Archive for February, 2013

Soup’s On

In a museum the size of the DMA, it’s hard to keep track of isolated changes over 370,000 square feet. So we are letting you know about three recent additions to the permanent collection that are now on view. I encourage you to visit the Museum and go on a “scavenger hunt” to see how these works add an extra spark to the galleries—remember, general admission is free!

All three of the works fall within the purview of decorative arts and were originally marketed to elite consumers. One is by a well-known figure—the 19th-century design magnate Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848-1933). Fans of contemporary art or those familiar with the DMA’s upcoming exhibitions will recognize the name of photographer Cindy Sherman (American, born 1954). The third designer may be unknown outside of specialist circles, but during his lifetime Archibald Knox (British, 1864-1933) was credited with developing a uniquely British approach to the Art Nouveau movement.

Cindy Sherman, "Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson)" soup tureen with platter, 1990, Ancienne Manufacture Royale de Francem, porcelain with silkscreen transfer and platinum decoration, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA-amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Cindy Sherman, “Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson)” soup tureen with platter, 1990, Ancienne Manufacture Royale de Francem, porcelain with silkscreen transfer and platinum decoration, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA-amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

From March 17 to June 9, the Cindy Sherman exhibition will adorn the walls of the Barrel Vault and Quadrant Galleries, but visitors to the European Galleries can also encounter the contemporary American’s work. Her Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson) soup tureen with platter sits camouflaged with rococo curves and floral embellishments. It creates a provocative disjuncture amid a wall of paintings by Canaletto (Italian, 1697-1768), Jean-Baptiste Oudry (French, 1686-1755), and Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748-1825).

Madame de Pompadour (French, 1721-1764) was the most famous of King Louis XV’s mistresses. She played a critical role in elevating rococo style to the pinnacle of aesthetic taste in mid-18th-century France. In 1756 she commissioned a tureen and platter from the renowned porcelain manufacturer in Limoges. Over two hundred years later, Sherman used the same factory to produce a limited-edition interpretation based on Pompadour’s original design.

Sherman takes on the guise of a historical tastemaker but allows viewers to be in on her joke. Close inspection of the photo-silkscreened portrait (reproduced twice on both the tureen and platter) reveals a pastiche—the theatrical make-up, somewhat ratty shawl, ill-fitting gray wig, and conspicuously faux breasts.

Cindy Sherman, "Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson)" soup tureen with platter, interior, 1990, Ancienne Manufacture Royale de Francem, porcelain with silkscreen transfer and platinum decoration, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA-amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Cindy Sherman, “Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson)” soup tureen with platter, interior, 1990, Ancienne Manufacture Royale de Francem, porcelain with silkscreen transfer and platinum decoration, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA-amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Museum guests won’t glimpse the tureen’s additional humorous detail because it is hidden on the base of the interior. As a visual pun on Pompadour’s maiden name and extreme wealth, Sherman created a still life of fish (French, poisson) and beaded necklaces.

Creative Director: Louis Comfort Tiffany, Vase, c. 1905-1919, earthenware, Dallas Museum of Art, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund

Tiffany Studios, Vase, c. 1905-1919, earthenware, Dallas Museum of Art, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund

Several new installations spice up the displays in the North Decorative Arts Gallery. Here you can find the latest addition to the DMA’s collection of works by Tiffany. Placed in a corner case surrounded by other examples of leading art pottery manufacturers, the brilliant hues of this small vase seem to reiterate the impact Tiffany Studios had on American decorative arts.

The iridescent surface shimmers with deep indigos, purples, and teals. The shape conjures images of flower petals or buds. Both traits demonstrate Tiffany’s dual focus on nature and mastering a material’s technical possibilities.

He coined the term “Favrile” in 1893 as an adaptation of the Old English word for “handmade.” The same moniker distinguished the wares of the ceramic workshop when it opened at Tiffany Furnaces (Corona, New York). As seen here, the glazing process allowed for creative expression and experimentation on the surface of an object formed from an existing mold.

Archibald Knox, Liberty and Co., W. H. Haseler & Co., Box (model 652 variant), 1905, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift.

Archibald Knox, Liberty and Co., W. H. Haseler & Co., Box (model 652 variant), 1905, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift.

The third object making its DMA debut appears in a case on the east wall of this gallery. It’s hard to miss a lavish box decorated with incised linear patterns and blue-green enamel, and topped by a sizeable opal. On the adjacent platform, a charger with ship motif (1881) and a bench (1900) echo the Celtic stylings seen on Knox’s construction. Taken as a whole, the arrangement illustrates the late 19th-century interest in national identity. Many artists in Europe used the contemporary archeological discoveries of Scandinavian sites as source material for a “Viking Revival” style.

This piece is one of four variants known to exist. Unlike the other, simpler iterations, the model 652 variant features a bulging lid beset with a substantial gem. Within Liberty & Co.’s Cymric line, this would have been one of the costliest items for sale. Thankfully, this and the other works described above can be seen free of charge at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Emily Schiller is the McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Saturday is the 177th anniversary of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. Celebrate Texas Independence Day this year by viewing newly installed works by Texas artists in the American Art Galleries on Level 4 or visiting the new exhibition Loren Mozley: Structural Integrity.

Otis Dozier, Cotton Boll, 1936, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Eleanor and C. Thomas May, Jr.

Otis Dozier, Cotton Boll, 1936, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Eleanor and C. Thomas May, Jr.

Alexandre Hogue, Drouth Stricken Area, 1934, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Alexandre Hogue, Drouth Stricken Area, 1934, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Florence E. McClung, Squaw Creek Valley, 1937, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Florence E. McClung

Florence E. McClung, Squaw Creek Valley, 1937, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Florence E. McClung

Charles T. Bowling, Mason County Landscape, 1938, egg tempera on composition board, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Eleanor and C. Thomas May, Jr.

Charles T. Bowling, Mason County Landscape, 1938, egg tempera on composition board, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Eleanor and C. Thomas May, Jr.

Jerry Bywaters, Share Cropper, 1937, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Allied Arts Civic Prize, Eighth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1937

Jerry Bywaters, Share Cropper, 1937, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Allied Arts Civic Prize, Eighth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1937

Merritt Mauzey, Neighbors, 1938, oil on masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Arthur Kramer and Fred Florence Purchase Prize, Ninth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1938 1938

Merritt Mauzey, Neighbors, 1938, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Arthur Kramer and Fred Florence Purchase Prize, Ninth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1938 1938

Kimberly Daniell is the Public Relations Manager at the Dallas Museum of Art and Elizabeth Donnelly is the Exhibitions Assistant at the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas

On February 28, the DMA will celebrate the publication of the first catalogue dedicated to exploring the Museum’s collection of South and Southeast Asian art. The Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas at the Dallas Museum of Art was written by Dr. Anne R. Bromberg, the DMA’s Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art.

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The catalogue examines over 140 sculptures, architectural pieces, and other works of art that represent the many cultures and religions of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas. Both visually and intellectually compelling, the catalogue celebrates the beauty and diversity of art from the region, as well as its social and historic significance.

The DMA’s South Asian collection has been growing since the first statue from the region was acquired in 1955. Since then, several exhibitions have led to the expansion of the collection, including the groundbreaking exhibition The Arts of Man in 1962 and the 1993 exhibition East Meets West: Selections from the David T. Owsley Collection. Following that exhibition, Mr. Owsley agreed to donate the exhibited works to the Museum, providing the core of the new Asian galleries that opened in 1996. He is also leaving his personal collection to the Museum in his estate.

We invite you to visit the Asian galleries to see (for free!) works from the catalogue that are currently on view, including the following and many others.

Shiva Nataraja, Chola dynasty, 11th century, bronze, 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

Shiva Nataraja, South India, Tamil Nadu, Chola dynasty, 11th century, bronze, 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

This bronze sculpture of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, shows him in his form as the Lord of the Dance. His dancing obliterates ignorance, signified by the dwarf beneath him. On special occasions, metal images such as this one were taken on procession both within the temple and in the surrounding area.

Vishnu as Varaha, 10th century, sandstone, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation and the Alconda-Owsley Foundation, E.E. Fogelson and Greer Garson Fogelson Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Wendover Fund, and gift of Alta Brenner in memory of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen

Vishnu as Varaha, Central India, Madhya Pradesh, 10th century, sandstone, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation and the Alconda-Owsley Foundation, E. E. Fogelson and Greer Garson Fogelson Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Wendover Fund, and gift of Alta Brenner in memory of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen

This sculpture portrays Vishnu, the Hindu preservation deity, as his incarnation of Varaha, with the head of a boar and the body of a human. He is shown triumphantly rising up from the ocean with the earth goddess, whom he has just rescued from the sea-demon that tried to drown her. Large figures of Varaha such as this one were often used to commemorate a king’s victory in battle, drawing an analogy between the righteousness of Varaha and the monarch.

Shrine, late 18th-19th century, silver over wood, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation

Shrine, India, Gujarat, late 18th-19th century, silver over wood, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation

This magnificent shrine is covered with a silver veneer and represents a miniature version of the universe; imagery evolves from the earthly realm of human activity to the heavenly realm with celestial dancers and birds near the dome. The eclectic imagery makes it difficult to identify as either Jain or Hindu without the holy figure that would have been seated in the middle. Shrines such as this one were used in private homes as well as in devotional chapels in larger temple complexes.

Buddha Sakyamuni, Khmer, c. 13th century, gilded bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund, and Wendover Fund

Standing Buddha, Thailand, Lopburi style, 13th-14th century, gilt bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund, and Wendover Fund

This gilt bronze statue of the Buddha stands with his hands out in a gesture meant to drive back floodwaters. The Buddha’s spiritual wealth is reflected in the lavish material of his clothing and intricate decoration of his crown and jewelry. The artistic style is named after the central Thai city of Lopburi, which was both the political and artistic center of the region.

Bust of a bodhisattva, Kushan, 2nd-3rd century, gray schist, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Margaret J. and George V. Charlton

Bust of a bodhisattva, India, Gandhara, Kushan period, 2nd-early 4th century, gray schist, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Margaret J. and George V. Charlton

This terracotta sculpture represents the last of the bodhisattvas that preceded the historical Buddha. This bodhisattva will be reborn as Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. Here, he is meditating on that reincarnation.

Please join us on Thursday, February 28, for a discussion led by Dr. Bromberg with fellow contributing authors to the book: Frederick M. Asher, Chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Minnesota; Robert Warren Clark, Coordinator of the Tibetan Language Program at Stanford University; and Nancy Tingley, an independent curator of Southeast Asian art. During this insightful program, they will discuss the history of the South and Southeast Asian collection at the DMA, as well as the process of creating the catalogue and what they found most interesting from the experience.

Andrea Lesovsky is the McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern in Ancient and Asian Art at the DMA.

The Color of Love

Love is in the air, and red is on the walls of the DMA. Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, we decided to explore the works in the collection that represent the color of love. Below are a few works you can visit in the DMA galleries without charge, now that we have free general admission, and you can check out other red works in the collection on the DMA’s Pinterest page. If you are looking for a fun date night to celebrate Valentine’s Day, stay out until midnight on Friday for our February Late Night; visit the DMA’s website for the Late Night schedule.

Crawford Riddell, Bed, c. 1844, brazilian rosewood, tulip poplar, and yellow pine, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation

Crawford Riddell, Bed, c. 1844, brazilian rosewood, tulip poplar, and yellow pine, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation

Mark Rothko, Orange, Red and Red, 1962, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Mark Rothko, Orange, Red and Red, 1962, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, (c) 2013 kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Marsden Hartley, Mountains, no. 19, 1930, oil on board, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Marsden Hartley, Mountains, no. 19, 1930, oil on board, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Paul Gauguin, Under the Pandanus (I Raro te Oviri), 1891, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Adele R. Levy Fund, Inc.

Paul Gauguin, Under the Pandanus, 1891, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Adele R. Levy Fund, Inc.

Rectangular box, mark and reign of Emperor Wanli (r. 1573-1619), dated in inscription to 1595, cinnabar lacquer over wood core, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Shutt

Rectangular box, China, mark and reign of Emperor Wanli (r. 1573-1619), dated in inscription to 1595, cinnabar lacquer over wood core, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Shutt

Tunic with checkerboard pattern and stepped yoke, Inca culture, Late Horizon, 1476-1534, camelid fiber, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc. in honor of Carol Robbins

Tunic with checkerboard pattern and stepped yoke, Peru, Inca culture, Late Horizon, 1476-1534, camelid fiber, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc. in honor of Carol Robbins

Installing Chagall

We have less than a week until the opening of Chagall: Beyond Color here at the Dallas Museum of Art. The DMA is the only U.S. venue for this exhibition, which features Marc Chagall’s sculptures, ceramics, collages, paintings, and costumes. To tide you over until the opening on Sunday, February 17, below are a few installation shots from the past week.

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DMA and DTC: Collaboration Inspired by Mark Rothko

The Dallas Museum of Art and its Arts District neighbor, Dallas Theater Center, are collaborating in an unprecedented way on the upcoming production of John Logan’s Tony Award-winning play Red, a bio-drama about iconic 20th-century artist Mark Rothko. Rothko once said, “I think of my pictures as dramas; the shapes in the pictures are the performers.”

Months ago, Joel Ferrell (DTC’s Associate Artistic Director and Director of Red) and Bob Lavallee (set designer) came to the DMA for a sneak peek at our Rothko painting currently in art storage so that they could examine the stretcher and the back of the canvas.

Joel Ferrell, Bob LaVallee, and Mark Leonard looking at the back of our Rothko painting currently in art storage.

Bob LaVvallee and Mark Leonard in art storage

Bob discussed his preliminary plans to turn the 9th floor of the Wyly Theatre into Rothko’s Bowery Studio. Joel mentioned that the actors portraying Rothko (Kieran Connolly) and his assistant Ken (Jordan Brodess) in Red will be priming and painting a canvas on stage to music in a “muscular dance,” and that “they wanted to get it right.” Joel and Bob peppered Mark Leonard (the DMA’s Chief Conservator) and Gabriel Ritter (the DMA’s Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art) with questions about Rothko’s use of materials, and great dialogue followed about the seriousness with which Rothko approached his art and creative process. On another visit, I helped production staff browse through books in the DMA’s Mayer Library to find the best photos of Rothko inside his studio in an effort to re-create it faithfully.

On January 16, the entire DTC staff, ranging from actors to production staff and administrators, joined DMA staff in an afternoon-long workshop. We immersed ourselves in the art of Mark Rothko through lively conversations with Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, who has written on Rothko’s techniques and directed the conservation of his Rothko Chapel paintings; by exploring works of art in the galleries with DMA staff by artists who came before and after Rothko; and through a sustained look and written reflection on Rothko’s painting Orange, Red and Red, which currently hangs in the South Concourse. We finished the afternoon by sharing our responses with each other, seeking to make meaning of what can seem to be an enigmatic painting.

Carol Mancusi-Ungaro discusses Rothko's painting technique with DTC and DMA staff.

Carol Mancusi-Ungaro discusses Rothko’s painting technique with DTC and DMA staff.

Many staff agreed that the longer you looked closely at Orange, Red and Red, the more it reveals to you and rewards you. DTC Brierley Resident Acting Company member and Master Teacher Christina Vela said, “The great masters don’t offer answers, they keep asking you questions; you’re forced to continue to struggle with them.” Bob Lavallee remarked that you have to be physically in the room with the work of art in order to really understand it (as opposed to looking at an image on a screen)–much like theater. Antay Bilgutay, Interim Director of Development, said, “Having the space and opportunity to take my time with a Rothko painting changed my perception of his work.”

Joel Ferrell shares his reactions with a DTC colleague.

Joel Ferrell shares his reactions with a DTC colleague.

We invite you to get your tickets soon to see Red, and then come to the DMA to spend time in front of this mesmerizing work of art. Imagine you are inside the world of this painting. You might ask yourself these questions:

What do you see around you?

What do you smell, hear, and taste?

What do you feel?

How might you describe this place to someone who isn’t here?

One opportunity to do just that is to attend Red In-Depth on Saturday, February 23, a program that includes a matinee performance of Red, followed by time with staff in the galleries exploring the art of Rothko and his contemporaries. Two similar in-depth experiences will take place on February 19 and 27 with middle school and high school students.

Carolyn Bess is Director of Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Loren Mozley: Structural Integrity

On February 17, the DMA will present for the first time the works of Loren Mozley (1905-1989), a Texas-based artist known for his integration of two dominant influences: Cézanne and the Taos Art Colony. Raised in New Mexico, the young Mozley worked in Taos for a few years before continuing his studies in Paris. His landscapes and still lifes represent the integration of cubist philosophies with the modernist practices of the American Southwest.

Paul Cezanne, Abandoned House near Aix-en-Provence, 1885-1887, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Paul Cézanne, Abandoned House near Aix-en-Provence, 1885-87, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Loren Mozley, View of Ronda, c. 1969, oil on panel, Private Collection

Loren Mozley, View of Ronda, c. 1969, oil on panel, Private Collection

Loren Mozley: Structural Integrity brings together eighteen works spanning the period of 1937-1976. The exhibition offers a fine representation of the artist’s concerns with geometric forms, decorative patterns, and gradations of color to emphasize contrast, depth, and weight.

Loren Mozley, Snowy Range, 1948, oil on canvas, Collection of Judge and Mrs. B. Michael Chitty

Loren Mozley, Snowy Range, 1948, oil on canvas, Collection of Judge and Mrs. B. Michael Chitty

Ernest Blumenschein, Mountains Near Taos, 1926-1934, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Helen Blumenschein

Ernest Blumenschein, Mountains Near Taos, 1926-34, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Helen Blumenschein

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works by many of the artists who influenced Loren Mozley are on display at the DMA. Look for works by Paul Cézanne, Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Everett Spruce throughout the American and European galleries on Levels 2 and 3. What other works at the DMA relate to Loren Mozley? Post your comments here.

Everett Spruce, Tree and Rocks, 1932, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Maggie Joe and Alexandre Hogue

Everett Spruce, Tree and Rocks, 1932, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Maggie Joe and Alexandre Hogue

Loren Mozley, Driftwood, Birdsnests, and Milkweed Pods, 1943–44, oil on canvas, Private Collection, Dallas

Loren Mozley, Driftwood, Birdsnests, and Milkweed Pods, 1943–44, oil on canvas, Private Collection, Dallas

Elizabeth Donnelly is the Exhibitions Assistant at the Dallas Museum of Art.


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