcony. From this elevated perspective you’re able to recognize the curious pairing of sculptures on the ground level and left wall. William Wetmore Story’s Semiramis  follows the familiar tradition of depicting legendary figures in white marble. She reclines near the base of a 1930s Ceremonial pole (mbis) created by the Asmat people in the southwestern region of present-day New Guinea. These works arguably have little in common, and yet at the DMA they are neighbors, ripe for comparison and appreciation.

Next, proceed through the Japanese gallery on the Museum’s third level to the balcony that looks back onto your previous position. The expanse of artistic styles, periods, materials, and intentions gains a level of complexity with the presence of a cast bronze sculpture from the Meji period, Takenouchi no Sukune Meets the Dragon King of the Sea.

Emily Schiller is the Digital Collections Content Coordinator at the DMA.

Rock On

We’re well prepared for tomorrow’s “Collect Rocks Day” with a number of works in our collection made from various forms of stone. Explore some of the DMA’s rockin’ works below and add them to the “must see” list on your next visit to the Museum.

‘Do It Up

Who doesn’t love visiting the salon to relax, recharge, gossip, and get a fresh new ‘do? And all of that pampering couldn’t happen without your trusty hairstylist. Since today is Hairstylist Appreciation Day, let’s check out what hair-raising inspiration the DMA’s collection has to offer.

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Isaac Soyer, Art Beauty Shoppe, 1934, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Public Works of Art Project

It’s no surprise that women back in the 1930s enjoyed being pampered at the salon too, though their pampering may have required a bit more work. Case in point: notice the guest in the green dress with the strange contraption on her head—she’s getting a perm with an early permanent wave machine. Oh the things we do in the name of beauty!

William Wetmore Story, Semiramis, designed 1872, carved 1873, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Morynne and Robert E. Motley in memory of Robert Earl Motley, Jr., 1942-1998

William Wetmore Story, Semiramis, designed 1872, carved 1873, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Morynne and Robert E. Motley in memory of Robert Earl Motley, Jr., 1942-1998

According to myth, Semiramis murdered her husband so that she could become the sole ruler of Assyria. A lady this fierce certainly requires the appropriately coiffed hair to match. Her tight curls are bound down her back and set off with a lovely crown, just to remind everyone exactly who’s in charge.

Charles Willson Peale, Rachel Leeds Kerr, 1790, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation

Charles Willson Peale, Rachel Leeds Kerr, 1790, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation

By the late 18th century, hair was teased to towering heights. Styles would be elaborately arranged by hairdressers and maintained for weeks by sleeping in less than comfortable positions with hair wrapped in handkerchiefs. Day dress required the proper covering of the head, but for evening the intricately crafted style was put proudly on display. If size does matter, we can only imagine what talents Mrs. Kerr’s hairdresser employed under her cap.

Stop by the DMA the next time you’re in need of a little hairstyle inspiration and see what your stylist can dream up!

Sarah Coffey is Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives at the DMA.


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