Archive for March, 2013

Everything’s Turning Up Chagall

Art in Bloom guests were immersed in a world of art, color, and flowers today at this year’s floral symposium and luncheon. Bella Meyer, a New York-based floral designer and the artist Marc Chagall’s beloved granddaughter, entertained the audience with stories about life in the Chagall family, the symbolism in her grandfather’s art, and interpretations in flowers of several of his paintings. Over lunch, complete with edible flowers, a colorful fashion presentation by Allie-Coosh provided inspiration for what was to follow . . . a tour of the DMA’s exhibition Chagall: Beyond Color. Did you know that we are the only U.S. venue for this internationally touring exhibition?

Floral arrangement inspired Edgar Degas’ Group of Dancers in the DMA’s collection

Floral arrangement inspired Edgar Degas’ Group of Dancers in the DMA’s collection

Edgar Degas, Group of Dancers, c. 1895-1897, pastel and gouache on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Edgar Degas, Group of Dancers, c. 1895-1897, pastel and gouache on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Floral arrangement  inspired by Camille Pissarro’s Apple Harvest in the DMA’s collection

Floral arrangement inspired by Camille Pissarro’s Apple Harvest in the DMA’s collection

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest (Cueillette des pommes), 1888, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest (Cueillette des pommes), 1888, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Floral arrangement inspired by Victor Higgins’ A Mountain Ceremony in the DMA’s collection

Floral arrangement inspired by Victor Higgins’ A Mountain Ceremony in the DMA’s collection

Victor Higgins, A Mountain Ceremony, c. 1930, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Victor Higgins, A Mountain Ceremony, c. 1930, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Preparing for Art in Bloom in the DMA’s Atrium

Preparing for Art in Bloom in the DMA’s Atrium

“Valentina” by Jessica Jesse

“Valentina” by Jessica Jesse

“Chimera” by Jessica Jesse

“Chimera” by Jessica Jesse

Dallas League Members and models during Art in Bloom 2013

Dallas League Members and models during Art in Bloom 2013

Debbie Stack is Director of Special Events and Volunteer Relations at the DMA.

DMA Friends: A Daily Dose of Art

“I travel a lot and always go to an art museum. But it’s expensive. Here—it’s free. I come all the time and stay like fifteen minutes…I get my daily dose of art.”

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This month, Robert “Bobby” Kaufman became the first DMA Friend to claim a high-point-level reward offered through DMA Friends, the free membership program that launched in January 2013. “The quality of rewards is so high and a positive incentive for coming [to the DMA].” For 35,000 points, Bobby claimed the “Dinner and a Movie” reward. Come this May, he’ll dine on the DMA’s dime and watch a movie of his choosing with his invited guests in the Horchow Auditorium. Way to go, Bobby!

I sat down with Bobby for a chat last Thursday and discovered that he is without a doubt one of our most loyal DMA Friends. He stands out among our growing crowd of 5,500+ Friends who participate in DMA activities ranging from viewing art in the galleries to making something in the Center for Creative Connections to attending our weekly Gallery Talks. Bobby earns points by visiting and participating often, in short spurts. He spends most of his time in the American and European galleries, where he returns to favorite works and leaves feeling inspired. “I can’t paint. . . . But looking at the masters is a reminder to me to try to create something important.” An aspiring poet, he hopes to make his mark in the field of writing one day. He eloquently related to me how details in two of his favorite European paintings—in particular the gestures of figures in each painting—inspire him to be evocative and thoughtful when describing characters through his words.

Born and raised in Dallas, Bobby told me that he came to the Museum maybe once when he was growing up. Two years ago, his parents gave him a DMA membership when he took a teaching position in the English Department of a Dallas-area high school. Then, he started visiting the DMA every few months. Since the DMA returned to FREE general admission and launched the DMA Friends program in January, he’s visited nearly every day–often after school on weekdays. He opted not to renew his DMA membership because the DMA Friends program gives him exactly what he needs for an art museum experience.

Want to learn more about how to become a DMA Friend and earn points and rewards like Bobby? Visit DMA.org/friends and then come by the Museum to see us!

Nicole Stutzman Forbes is the Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education at the DMA.

Creative Comics

Dallas students had a great time learning about comics on Sunday, March 10, at the DMA’s Urban Armor workshop. Urban Armor is a program that allows teens and tweens to take a closer look at the Museum’s collection and create unique art in the DMA’s computer-equipped Tech Lab.

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Workshops are generally scheduled twice a month for two hours and are free; for more information, and to register, visit the DMA’s Urban Armor page.

Local comic book artist and illustrator Kristian Donaldson led our recent workshop, which covered the basics of drawing comics and their history and progression. Donaldson completed his training at the Savannah College of Art and Design and has worked for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse Comics, and Dallas Observer/Village Voice Media. He has also taught several classes for young adults and college-age students across the U.S.

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The workshop was inspired by the recent Arts & Letters Live program featuring Art Spiegelman on February 27. One of the perks of being the McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live is getting the chance to create a program based on my passions and interests. I grew up in small-town Texas, far from any art institutions, so as a relatively new museum-goer I have become keenly aware of a certain gap in museum activities. While programs for children, families, and adults abound, similar activities for teens and young adults often do not. One of the things I love about the DMA is that we do have programs like Urban Armor, teen-friendly author events, and student discounts. When I saw that Spiegelman was coming to Dallas, I thought that the formula of comics + teens + local art programs at schools like Booker T. Washington + Urban Armor at the DMA + FREE = awesome.

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And so it began. Students age 14-17 gathered in the Center for Creative Connections to be schooled in the awesomeness that is comic book art. Kristian was very open-minded and supportive in his approach, encouraging the students to run with whatever style comes naturally, because there is no “right” or “wrong” way to draw a comic. While working with his self-professed current obsession with outer space, Kristian showed us step-by-step how to divide a basic template into three parts, set the scene with a general landscape, bring in human anatomy and emotion using shapes and positive and negative space, and lead into a story that is completely up to the artist. WOW. It was mesmerizing to watch the students create their own unique interpretations of what a comic should be. One student focused on what can only be described as a well-drawn noodle monster. I was amazed at the skill level and creativity flowing in the room.

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After the workshop was over, Kristian kindly signed some of his work for the students as they begged for another program with him later in the season. Comics: Part II, anyone?

Emily Brown is the McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the DMA.

Open Office: Foundation and Government Relations Director

I inherited my office–and the majority of this wall collage–from its former resident. I had always admired her creative office décor, so I immediately added to it when I moved in. The timespan of exhibitions reflected on the wall ranges from 2004 (Splendors of China’s Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong) to present day (the newly opened Cindy Sherman). It’s fun to see a visual history of the shows we’ve presented over the last decade. Too bad it’s the only organized area of my office.

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Anne Palamara Smith is the Director of Foundation and Government Relations at the DMA.

A Dot That Went for a Walk

Once again, the Works on Paper Gallery on the Museum’s second level is being reinstalled. Fourteen drawings, lithographs, etchings, and engravings by some of the 20th century’s greatest artists—Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, and many more—will adorn the gray walls.

The new installation, titled Linear Possibilities in Modern European Prints, didn’t come together overnight. I’ve been working on it for the last six months, and I am now very excited (even a bit nervous) to present it to the Museum’s public. The idea came to me after looking many times through the Museum’s collection of European works on paper, which includes over 2,000 prints, drawings, and photographs dating from the late 1400s to the 1980s.

Henri Matisse, Loulou, 1914, etching, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Wendover Fund

Henri Matisse, Loulou, 1914, etching, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Wendover Fund, © 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I had to work with a few limiting factors before finding my final concept. The three walls of the gallery can only accommodate a certain number of works comfortably, so I had to keep the number within a range of eight to fourteen works. Also, works on paper are very sensitive to natural light. The longer a work is on view, the more damage that occurs, causing the paper to darken and certain media to fade. Therefore, I couldn’t use any work that had recently been on view. I found a few possibilities based on particular themes or artistic movements before choosing to investigate lines, one of art’s most basic elements.

Alberto Giacometti, Annette in the Studio, 1954, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Alberto Giacometti, Annette in the Studio, 1954, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg, © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

The idea was influenced by a great quote from the Swiss artist Paul Klee: “A line is a dot that went for a walk.” Lines appear in many types and sizes: vertical, horizontal, zigzagged, curvy, squiggly, thick, thin, long, short. When combined, lines reveal spaces or forms and allude to volume or mass. They can possess emotive qualities as well as imply movement.

Paul Klee, Hoffmanesque Scene (Hoffmaneske Szene), 1921, color lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stuart Gordon Johnson by exchange; General Acquisitions Fund; and The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange

Paul Klee, Hoffmanesque Scene, 1921, color lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stuart Gordon Johnson by exchange; General Acquisitions Fund; and The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange, (c) Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Pablo Picasso, Three Standing Nudes, at Right, Sketches of Heads (Trois nus debout, à droite esquisses de têtes), 1927, etching, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Pablo Picasso, Three Standing Nudes (left) and Sketches of Heads (right), 1927, etching, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, © 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The works in the installation demonstrate how painters and sculptors of the European avant-garde turned to drawing and printmaking in a new manner, creating with nothing but lines. They explored the possibilities of rhythmic or abstracted sequences of delicate, robust, and expressive lines in their compositions of a nude, an artist’s studio, or more abstracted scenes. There is an astonishing beauty to be found in these prints and drawings by Matisse, Giacometti, Picasso, and others. I encourage you to visit the Dallas Museum of Art (general admission is free!) to see these amazing and innovative works.

Linear Possibilities in Modern European Prints goes on view in the European Art Galleries on Level 2 Sunday, March 17.

Hannah Fullgraf is the McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern in European Art at the DMA.

Seldom Scene: 160 Guises

On Sunday we will open Cindy Sherman, serving as the final stop for this nationally touring exhibition featuring the work from Cindy Sherman from the 1970s to the present. For the past couple of weeks we have been installing the more than 160 photographs, ranging in size from 9.5 by 7.56 inches to over 6 by 11 feet, not to mention photographic mural standing at 14 feet. Visit through June 9 the different guises of this significant contemporary artist, who is arguably the most influential one working with photography — and check out our special programming for it here.

 

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There’s No Place Like Home…Or a Museum That’s Open Until Midnight

Next week is Spring Break and we are offering a lot for families and visitors of all ages to do at the DMA.

We will kick-off the week with our WFAA Family First Day on Saturday, March 9. Then, throughout the week you can explore our galleries with self-guided tours, stop by the Art Cart, compete in games with your family, and more!

Stop by our new Art Cart in the Museum galleries.

Stop by our new Art Cart in the Museum galleries.

And to end the weeklong celebration, we invite you to join us for our annual Spring Break Block Party on Friday, March 15. We will be open until midnight for our Late Night event, as will our neighbors in the Arts District: the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Klyde Warren Park, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Each year we program the March Late Night around a fun family theme, from Where the Wild Things Are to Alice in Wonderland and the world of Dr. Seuss. This year, staff debated between Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, and after some nostalgic discussions and fun brainstorming meetings, we decided to go over the rainbow and follow the yellow brick road to the wonderful world of Oz.

Don’t miss the “Prince of Pop-Ups,” Robert Sabuda, who will discuss his major feats of paper engineering, including his pop-up book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Sabuda_Wizard of OZ

Families can explore the galleries with our Journey Through Oz Family Adventure to find courage, a heart, a brain, and a home. And if you stay late, you can take a tour that looks at the lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) in our collection.

Sword ornament in the form of a lion, c. mid-20th century, Cast gold and felt, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Sword ornament in the form of a lion, Ghana, Nsuta State, Asante peoples, c. mid-20th century, cast gold and felt, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

As for films, we decided we didn’t want to show the original Wizard of Oz but instead screen some interesting takes on the classic. So throughout the night you can watch Tom and Jerry’s take on the film as well as The Muppet’s version. And for adults we will screen the cult classic Return to Oz.

Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can take a photo with your friends and family in front of our Emerald City backdrop, accompanied by cardboard cut-out characters from The Wizard of Oz. Glinda the Good Witch is living in my office until the big day!

Glinda

And if you are a DMA Friend, come to Late Night dressed as your favorite Wizard of Oz character to earn the Midnight Masquerade Badge and 450 points! Not a DMA Friend? Be sure to sign up at the kiosks near the Visitor Services Desks when you arrive.

Stacey Lizotte is the Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.


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