Archive for the 'Staff' Category

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.

FranBaas

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.

Our Living Christmas Tree

Last week, we introduced you to Russell Sublette, mountmaker extraordinaire, who is usually happy to be the invisible hand behind the displays at the Museum. But once a year, during the holiday season, he comes out from behind the scenes to become the “Living Christmas Tree.” He adorns himself with garlands, lights, and decorations, and then recruits helper elves (oftentimes unsuspecting McDermott Interns) to carol and spread holiday cheer throughout the DMA.

The tradition started in 1989, when one of the DMA registrars was upset that she had forgotten a Christmas tree to decorate the office. Sublette wanted to cheer her up, so he said, “How about I become a tree?” Since then, the annual event sees co-workers pushing him on a flat cart, toting armloads of cords for the lights and music, around the office hallways, spreading holiday cheer.

“Whenever I do it, I picture myself as Charlie Brown,” Sublette says.

Below is a video of 2013’s “Living Christmas Tree” roaming the DMA halls.


Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Reagan Duplisea is associate registrar of exhibitions at the DMA.

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.

Digging Deep

The DMA recently welcomed Dr. Kimberly L. Jones as the new Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Americas. Uncrated caught up with Dr. Jones to find out more about her job and what’s caught her eye as she explored our galleries.

kimberlyjones

Describe your job as a curator:
For me, being a curator provides the best of all worlds. At the most basic, it entails being in the presence of amazing human achievements on a daily basis. It generally involves engrossing research on such objects, their artisans, and the cultural context in which the materials were created. It means staying informed about ongoing fieldwork and investigations that ever amplify our knowledge of these cultures. As a curator, I have the opportunity to share such fascinating insights with a broad range of people who visit a museum specifically to appreciate and learn about such hallmarks of human ingenuity. Above all else, I see my role as foremost to honor the amazing cultures of our past and present and to instill in others (hopefully) a bit of my passion and enthusiasm for their diverse conceptions and visual manifestations of the world around us.

What might an average day involve?
An average day so far usually includes juggling a few projects, from more immediate to longer-term. It entails basic catalog revisions, research on the collection, e-mails with colleagues and staff, planning for publications and exhibitions, etc.

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?
The best part of my job is sharing the collections and their cultural contexts with others, in any format, from tours to research inquiries to publications. That people become aware of the rich diversity of populations, practices, beliefs, and artworks throughout the Americas is the most inspiring aspect of my role. The biggest challenges (yet perhaps most fruitful exchanges) may come through the developing nature of collections and exhibitions in ancient American art, as museums engage actively in the modern global community and seek growing collaboration among individuals, institutions, and nations.

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum?
Prior to the teenage years, I was pretty well geared toward work in archaeology, as my childhood digging in the backyard clay would attest. For graduate studies, I returned to this natural inclination, doing fieldwork for the past ten years in northern Peru. When my graduate advisor predicted a museum curatorial role for me, I dismissed him at the time, unwilling to relinquish my joy of being in the dirt. But I must admit that it is because of my work in archaeology that I feel so dedicated now to work in a museum, to have the opportunity to do best by the material achievements of these past peoples. The objects themselves remain (especially in societies without recognized writing) a crucial primary testament to ancient cultural beliefs, rituals, practices, concepts, materials, and techniques. The global community—individuals and institutions alike—would only benefit from ever-growing collaboration and commitment to ensure the long-standing preservation and public appreciation of such diverse and treasured heritage.

Do you have a favorite work in the DMA’s collection yet?
As any person who works at this institution would likely say, I cannot name one favorite but rather many that provoke that full-body smile. Emma-O in the Asian Galleries is captivating; I am struck always by the Jazz vase in the Decorative Arts Galleries; Shiva Nataraja in the South Asian Galleries harmonizes meaning and form; the cabinet in the Colonial Americas Gallery is an impressive testament to colonial trade; and the sword (telogu) with sheath from Indonesia is just plain fabulous.

As for my area of the Americas, I could not begin to share how many I cherish as masterworks of their respective cultures, exemplifying at times the technical skill and, at others, the creativity of the artisan. As a museum aims to provide for everyone, the more you know of an object—any artwork—often the more fascinating and engaging it becomes. I hope that through tours, gallery talks, invited lectures, and exhibitions, I will get to share my various “favorites” from the Arts of the Americas collection with an avid, interested community.

What are you looking forward to in your future here at the DMA?
Everything!

McDermott Interns: Where Are They Now?

Each September, the DMA welcomes a new class of McDermott Interns, thanks to the generous support of the Eugene McDermott Education Fund. During their brief nine months at the Museum, the McDermott Interns contribute to numerous projects, from exhibitions to tours to programming and beyond. Their hard work helps make the Museum the dynamic place we know and love!

But what happens after the internship is complete? For some, the stars align and we are able to welcome them into full-time positions here at the Museum. In fact, we have nine previous McDermott Interns, myself included, currently on staff. Others move on to different adventures across the country. I checked in with some of our recent McDermott graduates to see where life has led them.

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Sara Woodbury
McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for European and American Art, 2010-2011

My post-McDermott career so far has taken me both east and west. From June 2011 to June 2013, I served as curatorial fellow at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, a wonderfully eclectic museum with holdings that include American folk art, impressionist paintings, and a landlocked steamboat. When I wasn’t working on exhibits, I experimented with printmaking at a community studio, an interest that developed out of a works on paper exhibit I curated at the DMA. In July 2013, I relocated to Roswell, New Mexico, where I am now the curator of collections and exhibitions at the Roswell Museum and Art Center. Though I’ve only been here a few weeks, I’m happy to be back out west, and am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of my new position.

Stefanie Logan
Stefanie Kae Dlugosz
McDermott Curatorial Intern for Decorative Art, 2010-2011

After leaving the DMA, I worked as the project assistant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on the traveling exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939, co-organized with the Carnegie Museum of Art. In August 2012, I began a graduate program at Indiana University, Bloomington, and am looking forward to completing my MA in art history next spring. I also currently serve as a graduate assistant at the Indiana University Art Museum.

Logan Acton
McDermott Education Intern for Teaching Programs, 2009-2010

From 2010 to 2011, I held a position at the DMA as assistant to the director of education, which also allowed me to help with activities for the 2010 McDermott Intern class. In July 2011, I moved to Missouri to study sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute. I’m currently pursuing a studio practice as a visual artist there and am planning to apply for MFA programs soon. I met Stefanie at the DMA during her McDermott Internship and in October 2012 I asked her to marry me. She accepted and we are currently planning our wedding!

Wendy Earle headshot
Wendy Earle
McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for Ancient American Art, 2011-2012

I have been really busy in my position as curator of collections and exhibitions at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, where I have been since May 2012. It’s great working at a multidisciplinary institution that combines an art museum, children’s museum, planetarium, and historic home into one. I am the entire curatorial department, so I get to do a little bit of everything, including picking up artwork from different states, designing exhibitions, creating interpretive activities, giving gallery talks, and writing grants. We are installing or deinstalling exhibitions almost every month. In the past, I only worked with the art of long-dead civilizations, but now I get to work with lots of exciting contemporary artists—a fun new challenge.

Alec
Alexander Unkovic
McDermott Curatorial Intern for Contemporary Art, 2012-2013

In July 2013, I moved back to Philadelphia and started my new job as the administrative and publicity coordinator at The Fabric Workshop and Museum. I am now creating the content for FWM’s social media (Facebook: /fabricworkshop, and Twitter: @fabricworkshop), and I work on publicity and community outreach initiatives. Additionally, my duties at FWM include helping with exhibition budgets, publications, and checklists, coordinating museum openings and events, and maintaining travel arrangements. Being a McDermott Intern definitely helped prepare me for this job. I’m really enjoying myself here, but I sure do miss Dallas and the DMA!

Our newest class of McDermott Interns began last week. During your next visit to the DMA, keep an eye out for Alexa Hayes, Amelia Wood, Amy Elms, Amy Kaczmarek, Hayley Prihoda, Madeleine Fitzgerald, Michael Hartman, and Temple Shipley. We get the pleasure of working with them for the next several months, and we can’t wait to see where they’ll go from here!

2013/2014 McDermott Interns

2013/2014 McDermott Interns

P.S. If you’re interested in becoming a McDermott Intern next year, check our website in January 2014 for the application!

Sarah Coffey is the assistant to the chair of learning initiatives and former McDermott Education Intern for Adult Programming at the DMA.

Indiana Jones in the Digital Age

Uncrated stopped by the IT Department and caught up with Jessica Heimberg, Senior Developer, to learn more about her role here at the DMA. She can typically be found hiding behind two large monitors on her desk.

Jessica Heimberg

Describe your job in fifty words or less.
I work in the Information Technology Department. My official title is Senior Developer, but I am more like the MacGyver of tech projects and all things IT. (For those of you who missed this TV series, MacGyver was a non-gun-toting secret agent who improvised gadgets to solve crimes.)

What might an average day entail?
It could start with an update meeting and nice espresso, courtesy of DMA Deputy Director Rob Stein, or it could start with a flooded closet and fried switches. Depending on the day, I may be writing code, managing a project, creating documentation, trouble-shooting software, (politely) arguing with a vendor, walking with the cable dudes through a dusty construction site, or trying to figure out why someone’s e-mail worked on their iPhone yesterday but not today. Actually, I think I just described my Tuesday a few weeks ago.

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?
The best part of my job is that by helping create new programs, and supporting the DMA and its staff, I get to play a public service role in my city, and that makes me proud. I feel more than ever that people need art, music, playgrounds, and parks.

One of the more challenging and equally exciting effects of working in a small department is that we have to manage a lot of IT without a lot of staff. This definitely forces efficiencies, and we get to apply real creativity to problem solving. By nature and training, I tend to create schedules and plans. I like to maintain order and do my best to make working on projects as low stress as possible, but as anyone who’s ever worked on ANYTHING knows, even best-laid plans can get monkey-wrenched, and I have learned that some of the best ideas come out of the rubble of an initial plan.

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum?
I was going to be Indiana Jones—am I dating myself here? In a past life (yes, I am older), I worked in the fashion industry, and then in corporate settings, but always gravitated toward the arts, science, and nature to find balance and inspiration.

What is your favorite work in the DMA’s collection?
Just one? Not possible to pick just one.

Bill Viola, The Crossing, Chanel 1 - "Fire," 1996, two-channel video/sound installation, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, and gifts from an anonymous donor, Howard E. Rachofsky, Gayle Stoffel, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Solomon, Catherine and Will Rose, and Emily and Steve Summers, in honor of Deedie Rose

Bill Viola, The Crossing, Channel 1 – “Fire,” 1996, two-channel video/sound installation, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, and gifts from an anonymous donor, Howard E. Rachofsky, Gayle Stoffel, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Solomon, Catherine and Will Rose, and Emily and Steve Summers, in honor of Deedie Rose, (c) Bill Viola, Long Beach, California

I have always loved The Crossing, by Bill Viola. At my last job, at least once a week I would take lunch at the DMA and wander the galleries for an hour just to clear my head. I remember when the Viola was installed and how exciting it was to walk into this big, dark space and stand in front of the projection, watching. I visited the thing three or four times before realizing it had a whole other side! I fell in love with it a second time. I know it is a digital piece, but something about the scale and pace of it strikes me as very human, and it is comforting to me.

Bill Viola, The Crossing, Chanel 2 - "Water," 1996, two-channel video/sound installation, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, and gifts from an anonymous donor, Howard E. Rachofsky, Gayle Stoffel, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Solomon, Catherine and Will Rose, and Emily and Steve Summers, in honor of Deedie Rose

Bill Viola, The Crossing, Channel 2 – “Water,” 1996, two-channel video/sound installation, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, and gifts from an anonymous donor, Howard E. Rachofsky, Gayle Stoffel, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Solomon, Catherine and Will Rose, and Emily and Steve Summers, in honor of Deedie Rose, (c) Bill Viola, Long Beach, California

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?
Oh, gosh – so many! I thoroughly enjoyed the “blockbuster” exhibitions like Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs and especially The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, but most of my favorites have been mounted by our own curatorial staff. I loved Coastlines: Images of Land and Sea, The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, African Masks: The Art of Disguise, Omer Fast: 5000 Feet Is the Best, and the telling of a chunk of American history through Modernism in American Silver: 20th-Century Design. I think Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, the Islamic art and culture exhibition opening in 2014, will be a stunner.

Jessica Heimberg is Senior Developer, Information Technology at the DMA.

Open Office: Decorative Arts and Design

Kevin W. Tucker is the Museum’s Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design. He joined the Museum in the summer of 2003 and has curated acclaimed exhibitions such as Gustav Stickley and the American Arts & Crafts Movement and The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. Take a peek inside Kevin’s DMA office:

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Two Nights in Greece

On June 26 and 27, I will offer a two-session course on the themes raised by our current exhibition The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum.

Bronze statuette of Zeus Roman period, first–second century AD, said to be from Hungary  9 5/16 x 4 5/16 x 4 3/4 in.  GR 1865,0103.36 (Bronze 909) © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

Bronze statuette of Zeus
Roman period, first–second century AD, said to be from Hungary,
© The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

Objects from Greek and Roman antiquity can be challenging to decipher. What the classical world took for granted is no longer part of our language, either spoken or visual. The polytheistic religious framework that defined daily existence seems alien to a modern Western observer, for whom the myths of ancient Greece are complex, overlapping, and in many cases hard to understand.

Over the course of two evenings, I hope to make these artworks of some two millennia ago feel as accessible as possible to a modern viewer, and to share observations from a lifetime of handling and studying classical antiquities.

Black-figure neck amphora, Greek, 520–510 BC, from Vulci, Italy, GR 1836,0224.106 (Vase B224), © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

Black-figure neck amphora, Greek, 520–510 BC, from Vulci, Italy, © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

We’ll tackle the objects in the exhibition by medium, to give insight into the creative choices made by artisans working in gold, silver, bronze, marble, and terracotta, and make our way through the stylistic transitions of the Geometric through the Hellenistic periods.

By the end of these two nights, I hope to have given you what you need to take in not only the antiquities in the DMA’s galleries but also any others you may encounter in the future.

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Visit the DMA’s website for additional information on An Illustrated Course: The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece and to register for the two-night event. DMA Friends have the opportunity to attend the course for free; earn 6,500 points and redeem that credit for the Illustrated Course reward.

Maxwell L. Anderson is The Eugene McDermott Director at the DMA.


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