Archive for the 'Special Events' Category



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.

Welcome, DMA Friends

On Monday we launched our DMA Friends & Partners program and returned to free general admission. We welcomed over 2,000 visitors to the DMA, and over 800 visitors signed up to be among our first DMA Friends. We are excited to now offer free general admission every day the DMA is open (for Museum hours visit the DMA’s website), and we are thrilled to make available free membership through the DMA Friends program.

If you were not able to join us on Monday to sign up as a DMA Friend, don’t worry! Anyone that walks through the DMA’s doors will be able to sign up for free at the kiosks located in the Museum’s Concourse. DMA Friends is a FREE program that allows you to discover new and fun activities at the DMA. We’ve created bundles of activities, called badges, that are awarded to DMA Friends who are active at the Museum. Badges can give you new ideas about ways to use the Museum that you’ve never thought of before. Earning badges unlocks special rewards and recognition like free tickets, behind-the-scenes tours, discounts on shopping and dining, and access to exclusive experiences at the Museum.
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Dining with Our Docents

Today docents at the Dallas Museum of Art celebrated the holidays at a Docent Luncheon. We appreciate all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Visit the DMA Dashboard to see how many hours the docents have volunteered. If you are interested in learning more about the DMA Docent Program, e-mail skarol@DMA.org.

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Holiday Gifts for Her, for Him, for Kids, and for You

We all have people on our holiday shopping list that are difficult to buy for. That’s why the DMA’s Museum Store has a wide selection of fun and fantastic last-minute gifts. You can cover everyone on your list while treating yourself to a little holiday cheer too. Check out a few gift ideas below, and then come by the Museum Store or visit us online now.

Beaded Bracelets, $18

Beaded Bracelets, $18

Dallas Museum of Art- Guide to the Collection, $24.95

Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, $24.95

DMA Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $19.95

DMA Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $19.95

Eames Messenger Bag & Tablets, $14-$19

Eames Messenger Bag & Tablets, $14-$19

Earth T-Shirt, $27

Earth T-Shirt, $27

Found Object African Bracelet & Necklace, $64-$90

Found Object African Bracelet & Necklace, $64-$90

KidO Magnatab Magnetic Tablet, $32

KidO Magnatab Magnetic Tablet, $32

Master Kitz, $35

Master Kitz, $35

Mistura Wooden Timepieces, $225-$275

Mistura Wooden Timepieces, $225-$275

Pklino Wooden Puzzles, $34-$40

P’kolino Wooden Puzzles, $34-$40

Pop Top Make-Up Bag, $18

Pop Top Make-Up Bag, $18

Posters of Paris Candles, $35

Posters of Paris Candles, $35

Rubber Vase design by Henriette Melchiorsen, $40

Rubber Vase design by Henriette Melchiorsen, $40

This is Texas, This is Paris, This is New York, This is San Francisco, $17.95

This is Texas, This is Paris, This is New York, This is San Francisco, $17.95

Holidays in the District

Last week the Dallas Arts District kicked off Holiday in the District with Holidays at the Center. Below are images from the annual tree lighting event provided by the Dallas Arts District. Visit the Holidays in the District page for information on all holiday-related events, as well as tips on holiday shopping in the District.

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of The Dallas Arts District

Courtesy of the Dallas Arts District

It’s a Big Day for the DMA


Yesterday we announced our move to free general admission in 2013 along with the launch of an innovative free membership model, the DMA Friends & Partners program. DMA Friends & Partners will not only strengthen our existing relationships with you but also forge new ones, expand audiences throughout greater Dallas, and build a robust global online community.

The DMA Friends program will provide free membership to anyone who wishes to join and will include opportunities for increased access to Museum programs and staff. The DMA Partners program will seek the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations desiring to be a part of the Museum’s efforts to deliver access to its extensive collection and diverse public programs. DMA Partners are also welcome to become DMA Friends and earn rewards through engagement.

DMA Friends earn rewards by engaging with the Museum both at the DMA and online. We will also create a new online engagement platform through which virtual badges are awarded to Friends who really plug-in and make the DMA a vibrant place to be. Badges will give you new ideas about ways to use the Museum that you’ve never thought of before. Earning badges will unlock special rewards and recognition like free tickets to special exhibitions or behind-the-scenes tours with DMA staff.

Our reasons for going free can be explained very simply: the DMA values the participation of the public more than we value the modest return realized from paid general admission. Art museums are different from other cultural destinations because we don’t rely as much on admissions to pay the bills. Our model is closer to that of a public library: we receive substantial philanthropic support from generous individuals, government agencies, foundations, and corporations, and we serve the public by seeking an educational outcome, not a commercial one.

The best part of our work is in seeing how artworks from across 5,000 years of visual creativity can change the way we think about the world, and how we feel about ourselves, as individuals and as a society. We look forward to welcoming you and to learning together.

Find out more about DMA Friends & Partners in the Press Room and watch yesterday’s press announcement below.

Robert Stein is the Deputy Director at the Dallas Museum of Art.

A Weekend of Celebration

This weekend we welcomed our newest neighbor to the Dallas Arts District, Klyde Warren Park, with two days of activities and free general admission to the DMA. On Sunday, October 28, we also celebrated ancient Mexico through our free Family Celebration, which took place during the closing celebrations of Art in October. We even held some of our programs at Klyde Warren Park. Below are a few pictures from the day’s events. Be sure to visit The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico before the exhibition closes on November 25!

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Welcome to the Neighborhood

This week our city’s newest amenity comes online: Klyde Warren Park. Now that we have glorious palaces for high culture, bridges into developing communities, and burgeoning opportunities to live downtown, the next accomplishment to celebrate is a green attraction with an identity open for interpretation by every visitor.

The DMA staff looks forward to the impact of a pedestrian-friendly destination just steps from our front door. The car culture of Dallas is not unique, but whatever we can all do to encourage residents and visitors to stretch their legs and open their eyes can only improve the quality of life for all in our city.

Parks and museums share a great deal—we welcome people of all backgrounds, regardless of particular interests, we offer an informal setting for conversation and relaxation, and we don’t prescribe a route, a timetable, or an outcome for your visit. We both try to offer a respite from the commercial din of contemporary life, some perspective on daily life, and enjoyment that comes from a freedom to wander and explore without confinement.

We look forward to collaborating with the Park as it gets underway with programming, and to accelerating the pedestrian-friendly potential of the Dallas Arts District in a variety of ways. Welcome to the neighborhood, Klyde Warren Park!

Celebrate the grand opening of Klyde Warren Park this weekend. The DMA will move the Studio Creations program outside on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and on Sunday our Maya ballgame demonstration with Grupo Pakal will be held at the Park at 1:45 p.m. Visit the Park’s website for a complete list of events.

Maxwell L. Anderson is The Eugene McDermott Director at the Dallas Museum of Art.

How to Win an Election

Election season is upon us! Join us at the Dallas Museum of Art on Thursday, October 25, at 7:30 p.m. for a lecture on the ancient Roman election of 64 B.C, when Marcus Cicero won the office of consul, the highest office in the land, with the help of his brother Quintus. Dr. Philip Freeman translated Quintus’ Latin text, How to Win an Election, written to guide Marcus to victory, and discovered the text to be as timely today as it was in ancient Rome. Uncrated caught up with him for a short Q&A and preview:

What piqued your interest in How to Win an Election?

I read the original in Latin back when I was a graduate student in Classics at Harvard. I was struck then by how timeless the advice in the letter was, so I’ve used it since then in my own undergraduate classes with positive responses from the students. A couple of years ago, I decided that it would be great if the general public could read this virtually unknown piece of ancient literature. I was thrilled when Princeton University Press agreed to publish and publicize it!

Does the advice really hold up for the modern-day election? Do you think your book should be required reading for those running for office?

It certainly holds up for today’s elections. Every time I read of a new scandal or technique from the presidential candidates, I think of Marcus Cicero and the election of 64 B.C. I do sometimes worry that modern candidates will apply the principles laid out in the letter, but I think most people running for office today know all the dirty tricks already!

Your work is rooted in the “dead” languages of the ancient world. What is the most difficult thing you have ever translated? And do you think anything is lost in translation?

Every translation is a compromise that loses something of the original. You can try to be painfully literal, but that misses the spirit of the original. You can try to just capture the broad meaning, but that won’t be accurate. I usually compromise and try to take a middle path. How to Win an Election is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever translated because I was struggling so hard to capture the flavor of the letter while staying true to the text.

We’re right around the corner from the next major presidential election. What are your thoughts on our current election process?

I’ve learned that nothing has really changed in 2,000 years. Politicians are still using the same techniques and making the same mistakes.

Any last minute advice you would give the candidates before November 6?

I think Cicero would say never take anything or anyone for granted. Even at the last minute, elections can change completely!

Dr. Philip Freeman is a Professor of Classics at Luther University in Decorah, Iowa. He has been interviewed by NPR’s All Things Considered and has talked on Roman politics across the country. He will lecture on Thursday, October 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art as part of the Boshell Family Lecture Series on Archaeology.

Liz Menz is Manager of Adult Programs at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Fourteen Years of TWO x TWO

TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art is an annual contemporary art auction held in the Richard Meier-designed Rachofsky House in Dallas and benefiting two organizations—the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. The event has raised over $34 million in the past thirteen years, enabling the Museum to acquire more than 125  works of art. October 20 marks the fourteenth annual gala and auction, which features Richard Phillips as amfAR’s 2012 Honored Artist. To learn more about the history of TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, and this year’s events, including the First Look preview party tomorrow evening, visit the TWO x TWO website. Explore past TWO x TWO events below with guests such as Barry Manilow, Alan Cumming, Patti LaBelle, and more.

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