Archive for the 'Staff' Category

An Inside Job

Every two years, the DMA staff shows off their artistic skills with a special installation on Level M2. Explore the FREE exhibition Inside Job: Staff Art Show ’14  through February 22, 2015, and hear more about the art in the video below.

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The DMA is positively blooming with floral still-life paintings this winter, thanks to the amazing works on view in Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse. Visitors can enjoy these paintings and even find a bit of creative inspiration in a sketching gallery, outfitted with a fresh floral arrangement, drawing supplies, and a place to display their drawings.
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Inspired by the exhibition, DMA staff took a turn curating their own still-life creations. From traditional to offbeat, we hope you enjoy these interpretations of this classic genre that has inspired artists for centuries. If you’re feeling inspired, create your own still life and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BouquetsDMA—you may just see yourself retweeted!

Anthea Halsey is the Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager at the DMA.

Gourds Gone Wild

The always creative DMA Education Department celebrated Halloween with a Museum-inspired pumpkin decorating contest. Staff members paired off and created a patch of pumpkins disguised like works in the DMA’s collection and special exhibitions. The pumpkins were judged by a team from the Exhibitions and Curatorial departments. An Isa Genzken re-creation took home the coveted Great Pumpkin Prize. We hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

 

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The pumpkin prize winners, Rhiannon and Betsy, with their pumpkin inspired by Isa Genzken’s Empire/Vampire III

Most Likely to Succeed

Left to right: Fabian Leyva-Barragan, Jennifer Sheppard, Taylor Jeromos, Laura Sevelis, Liz Bola, Elisabeth Seyerl, Samantha Robinson, Eliel Jones

September doesn’t usually mean cooler weather in Texas, but here at the Museum it does mean we get to welcome some cool new faces—our McDermott Interns!

This year’s class is full of enthusiasm, which you can surely see as they posed in our American  Galleries. They each bring their own distinct backgrounds, which include:

Fabian has Protanopia, which means that he is color blind—a fact he did not learn until college.
Jennifer is working on learning French, her fourth language in addition to English, Spanish, and Hebrew.
Taylor was the lead in a production of Annie while in the 5th grade in Ohio.
Laura taxidermied animals while working at the University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum.
Liz fell out of a window when she was 7 years old, but walked away unscathed.
Elisabeth studied Royal Javanese Dance at a royal palace in Java, Indonesia.
Samantha studied Nahuatl, a language spoken in central Mexico by those of Aztec descent.
Eliel spent the past summer working at a salmon fishery on a remote arctic fjord in northern Norway.

We look forward to working with this exciting bunch in the months ahead!

P.S. If you’re interested in becoming a McDermott Intern next year, check the DMA website in late January 2015 for details on how to apply!

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator and former McDermott Education Intern for Adult Programming at the DMA.

Conservation Time Travel

Uncrated recently caught up with the DMA’s  associate conservator, Fran Baas, who joined the Museum in November. This summer, you can find her working on the 1908 Viennese Wittgenstein silver cabinet, pictured below.

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Describe your job in fifty words or less.
My title is Associate Conservator, and I oversee the activities involved in the long-term preservation of the DMA’s permanent collection of objects and textiles. This comprehensive approach includes treatment, research, and analysis, and the preventive care of the collection.

What might an average day entail?
Each day is very different and has me running around all over the Museum. I might be assessing objects as potential loan candidates, responding to e-mails, writing reports, and doing actual benchwork. 

For example, recently, over the course of two days, I treated three plaster “pears,” dehydrated a SCOBY (a colony of bacteria/yeast that is part of a contemporary piece), conditioned silica gel, cleaned a few inches of an intricate early 20th-century Viennese silver piece, discussed with curators and collections staff the “inherent vice” of an extremely fragile piece, helped identify materials in an African headdress, and assisted in the treatment of some large oversized paintings. My job keeps me hopping across decades, centuries, and millennia . . . not to mention across the world geographically!

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?
 I absolutely love my job. It’s a huge responsibility, but a privilege that I do not take lightly. The biggest challenge is never having enough time!

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum?
For a long time, I struggled with where I fit. I am very “left-brained, right-brained,” as they say. Not only do I love working with my hands and looking at art, but I love science and the process of discovery. It took me awhile to find a profession that combines art and science. Conservation is a field where I get to do my favorite things in an effort to preserve art and artifacts for future generations to appreciate. I have the best job in the world.

Do you have a favorite work in the DMA’s collection yet?
As cliché as this sounds, I fall in love with whatever piece I am currently working on. Getting to work with a piece up close, in conjunction with the material analysis and background historical research, allows me to really “get to know” a piece . . . and as a result fall in love.

What are you looking forward to in your future here at the DMA?
I look forward to getting to know each and every object and textile in the DMA’s encyclopedic collection!

In the Stacks

This week is National Library Week, which makes it the perfect time to meet the Mayer Library’s new librarians, Jenny Stone and Kellye Hallmark.

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Jenny Stone, Librarian

Describe your job in fifty words or less. 
I’m the Librarian in the DMA’s art research library, a.k.a. The Mayer Library. I manage the day-to-day activities of the library, handle our interlibrary loan service, and help answer questions from staff and the public.

What might an average day entail?
On any given day, I might have reference e-mails to answer,  hunt down materials for research projects, purchase books, give a library orientation to a new staff member, or problem solve with Cathy Zisk, our cataloger, on how to handle an odd-shaped book.

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges? 
The best parts of the job are the books!—and the cool things I learn about the collection and the Museum from various projects and questions we get. The biggest challenge: describing to visitors how to get from the Library to the European galleries.

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum? 
I come from a family of librarians, so it was pretty much inevitable. And I can’t think of a better place to come to work every day than an art museum.

What is your favorite work in the DMA’s collection?
If I could stare at anything in the collection all day, it would either be Tatsuo Miyajima’s Counter Ground or Edouard Manet’s Vase of White Lilacs and Roses. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll have a different answer!

Is there a past exhibition that stands out in your mind as a favorite, or is there a particular upcoming show you’re looking forward to seeing?
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier was probably the most exciting and fun exhibition. The Mourners really opened my eyes to something new and unusual and beautiful, and Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World is very similar in that way.

Kellye Hallmark, Assistant Librarian

Describe your job in fifty words or less.
You can generally find me at the reference desk, where I assist both staff and visitors with locating materials, research, and a variety of questions associated with the Museum and our collection. Recently a PhD student from the University of Montana wanted to know what ancient sculptures we have that are made of serpentine or greenstone, and an ancestor of John Pratt had just discovered her lineage and called the library to see if his portrait by Ralph Earl was on view and to learn more about the work. I also manage our serial collection, as well as maintain and create artist files.

What might an average day entail?
Each day holds a new project or a new reference question, so it varies, but it is always something fun and interesting. Generally I am checking in new serials, scanning the papers for museum- or art-related news, and working on a special project, like researching Islamic art books for purchase.

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?
The best part of my job is being able to look at all of the new books and serials that arrive almost daily. I’m constantly learning about new artists, new shows, etc., and that is really fun. The biggest challenge is making myself put down all of those new books and serials—there just isn’t enough time to read it all!

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum?
I always knew I would work in an art museum. I got my BA in Art History fully expecting to pursue a career as a curator, but my focus and passions changed and they led me to art librarianship, and I couldn’t be happier.

What is your favorite work in the DMA’s collection?
I’ve always loved San Cristoforo, San Michele, and Murano from the Fondamenta Nuove, Venice by Canaletto. I love his perspective and how so much of the painting is the sky. I love the Sculpture Garden as well; it’s such a great place to spend your lunch break and to see little kids play.

Is there a past exhibition that stands out in your mind as a favorite, or is there a particular upcoming show you’re looking forward to seeing?
Being fairly new, I have to say that the Edward Hopper exhibition that just closed was definitely a stand out—it was fantastic. I was also blown away by the Nur exhibition, and I can’t wait to see the Michael Borremans exhibition next year.

The Mayer Library is located on Level M2, and is open to the public Tuesday through Friday 11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday noon-4:30 p.m.

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

Savor the Arts: A Kitchen Adventure

This Friday, cookbook author and professor of comparative literature Dr. Mary Ann Caws will be here to discuss her book The Modern Art Cookbook during our Savor the Arts Late Night event.

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The Modern Art Cookbook is equal parts art historic document and recipe guide, illuminating the relationship between art and food. In preparation for this event, the DMA’s programming team decided to try some recipes from the book to see what they were like (and to test their kitchen skills).

Betsy Glickman, Manager of Adult Programming:
I have always been a fan of the “breakfast for dinner” concept, so I opted to tackle an egg-based dish from the book. Armed with a minimal set of ingredients—and an even more minimal set of cooking skills—I set aside an evening to bring Pablo Picasso’s Spanish Omelette to life in my kitchen. I originally thought the dish would resemble a traditional, half-plate-sized omelette, but as I laid out the ingredients (10 eggs, 4 potatoes, 2 onions, etc.), I realized this was going to be much larger.

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I began by peeling and slicing the potatoes and onions. I then tossed them into a large pan and sautéed them for about 15 minutes. While they were cooking, I beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.

Once the potatoes and onions were beginning to brown, I drained them on some paper towels to help absorb the excess moisture. I then added them to the salad bowl along with a large helping of salt and pepper.

Next it was time to make the omelette. I pulled out the best nonstick pan I own, added some olive oil and medium heat, and poured in the contents to cook for several minutes.

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As the edges began to firm up, I realized the hardest part of the process was yet to come: I somehow had to flip this thing over. I snagged a plate for assistance, and, in a swift movement, transferred most of the contents to the plate and back into the pan. All in all, I’d give my flip an 8 out of 10.

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I cooked the omelette for another 2-3 minutes. The book instructed to leave the center a little runny, but, unfortunately, I overcooked it a bit. Even so, the end result was quite tasty. Viva el Spanish Omelette!

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Things I learned: It’s difficult to ruin an omelette, but there are endless ways to make it better. In the future, I may try adding tomatoes, peppers, and/or salsa to this recipe.

Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services:
I decided to make Brecht’s Favorite Potato Bread because I have always been interested in mastering a bread recipe (yeast and rising dough have always been a bit of a mystery to me). This recipe called for one cube of yeast, which I should have researched before picking this recipe. I tried finding a conversion from cubed yeast to dry yeast and was not successful, so I went with one packet of dried yeast for the recipe. Because dry yeast needs to be activated with water, I reduced the amount of oil recommended.

Stacey's Ingredients

Even with that reduction, my dough was very wet. After adding an additional cup of flour it was still not the texture I thought it should be. But having little experience with bread, and thinking that the mashed potatoes probably added moisture, I thought maybe that was how it was supposed to be.

While the dough did rise, as you can see from the photos the dough did not hold its shape once formed into “loafs.”

Stacey's Recipe 4

While the look of the bread left much to be desired, I found the flavor interesting, which I attribute to the lemon zest.

Things I learned: Yeast used to come in cubes. I will add lemon zest to any future bread dough recipes I try.

Liz Menz, Manager of Adult Programming:
The last time we all got together for a cooking blog, I went with soup, so this time I ventured into the realm of desserts. I decided to make Claude Monet’s Almond Cookies. The recipe is much like a shortbread recipe, so there were very few wet ingredients and (something I discovered halfway through) the dough required kneading.

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Combining the flour, confectioner’s sugar, ground almonds and lemon rind into a bowl with the eggs was the easy part. Realizing that the cubed butter was still needed, I figured out that my wooden spoon was not going to cut it, so kneading was the way to go!

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After some work (and one phone call to my mother), I realized I was doing this right, as the dough finally came together. It was on to rolling out the dough and cutting the cookies! I am a less-than-prepared baker and discovered that, in a pinch, a wine bottle doubles well as a rolling pin and wine glasses are the perfect size for cutting!

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After I sprinkled the cut cookies with sugar and sliced almonds, they went into the oven for about 20-25 minutes. They came out golden and yummy! The lemon rind really gave them a great flavor, and I decided that these cookies would be great with a cup of coffee and a book.

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Things I learned: Shortbread-type recipes are harder than they look, but worth it. Lemon rind is a great addition to cookies. Also, thanks Mom.

Don’t forget to join us on Friday as we savor the arts! And, for more fun food-inspired posts, peruse the Culinary Canvas section of our Canvas Blog.


Betsy Glickman is a manager of adult programming at the DMA.
Stacey Lizotte is head of adult programming and multimedia services at the DMA.
Liz Menz is a manager of adult programming at the DMA.


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