Posts Tagged 'Holidays'

Festive Artworks

From twinkle lights and tinsel to plastic mistletoe and inflatable snowmen, decorations abound during the holiday season. But at the DMA, our walls are “decorated” the entire year, so we poked through the Museum’s collection for particularly festive artworks that would make unique holiday deco. Here’s what we found:

Instead of felted reindeer and fake snow atop your dining room table, how about incorporating Erik Swenson’s tableau of fantastical cold-weather creatures? The one in the sweater would make for interesting dinner conversation.

Erick Swenson, Untitled, 1998, styrofoam, resin, wool, foam, epoxy, clay, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mark Babcock

Erick Swenson, Untitled, 1998, styrofoam, resin, wool, foam, epoxy, clay, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mark Babcock

I would happily exchange the star atop my tree for this Indonesian standing guardian figure (tepaung). Unlike my star, this figure is capable of warding off evil spirits.

Standing figure, c. 1300-1800, Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Mahakam River Region, Belayan River, Kenyah-Kayan Complex, possibly Bahau or Bahau-related people, ironwood, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Standing guardian figure, c. 1300-1800, Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Mahakam River Region, Belayan River, Kenyah-Kayan Complex, possibly Bahau or Bahau-related people, ironwood, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Trade in your tangled ball of twinkle lights for Bruce Nauman’s neon letters.

Bruce Nauman, Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo, 1972, white glass tubing, clear glass tubing, and suspension frames, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, The 500, Inc., Dorace M. Fichtenbaum, Deedie and Rusty Rose, an anonymous donor, the Friends of Contemporary Art and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in honor of Sue Graze

Bruce Nauman, Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo, 1972, white glass tubing, clear glass tubing, and suspension frames, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, The 500, Inc., Dorace M. Fichtenbaum, Deedie and Rusty Rose, an anonymous donor, the Friends of Contemporary Art and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in honor of Sue Graze

These ancient Peruvian beakers, which may have been used to serve a corn beer called chichi, would be a lovely table setting for any holiday dinner party. Please pass the chicha!

Group of beakers, AD 900-1100, Peru, North Coast, La Leche Valley, Batan Grande Region, Sican culture, Gold, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison

Group of beakers, A.D. 900-1100, Peru, North Coast, La Leche Valley, Batan Grande Region, Sican culture, gold, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison

To create this sculpture, Annette Lawrence tore junk mail into strips of equal width. Who needs handmade chains of paper strips when you could decorate your hearth with this?

Annette Lawrence, Free Paper 12 / 05, 2006-2008, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund

Annette Lawrence, Free Paper 12 / 05, 2006-08, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund

Andrea Severin Goins is the interpretation specialist 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.

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

Seldom Scene: The Grinch Visits

On the first Tuesday of every month, admission to the DMA is free, and we have special activities for our youngest visitors until 3:00 p.m. On December 7, we had a special guest in C3, the Grinch (before his heart grew three sizes in one day). He stopped by from the AT&T Performing Arts Center, where Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical was opening later that night. DMA staff members could not pass up this photo opportunity.


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Backstage at the Indonesian Celebration

We're ready for an Indonesian Celebration!

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