Posts Tagged 'DFW Museums'

All That Jazz

Friday, March 2nd Dallas Museum of Art members celebrated the Youth & Beauty: Art of the American Twenties in style. The evening included a 20’s themed costume contest, an introduction of the exhibition, dance lessons, and more! We thought we would share some of our favorite shots from the evening.

Show off your twenties outfits tonight at our Roaring Twenties Late Night!

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 Wendi Kavanaugh is the Member Outreach Manager at the Dallas Museum of Art

Young Masters at the Dallas Museum of Art

The Young Masters exhibition, showcasing work from area AP fine arts students, is on view through April 8. Below are a few shots of the installation.

Installing the American Twenties

Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties opens this Sunday after an inaugural presentation at the Brooklyn Museum. Preparation for the exhibition began in January, and below are a few images of the installation process.

Adam Gingrich is the Administrative Assistant for Marketing and Communications at the DMA.

Traveling with The Mourners

It usually takes a few years to pull together a complicated, large and/or high value exhibition with loans from all over the world. The Mourners is an exhibition with only forty objects, and most from one source. So why did this project take about three years to open at its first venue, and why was it so complex? Well, the little sculptures are fragile, medieval and made out of stone—alabaster. In addition, they are the most treasured objects at the Musee des Beaux—Arts Dijon. The Director of the Museum, Sophie Jugie, had to promise the Mayor that absolutely nothing would happen to the little guys while they toured the United States for 2 ½ years!

After a year of conversation about the project with various parties, the DMA was asked by FRAME (French Regional American Museum Exchange) to organize and manage the exhibition tour.

In 2008 I visited Dijon to meet the staff, begin coordinating the logistics of our agreement, and of course to see the sculptures first hand to have a better idea of requirements for handling, packing, shipping, etc.

Tomb of John the Fearless. Musee des beaux-arts Dijon prior to removal of the sculptures.

In 2009 Preparator—and head mount maker—Russell Sublette visited Dijon to trace the bottoms of the sculptures in preparation for mount design. Over a few months he completed a couple of different designs for the mounts, here is one example.

After the mount decisions were made with Dijon, we had to purchase everything we would need: paint, felt, screwdrivers, drills, lots and lots of brass plate, and different width brass rods. Meanwhile a French packing company was busy building crates.

In January of 2010 we landed in Dijon. It was VERY cold. We immediately drove to the local “home depot” to purchase two heaters since the the Musee des beaux-arts is in the basement—of a stone medieval building. To make very detailed mounts, you need dexterity, your fingers cannot be frozen due to the cold.

I worked with the Dijon staff and Benoit Lafay (France Institute of Conservation of Works of Art) to remove the sculptures from the tomb.

The next three days we spent on high resolution photography of each sculpture, which you can appreciate in detail by going to mourners.org. Leonard Steinbach and Jared Bendis devised and organized the impressive photography equipment to complete the amazing photography. We set up shop in the gallery next to where the tombs are located. They took approximately 350 photographs of each sculpture!

Meanwhile, Russell and DMA colleague John Lendvay worked on making each mount. The first three days they worked in the gallery. And when we left the museum on Friday evening, we walked out and into a raging blizzard—the worst Dijon had seen in something like 80 years! The city looked beautiful, but it was oh so cold.

The mounts are crucial to the safety of the sculptures and travel in their own crate with all the supplies needed to make adjustments, touch up paint, replace padding, etc. They were made to fit each individual sculpture, painted to match the color of the alabaster, and padded with conservation felt.

The first stop in the exhibition tour was The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here we had to complete more of the refinements on the mounts, as the time in Dijon had not been sufficient.

Extensive notes and diagrams are needed to make certain that each sculpture is fitted into the mount correctly.

Russell and John discussed each mount until comfortable with the design. As you can see, some of the sculptures have had repairs over the centuries, some have very small bases, and most have intricate drapery at the bottom. Many details to take into account when deciding where the clips should be placed.

At the end of the installation, a bit of very careful touch up paint might be necessary on the mounts. And they looked spectacular!

After experiencing the blizzard in Dijon, it was fitting that after we finished the installation in New York we barely made it out due to a snow storm in the east. The day the three of us left to return to Dallas, ours was the last flight out before they closed the airport. I think it is the Mourners—they like the cold! And they are wearing those fancy fur lined robes . . .

At each venue, we must complete a very detailed condition examination with the Objects Conservator of the host museum, and a Registrar from Dijon. We keep binders with dozens and dozens of photographs and notes to compare and annotate.

The sculptures travel in individual “inner” boxes and two per crate. Each inner box is configured to fit the sculpture and provide space for hands to lift the sculpture safely. With such a long exhibition tour, we had to build very good travel crates. As you can see, plenty of labels, photos, and numbers to keep things clear.

When the exhibition was in Dallas, Russell and John had the time to complete what we call “seismic mounts.” The exhibition traveled to Los Angeles and San Francisco after Dallas and we had to prepare supplemental mounts which were installed in earthquake zone venues.

Now the little Mourners have been to seven museums in the United States. Each time they are carefully packed and transported to the next museum. Once there, they are carefully unpacked and condition examinations are completed on each sculpture again.

Then, they are slowly and carefully installed once again. Mount placement is marked once the curator makes a decision as to where he wants the sculpture, we use templates to then mark the position of the seismic mounts, holes are drilled, and mounts are screwed in place. Then ever so carefully, the sculpture is “dialed” into place. Each sculpture has a unique way of fitting into the mount. Some are a little trickier to install than others. Below John is using a mirror to see behind the sculpture because the space is narrow. Very creative!

If you missed the exhibition here in Dallas, you still have an opportunity to see it at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond through April 15th.

As a Registrar, I have been doing exhibitions for over 28 years and this is one of my top five favorite projects of my career. Each time we de-install them and each time we unpack them, I marvel at the beauty of each piece and find yet another detail in the carving that amazes me. Even after 14 times—that has to be the hallmark of a real treasure.

The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy at the Dallas Museum of Art, October, 2010.

Gabriela Truly is the Director of Collections Management at the DMA

Off the Wall: Garbage Disposal

In our Center for Creative Connections we ask visitors to reflect on their responses to the spaces they encounter in art, as well as those they encounter in their everyday life.

For one work of art specifically, Lee Bontecou’s Untitled, we ask visitors to respond to one of three prompts:

    • To me, sharing space with this work of art feels like…
    • The words or pictures that come to mind when I look at this work of art are…
    • If this work of art was part of something larger, describe what it would be.

Untitled (35), Lee Bontecou, 1961

We have gotten a lot of great responses from visitors and want to share a few with you. Once a month we will have an “Off the Wall” post featuring three responses left by visitors.

Next time you are in the Center for Creative Connections add your contribution to the wall and maybe you will see it on Uncrated!

Seldom Scene: Hodges, Albers, and Lawrence. Oh My!

You may have noticed something shiny and new in the entrance to the Center for Creative Connections (C3). In November, the C3’s Encountering Space exhibition experienced a few art rotations, including the installation of Jim Hodges’ Great Event, three works by Josef Albers, and Annette Lawrence’s Accumulation Project. See the new works, and the new film in the C3 Theater by Frank & Kristin Lee Dufour, for free tomorrow during First Tuesday, when general admission is free from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Graffiti Couture

There are six exciting galleries inside The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition, from a red light district to a motorized runway. For the Punk Cancan room, we decided to tag the walls with details of Gaultier and Dallas with the help of graffiti artist Jerod DTOX Davies for Blunt Force Crew/Beastmode Squad. Below is a behind-the-scenes look at the tagging process.

Photography by Adam Gingrich, Dallas Museum of Art Marketing Assistant, and George Fiala.

Big Love from Jean Paul Gaultier

You may have heard that the U.S. Premiere of The Fashion World From Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk opened yesterday at the Dallas Museum of Art. But we had a week of pre-opening  events prior to Sunday, including the Press Preview on Thursday morning. Below are a few of our favorite shots from our time with the “enfant terrible”.

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Kimberly Daniell, Public Relations Specialist at the Dallas Museum of Art

French Twist: An Intern Abroad

The Dallas Museum of Art offers a variety of internships throughout the year in various departments. This past July, Amandine Marchal joined the Development Department. Marchal hails from Montbéliard, in Franche-Comté (eastern France) and is currently studying business at the French School, HEC Paris. We tracked her down to discuss her experience at the DMA.

Describe your internship in fifty words or less?
I am a Development intern at the DMA and occasionally I assist other departments (such as Marketing and Education). I am mainly working on the Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. I keep some of the special events’ invitation lists and help organize those events.

What might an average day entail?
Every day is really different. Some days I add people to the invitation lists, other days I add information about the DMA’s works of art online, order linens and flowers for lunches, and make reservations for group tours of our collection. It is very varied!

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?
The best part of this internship is that I work with so many people and do so many different things. It’s also quite a challenge because it requires a good deal of organization! But I really wanted to have a good overview of how a museum works, and I feel like I have a better understanding after interning at the DMA.

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Has interning at the DMA changed your career path in any way?
I started with business studies in France and saw myself working in publishing houses. Last year, I began taking art history courses (or lessons in history of art, as we say in France). My internship at the DMA has really made me reconsider my career path. I will certainly keep learning about art and consider any museum job opportunities when I finish my studies.

What is your favorite work in the Museum’s collection?
It’s hard to choose. I would say it is Edward Hopper’s Lighthouse Hill. He is one of the first American painters that I discovered, and I love his paintings’ atmosphere. But I love to hang around the European floor and see the incredible Monet, Vernet, and Courbet paintings; they remind me of France.

How did you find out about an internship at the Dallas Museum of Art?

I wanted to find an internship in the United States, and in a cultural field. I learned that one of my fellow students at HEC (Adrien Lenoir) was doing an internship at the DMA, and I applied too. I really wanted to go to Dallas because it seemed so unusual for a French student to have an internship here! And Adrien was so enthusiastic about his own internship and the kindness of the people at the DMA that I didn’t hesitate.

What advice would you give to other students looking for an international internship?
I would tell them not to fear the “language barrier”; they will get used to talking in English. People are very patient and nice about our mistakes. An international internship is actually an incredible experience, and a way to meet extraordinary people. So don’t hesitate!

What has been your favorite Dallas experience thus far?
I was amazed by the 4th of July parades! In France people don’t celebrate Bastille Day this way. It was a very fun and unusual thing to see for me. Now I am looking forward to seeing some Halloween parties!

Seldom Scene: Two Hundred Years Later, Together Again

After a two-hundred-year separation, two Claude-Joseph Vernet landscapes are reunited at the Dallas Museum of Art. Commissioned in 1774 at the height of Vernet’s career by famous English collector Lord Lansdowne, the two large-scale paintings depict the complementary scenes of unruly rustic landscape and tranquil seaport. The duo, A Mountain Landscape with an Approaching Storm and A Grand View of the Sea Shore, hung together in the collector’s home, Lansdowne House, Berkeley Square, London, until his death, when the paintings were sold to separate private collections in 1806. See the works in person in the Museum’s European Art Galleries on Level 2 through December 11, 2011. To read more about the reunion, click here.

Join Dr. Heather MacDonald, The Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, DMA, for a gallery talk on Vernet’s Lansdowne Landscapes on Wednesday, November 2, at 12:15 p.m.


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