Posts Tagged 'Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties'

Youth and Beauty Artist Personality Quiz

Have you ever wondered if there was any artist who shared your likes and interests? Well, we’ve got a swell way for you to find out: take the Youth and Beauty Artist Personality Quiz! During Late Night this Friday, April 20, stop by the Artist Personality Quiz table in the Concourse, where you’ll find our nifty nod to some of the artists featured in Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties.

To whet your whistle, try this question on for size:

When I am vacationing, you can find me:

a. Soaking in the sun on a beach on the French Riviera.

b. Reveling in the desert landscape of Santa Fe.

c. Renting a lighthouse on Cape Cod and walking along the coast.

d. Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of New York City.

e. Globetrotting from Bermuda to Berlin.

f. Road-tripping across America’s heartland.

Which letter did you pick?  Be sure to get dolled up in your flapper finest for Late Night this Friday and take the full quiz to discover which Twenties artist you are most like. Then, venture into the galleries for our Artist Personality Quiz Artist Talks, where you can hear more about your artist next to his or her work of art.

The whole evening will definitely be the bee’s knees!

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Boogie-Woogie April – Jazz Appreciation Month

April celebrates one of the most joyous and “most American” music styles—jazz. In fact, jazz is such an important part of American culture that a whole decade in American history, the 1920s, has come to be known as the Jazz Age. In the DMA spaces, you can find connections between the visual arts and jazz every week on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. during Jazz in the Atrium.

In our newest exhibition, Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, you can see the work of jazz admirer and Harlem Renaissance leader Aaron Douglas. In Charleston (which references Paul Morand’s novel Black Magic), Douglas depicts the jazz scene set within the African community, in which the genre has part of its roots. Commenting on a later work, Douglas equated the figures in the painting with different types of music, describing the saxophone player as a representation of jazz and “Songs of Joy and the Dance.”

Aaron Douglas, "Charleston," c. 1928, gouache and pencil on paper board, North Carolina Museum of Art

Douglas’s contemporary and fellow jazz enthusiast Stuart Davis is featured in the American galleries with a work that, although subtly, also reveals the rhythms of the Jazz Age. Not only do the bold colors and forms of Electric Blub reflect the energy of the time, but the subject speaks to the modernism and industrialization of 1920s America.

Stuart Davis, "Electric Bulb," 1924, oil on board, Dallas Museum of Art, Fine Arts Collectible Fund, 1988.59, © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Nearby, a stunning portrait sculpture of the jazz musician Huddy “Leadbelly” Ledbetter serves as an appropriate transition in our jazz-inspired tour between Davis’s painting and William Waldo Dodge’s Skyscraper cocktail shaker with cups. Developing rapidly in the 1920s, the skyscraper became, together with jazz, a symbol of a free, modern America, inspiring designers across the country.

Michael G. Owen, Jr., "Leadbelly," 1943, black serpentine, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Gooch Fund Purchase Prize, Twelfth Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1951, 1950.91

William Waldo Dodge, Jr., “Skyscraper” cocktail shaker with cups, c. 1928-1931, silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange, 2008.48.1-12

But if the connections we’ve made so far are too obvious or the works too representational for your taste, don’t worry; make your way toLevel 3, where you will find works by abstract artists and jazz lovers Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian.

With improvisation being a key feature of jazz music, some argue that the process in this genre is at least as important as (perhaps more than) the end result. The same can be said of Pollock’s and Mondrian’s work. Pollock moving around his canvas as he pours the paint can be compared to a jazz musician improvising during a performance; both represent similar artistic expressions and ultimate celebrations of their respective arts.

Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, enamel and aluminum paint on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis, 1950.87 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Piet Mondrian, "Place de la Concorde," 1938-1943, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation, 1982.22.FA © 2012 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International Washington DC

A big fan of boogie-woogie and a seeker of balance and equilibrium, Mondrian used his intuition to place and arrange the lines in works such as Place de la Concorde—much like a jazz musician would intuitively improvise on his instrument. In fact, Mondrian identified with jazz and boogie-woogie so much that he once said:

“True boogie woogie I conceive as homogeneous in intention with mine in painting: destruction of melody, which is the equivalent of destruction of natural appearance, and construction through the continuous opposition of pure means—dynamic rhythm.”

As you can see, jazz can be a treat not only for your ears but also for your eyes! So come celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month any (or every) Thursday night in April at the DMA!

Vivian Barclay is the McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Mary Jordan is the McDermott Education Intern for Family Experiences and Access Programs at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Our Quest for a Player Piano

Our upcoming Late Night on Friday, April 20, will celebrate our exhibition Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties. As we were planning for this event, we learned that Chilton Gallery I would be empty during this time, as staff prepares the space for a new installation, so we inquired about using it for one of our programs. Once we got the green light, we immediately thought: Speakeasy!

The Speakeasy will feature 1920s-inspired cocktails and live music, with an area where visitors can “cut a rug.” But we also wanted to have music playing in-between the live acts, and what speakeasy would be complete without a player piano!

We believed the easiest thing to do would be to rent one from a local piano company, but after placing a few calls we found that they didn’t have any “older-looking” player pianos, and even if they did, it would cost a lot of money to rent one for a night. We thought we were out of luck until one of the companies suggested that it would be cheaper if we just bought one online.

Surprisingly (to us at least), there were quite a few to choose from.

Welcome to Carrollton

After examining all of the listings for pianos for sale we picked our favorite four. We heard back from a couple who was selling a Rubenstein player piano that fit the feel of the 1920s. So we headed to Carrollton to take a look, make sure the player part did indeed work, and check out the instrument’s overall condition.

Checking out the inner workings of the piano.

A box of music rolls for the player piano.

Once we agreed to buy the piano we then had to work out transport to the Museum. After a few more calls, and the brief thought of moving it ourselves with a U-Haul, we ended up working with Piano Movers of Texas.

Bringing the piano into the Museum via our loading dock.

Two weeks after beginning our quest for a player piano we finally have one on-site, where it is waiting in our auditorium greenroom for its move next Friday to the Speakeasy.

Stop by during the Late Night and take a look at the newest addition to the DMA piano family, which also includes a 9-foot Steinway Concert Grand piano and a 6-foot Yamaha G Series Baby Grand white piano.

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services.
Denise Helbing is Manager of Partner Programs.

Friday Photos: I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

March happens to be Women’s History Month and to celebrate this month-long feminine fiesta, I have posted images of some of the Museum’s leading ladies.

The artistic superwoman, Georgia O’Keeffe is represented in the DMA’s collection and  in our current exhibition Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, which features six of her paintings.

Grey Blue & Black-Pink Circle, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1929, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation

The legendary activist; the one, the only Lady Godiva:

Lady Godiva, Anne Whitney, c.1861-1864, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Alessandra Comini, in memory of Eleanor Tufts

Anne Vallayer-Coster was one of four women who was trained at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1770.  You go girl…

Bouquet of Flowers in a Blue Porcelain Vase, Anne Vallayer-Coster, c.1776, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund and gift of Michael L. Rosenberg

The fearless femme-fatale, Durga:

Durga, Inda, 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Junior Associates

The cultural trend-setter, Mrs. Sarah Sherburne Langdon:

Sarah Sherburne Langdon, John Singleton Copley, c. 1767, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc

The eternal mother figure, the Virgin Mary:

Virgin of the Rosary, Melchor Perez Holguin, late 17th-18th centuries, Dallas Museum of Art, The Cleofas and Celia de la Garza Collection, gift of Mary de la Garza-Hanna and Virginia de la Garza and an anonymous donor

All of these heroic ladies can be found in the galleries at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Come explore the Museum this weekend and see if you can find any additional wonder-women.

Best,

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits

Upcoming Teacher Workshop: The Twenties

What comes to mind when you think of America in the twenties?

My first thoughts: jazz music, flappers, The Great Gatsby, the end of WWI, Prohibition, the Harlem Renaissance, Al Capone, and new rights for women. The country was quickly urbanizing and industrializing,  and technology was advancing. The twenties in the U.S. were “roaring” indeed – characterized  by dynamic change and modernization. Visual artists along with authors, poets, and playwrights responded to all this change through their works. The DMA’s upcoming full-day teacher workshop on March 31 will explore the conceptual and thematic threads that connect 1920s visual art, literature, and a rapidly morphing America.

For a little teaser of The Twenties workshop, read “The Red Wheelbarrow”  by William Carlos Williams. Then, view the following four artworks from Youth and Beauty: Art of the American TwentiesHow are ideas presented in the poem resonating with one or more of the artworks? Which artwork do you think best associates with the poem?

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

We would love for you to leave a comment with your thoughts and associations!

Andrea Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

Artworks shown:

  • Elsie Driggs, Queensborough Bridge, 1927, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey, Museum Purchase, Lang Acquisition Fund
  • Lewis Wickes Hine, Power House Mechanic, 1920-1921, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum
  • Gerald Murphy, Razor, 1924, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist
  • Joseph Stella, The Amazon, 1925-1926, The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from the Edward Joseph Gallagher II Memorial Collection

Friday Photos: Splish, Splash!

From ancient Greek sculptures of Aphrodite with a vessel of bathing water, to paintings of bathers by turn-of-the-century artists like Cézanne, swimmers and bathers remain popular subjects throughout western art history. Why have so many artists chosen this subject? Perhaps it is because cleansing oneself is universal, or because bathing can be related to purity.

Our new exhibition, Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties features a number of bathers and swimmers. With physical culture in its heydey, 1920s artists often presented bathers and modern swimmers as models of the ideal physique.

Here are some works in our collection featuring bathers and swimmers. Click on any of the artworks to scroll through larger images. The next time you visit the Dallas Museum of Art, be on the lookout for other bathing beauties!

Why do you think artists include bathers in their artworks?

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

Artworks shown:

      • Edgar Degas, The Bathers, c.1890-1895, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
      • Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Bather with Cigarette, 1924, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase Fund, Deaccession Funds/City of Dallas (by exchange) in honor of Dr. Steven A. Nash
      • John Marin, Bathers, 1932, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation Incorporated
      • Albert Meyeringh, Landscape with bathers, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Arthur Kramer, Sr.
      • Camille Pissarro, Bathers, 1895-1896, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
      • Felix Edouard Vallotton, Three Bathers (Les Trois Baigneuses), 1895, Dallas Museum of Art, Beatrice and Patrick Haggerty Acquisition Fund, the Jolesch Acquisition Fund, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, and contributions in memory of Richard D. Haynes

2012 Spring Teacher Workshops

We are officially in the middle of January, and that means that it is time to announce our Spring Teacher Workshops for 2012!

The Fashion World Of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the Dallas Museum of Art

If you have ever wondered how exhibitions are created, then you absolutely must attend our first workshop on February 11th, Designing Exhibitions. Learn about the creativity, challenges, and design of exhibitions at the Dallas Museum of Art with the DMA’s exhibition designer, Jessica Harden. Explore The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier from the Designer’s perspective, participate in art-inspired, design-based thinking projects, and be prepared to look at museum exhibitions in a brand new light.

As you may know, we love the idea of combining art and poetry, so we are excited to promote The Art of Language: Mark Manders and Elliott Hundley as an Adult Workshop that is open to teachers as well as the general public. This evening workshop will take place at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center on March 8th. Come and explore connections between language and visual art in this workshop, as we examine the work of contemporary artists Mark Manders and Elliott Hundley. Led by Farid Matuk, poet, and Dr. Cynthia King, an English professor at UNT, as well as staff from the DMA and the Nasher, participants will discover each artist’s unique relationship to language and then respond to the exhibitions through writing.

Still Life with Books, Table and Fake Newspaper, Mark Manders, 2010, Collection David Teiger

The Amazon, Joseph Stella, 1925-1926 The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from the Edward Joseph Gallagher III Memorial Collection

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Later this spring, on March 31st, The Twenties: American Art, Literature, and History will coincide with the exhibition Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties. Participants will view the varied works in this exhibition and study key American artworks in the DMA’s collection as they explore ideas about art, literature and popular culture in 1920s American life.

We hope to see you at the DMA in 2012!

Jessica Kennedy
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching


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