Archive for the 'Archive' Category

ARTifacts: Textile and Fine Arts Building

One hundred and five years ago, in April 1909, the Dallas Art Association (the parent organization of what is now the DMA) presented the City of Dallas with their collection and opened in a new permanent gallery space in the Textile and Fine Arts Building in Fair Park as the Dallas Free Public Art Gallery.

 

Textile and Fine Arts Building, Fair Park, c. 1909

Textile and Fine Arts Building, Fair Park, c. 1909

The DAA collection had been shown in the Art Room at the Dallas Public Library from 1903 to 1909 but was in need of larger quarters. Beginning with the opening of the new gallery on April 17, 1909, the collection’s hours were Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., and entry was free.

Dallas Free Public Art Gallery in the Textile and Fine Arts Building, Fair Park, c. 1909-1929.

Dallas Free Public Art Gallery in the Textile and Fine Arts Building, Fair Park, c. 1909-1929

The collection remained on display in the Textile and Fine Arts Building for twenty years and was then relocated to the former Halaby Galleries space in the Majestic Theatre Building, opening April 30, 1929.

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

ARTifacts: Harwood Street Meets Sesame Street

Did you know—or remember—that a few special Sesame Street residents came to the DMA? Bert, Ernie and friends joined the celebration for the new downtown Museum by entertaining our youngest visitors on opening day, January 29, 1984.

Sesame Street characters at the DMA, 1984

Sesame Street characters at the DMA, 1984

Ernie at the DMA, 1984

Ernie at the DMA, 1984

Bert at the DMA, 1984

Bert at the DMA, 1984

Honkers at the DMA, 1984

Honker at the DMA, 1984

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Choosing Favorites

Young men voting for their favorite work in the exhibition "Portrait of America," September 30-November 5, 1945 (Photograph from the Studio of Wm. Langley)

Young men voting for their favorite work in the exhibition Portrait of America, September 30-November 5, 1945 (Photograph from the Studio of Wm. Langley)

In 1945 the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts was the seventh venue for the 150-painting traveling exhibition Portrait of America, sponsored by “Artists for Victory” and the Pepsi-Cola Company. The museum invited Dallasites to vote for their favorite work in the exhibition. The winner of the vote was Gladys Rockmore Davis’s Noel with Violin; she was awarded $100 by the manager of the local Pepsi-Cola Company bottling plant.

The DMA is once again asking you to pick your favorite, this time in the Museum’s first Art Madness tournament, inspired by the NCAA Championship game, which will take place in North Texas this April. DMA Friends are currently determining the Sweet Sixteen by participating in the DMA Friends Love a Work of Art activity. Once we have the 16 works determined in late February, the public can vote for their favorites online. Stay tuned for more information on how you can help pick the first DMA Art Madness Champion!

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the DMA.

ARTifacts: Our Own Monuments Man

Did you know that a former DMA director was a Monuments Man?

DMFA Director Richard Foster Howard (1935-1942)

DMFA Director Richard Foster Howard (1935-42)

Richard Foster Howard was director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts from December 1935 to May 1942. Howard arrived in Dallas to oversee the completion of the new museum in Fair Park and the grand Texas Centennial exhibition in 1936. He would go on to assemble the exhibition for the Pan-American Exposition in 1937 and start the Texas General, an annual juried exhibition of Texas artists.

Richard Foster Howard (standing) with jurors Xavier Gonzales, Donald Bear, and Frederick Browne judging the Texas section of the "Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition," 1937

Richard Foster Howard (standing) with jurors Xavier Gonzales, Donald Bear, and Frederick Browne judging the Texas section of the Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition, 1937

Jurors for the 1941 Texas General exhibition: Richard Foster Howard, John McCrady, Boardman Robinson, and W. Whitzle (L to R)

Jurors for the 1941 Texas General exhibition: (L to R) Richard Foster Howard, John McCrady, Boardman Robinson, and W. Whitzle

Education was a major focus of his tenure as director. Howard started free Saturday classes for children in 1937, began the school tour program with the Dallas Independent School District in 1937-38, established the education department with the hiring of Mrs. Alexandre (Maggie Jo) Hogue as the first full-time supervisor of education in 1939, and founded the Museum’s library in 1940.

During World War II, Howard retired from the Museum to join the army and was made a captain in the Army Field Artillery. He served in the European theater with distinction and returned to Germany in July 1946 as deputy chief of monuments, fine arts, and archives for the Office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.) He served as a Monuments Man until December 1948. For his service in returning works of art removed by Germans during the war, he was awarded the Order of the White Lion of Bohemia by the Czechoslovakian government and the Star of Italian Solidarity by the Italian government.

When Howard returned from Germany, he resumed his museum career, retiring as director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in 1975.

This Friday, learn even more about this special group of men and women with the opening of The Monuments Men movie.

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Happy 30th Anniversary 1717 N. Harwood

January 29, 1984, was a warm, clear day. At 12:15 p.m. a ribbon was cut . . .

Ribbon cutting ceremony on January 29, 1984 marking the grand public opening of the Dallas Museum of Art's new downtown location.

Ribbon cutting ceremony on January 29, 1984, marking the grand public opening of the Dallas Museum of Art’s new downtown location.

Visitors poured into the new galleries . . .

First visitors in the new museum, January 29, 1984

First visitors in the new Museum building, January 29, 1984

And the great city of Dallas finally got the great art museum it deserved.

Brochure with slogan "A great city deserves a great art museum" encouraging Dallas residents to vote "yes" in the 1979 bond election providing funds to build the new Dallas Museum of Art.

Brochure with the slogan “A great city deserves a great art museum,” encouraging Dallas residents to vote “yes” in the 1979 bond election to provide funds to build the new Dallas Museum of Art

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

ARTifacts: DMA Director’s Debut

Did you know that a former Museum director was also an amateur thespian?

Lloyd LaPage Rollins was the director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts from 1934 to 1935. During his brief tenure at the DMFA, he performed the role of Maxwell Davenport in The Late Christopher Bean at the Dallas Little Theater in February 1935.

Lloyd LaPage Rollins, ("Lloyd LePage Rollins, Californian, To Become Director of Dallas Museum," Dallas Morning News, October 13, 1934"

Lloyd LaPage Rollins, “Lloyd LaPage Rollins, Californian, To Become Director of Dallas Museum,” Dallas Morning News, October 13, 1934

The Late Christopher Bean, adapted by Sidney Howard, is a comedy about a family that inherits the paintings of neglected artist Christopher Bean, which are now well respected and valuable, and are visited by three art connoisseurs/dealers. Maxwell Davenport, played by Rollins, is the true art connoisseur, concerned that the works are preserved and given their proper place in art history, while the other two are interested only in their own profit.

It is a fitting role for a museum director. In fact, the play’s director, Charles Meredith, reportedly told Rollins that “he would only have to be himself” to get him to agree to the role. (“Notes on the Passing Show,” Dallas Morning News, January 22, 1935, p. 2)

Unfortunately, it seems he was likely a better art historian than actor. A review of the play by John Rosenfield Jr. gives Rollins’ performance a passable grade, stating, “Mr. Rollins read his lines sensitively and missed a few effects—he will miss fewer as nervousness wears off.” (“Sidney Howard’s Intelligent and Amusing Comedy is Given,” Dallas Morning News, February 12, 1935, p. 2)

Bonus Fact: Rollins thwarted his attempted holdup while walking to rehearsal. As Rollins passed the would-be robber, the robber suddenly produced a pistol and ordered “Stick ‘em up.” Rollins instead punched the robber with a right to the chin, and ran the rest of the way to the theater. (“Fine Arts Director Swings Hard, Saves Purse from Robber,” Dallas Morning News, January 29, 1935, p. 1)

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

A Colorful Anniversary

Josef Albers "The Interaction of Color" Plate XI

Josef Albers, The Interaction of Color, Plate XI

In 1963, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts celebrated the publication of Josef Albers’ The Interaction of Color with an exhibition of the portfolio and 22 Albers paintings from the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York. Albers attended the opening of the exhibition and gave a lecture on his theories of color.

Invitation to Josef Albers lecture at the DMFA,

Invitation to Josef Albers’ lecture “The Logic and Magic of Color” at the DMFA on April 30, 1963

According to Albers, the portfolio “shows a new way of teaching color, of studying color . . . to make our eyes sensitive to the wonders of color interaction.”

Josef Albers "The Interaction of Color" Plate VII

Josef Albers, The Interaction of Color, Plate VII

The Interaction of Color has never gone out of print and remains influential among teachers, artists, and designers. Yale University Press has even developed a popular app, available here.

The Mayer Library at the DMA has in its collection the portfolio, which Albers presented in 1963, inscribed “with my special greetings to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.”

Inscription to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts  from Josef Albers in "Interaction of Color"

Several silkscreen color plates from the portfolio are currently on display in the Mayer Library.

ALI_03

Selected plates from The Interaction of Color on view in the Mayer Library

Mary Leonard is the librarian at the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Sculpture Garden – Thirty and Fabulous

Last Thursday marked thirty years since the Sculpture Garden opened, so I thought it would be fitting to dig up a photo from thirty years ago and compare. I am amazed by how much the trees have grown, almost completely blocking out downtown and shading visitors from the Texas sun.

sculpture_garden_opening_1983_001

Sculpture Garden with its first visitors on opening day, October 10, 1983. The garden opened a few months before the Museum.

Sculpture Garden on October 10, 2013

Sculpture Garden on October 10, 2013

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Go van Gogh, Past to Present

Go van Gogh, the DMA’s elementary school outreach program, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Before we pack up the Go van Gogh van and head out to schools across the city, we thought it would be fun to take a look through all thirty-five years of the program.

Go_Van_Go_1992

1992 Go van Gogh program led by DMA educator Phil Collins

Below are a few fun facts about Go van Gogh through the years.

The first Go van Gogh van was actually a bus!

Go_Van_Go_1978

First Go van Gogh vehicle, 1978

When the program began at the then Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in Fair Park in 1978, school outreach presentations could be given in classrooms or on the Museum Outreach bus itself.

Go_Van_Go_1979_Outreach_002

DMFA teaching staff member Roberta Mathew conducting an outreach program in the Go van Gogh bus in fall 1979

Go_Van_Go_1979_Outreach_001

DMFA education staffers Susan Geyer and Roberta Mathews conducting an outreach program aboard the Go van Gogh bus in fall 1979

Go van Gogh vans (and buses) have always been easy to spot on the freeway.

Go_Van_Go_1981

Go van Gogh van in 1981

Go_Van_Go_c1988_001

Go van Gogh van, c. 1988

Go_Van_Go_c1988_002

Go van Gogh program, c. 1988

Bright and colorful, Go van Gogh vans often feature artworks from the Museum’s collection in painted or vinyl designs. The Go van Gogh van from the late 1990s included a design from Henri Matisse’s Ivy in Flower.

Go_Van_Go_1990s_002

Go van Gogh van in the 1990s

Go van Gogh van

Today’s Go van Gogh van

Go van Gogh programs have always included a visual presentation of artworks from the Museum.

Go_Van_Go_Outreach_004

Go van Gogh program using a slide projector, 1980s or 1990s

Through the years, we’ve made many updates in the technology we use to bring these artworks to life. What began with projectors and large printed posters led to overhead transparencies and laminated images.

GvG MT Reilly Elementary, 4th grade

Go van Gogh program with 4th graders at Reilly Elementary School

Later this school year, Go van Gogh will go digital: using iPads and projectors to bring images of artworks to life in the classroom.

Looking ahead to fall, we are excited to unveil a new facet of Go van Gogh outreach–a program designed for Special Education classrooms called Color My World. To learn more about the program, visit our website.

Amy Copeland is the Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs at the DMA.

Audio Tours 21st-Century Style

Audio tours have been part of the Museum world for a while, but now you no longer need a shoulder strap when exploring the DMA’s collection. Visitors to the DMA can use their web-enabled devices to access information about the collection, including video interviews, images, geographical information, and responses from the community through the DMA smARTphone tours. Some special exhibitions even have a free smARTphone tour. Right now, discover oral histories tied to Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy (on view through September 15, 2013), and this October you can learn more about the Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take exhibition from artist Jim Hodges and co-organizing curator Jeffrey Grove, senior curator of special projects & research at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Visitors using audio tour, circa 1960s [Photography by Pat Magruder]

Visitors using audio tour, circa 1960s
[Photography by Pat Magruder]

Visitor using smARTphone tour, 2012

Visitor using smARTphone tour, 2012

Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.


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