Posts Tagged 'The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection'

Searching for Chanel at the DMA

When Wendy Reves donated a massive collection of over 1,400 objects to the DMA in 1985, it was already known that a few large furniture objects, like the dining table, originally belonged to Coco Chanel. Recently, we began a new quest to see what other objects might have belonged to Mlle Chanel that are currently in the DMA’s collection. To do so, we looked at old photographs from the 1930s and 40s, when the designer lived at Villa La Pausa, in southern France, and tried to match furniture in those photos to what we have today in the Reves Collection. When we found matches, we knew that the objects were left behind by Coco Chanel when she sold La Pausa to Emery and Wendy Reves in the early 1950s. Here are a few examples so you can go see for yourself.

The Entry:
entry

This chandelier was originally in Coco Chanel’s bedroom, hanging above her bed. Like most people who move, Mlle Chanel didn’t feel the need to take the light fixtures in her home with her. Wendy Reves, however, decided this could not stay in her new bedroom and moved it to the entryway of her home.

hanel’s Bedroom at La Pausa, with the chandelier now in the Reves entry and the desk at the right now serving as a buffet table in the Reves Dining Room.

Chanel’s bedroom at La Pausa, with the chandelier now in the Reves entry and the desk at the right, now serving as a buffet table in the Reves Dining Room

The Dining Room:
dining

This long table was originally used by Coco Chanel as a desk; however, Wendy decided that this could be useful in another way. She unfolded the leaves and moved it into her dining room to act as a buffet table.

The Grand Hall:
clock

Mlle Chanel had a set of two matching clocks, this one, which is now hanging in the Grand Hall, and another that hangs above the fireplace in the Reves Salon. When Wendy and Emery Reves moved in, they enjoyed these gold clocks and kept them in their original locations before donating them to the DMA.

Coco’s Great Hall, with the same sunburst clock on the wall.

Coco’s Great Hall, with the same sunburst clock on the wall.

The Library:
library

Possibly one of the coolest furniture items in the Reves Collection, this chair actually reclines using steel rods that come out of the handles. You can barely see them here, but pulling them out and pushing them in changes the recline of this chair. It is probably not as comfortable as our plush recliners today, but it was still the prototype. This early version of the recliner was originally in Mlle Chanel’s bedroom.

The Reclining Chair in the Library, shown with the rods pulled out

The reclining chair in the Library, shown with the rods pulled out

The Bedroom:
mirror

Originally in Mlle Chanel’s bedroom at La Pausa, this mirror didn’t travel far when Wendy and Emery Reves moved. They opted to keep it in their own bedroom. Interestingly, this is the only item that belonged to Coco Chanel that is in the Reves Bedroom.

The other side of Coco’s bedroom features the mirror now in the bedroom of the Reves collection as well as the reclining chair now in the library.

The other side of Coco’s bedroom features the mirror now in the Reves Bedroom as well as the reclining chair now in the Library.

The Salon:
salon

Of the many items in this room that belonged to Coco Chanel, we think that this yellow couch might have originally been covered in a darker fabric and left behind when she sold La Pausa. Wendy liked the color yellow and recovered the couch to fit her tastes. We can see the similarity between them when comparing the side views.

Chanel’s Salon at La Pausa, with the same couch seen from the side.

Chanel’s Salon at La Pausa, with the same couch seen from the side

Michael Hartman is the McDermott Intern for European Art at the DMA.

Reclining Nymph Gets a New Name

You may have heard that we recently reattributed a Baroque sculpture in the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection to the artist Giovanni Bonazza. Here’s an interview with Olivier Meslay, associate director of curatorial affairs at the DMA, explaining how he discovered the true artist of Reclining Nymph:

For additional information on the sculpture and its reattribution, you can read the full press release here or see the work up close, and for free, on view in The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection on Level 3.

Our #1 DMA Moms

#1 Mom mugs, construction paper cards, misshapen clay bowls, homemade jewelry—many moms probably have an entire stash of Mother’s Day gifts they have received over the years from their children. When I’m working with preschool children in the studio, one comment I hear over and over again is “this is for my mom!” For kids, there’s just something about creating artwork they’re proud of and wanting to give it to mom. In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d check in with some of our kid experts to find out what they think about celebrating mom.

Kris and kids 2008

Kris and kids 2011

Jeb, Gareth, and Ruthie have been coming to the museum for parent-child classes since Ruthie was a baby strapped to her mom’s back. When asked where their mom Kris’ favorite spot in the museum was, Jeb said “probably the studio.” Ruthie loves her mom because “she reads some books to me some time” and Gareth’s favorite thing to do with mom is “tea time.” Kris’ favorite work of art recently on display at the museum is Janine Antoni’s Lick and Lather. We’ve watched Kris’ kids grow up at the Dallas Museum of Art, and it’s a delight to see how well this family knows the museum and the collection.

Miller and Andrea 2009

Miller and Andrea 2011

Five year old Miller says that his mom likes coming to the museum to see “the art stuff.” (When we checked in with Andrea, she clarified that her favorite spot is the Reves collection.) Miller informed us that “the things she likes to do—she likes to play Chutes & Ladders. She’s really good at a lot of sports.” When Miller started attending our Arturo’s Art & Me class as a three year old, he was shy and quiet and only wanted to sit with his mom. Now he’s one of the first to answer a question or share an observation and quick to volunteer when we need helpers!

Arwen and Kayte 2009

Arwen and Kayte 2011

Arwen and mom Kayte have also been attending our art classes for several years. After one class about birds, Arwen went home and created an entire clay aviary display for her bedroom. She thinks mom’s favorite work of art is “the furniture,” but Kayte claims it is Robert Raushenberg’s Skyway. On a recent trip to Paris, Arwen was so museum-savvy, she didn’t have any trouble visiting the art museums and making herself right at home with her sketchbook.

These are just a few of the fabulous moms who regularly visit the Museum and have become a part of our museum family. Treat your mom to a day at the museum this Mother’s Day! You can enjoy a Mother’s Day brunch in the Atrium, create art to wear in the Studio, and spot a few of the famous moms hanging out in the galleries (like Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting pictured below).

Henry Ossawa Tanner, "Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures", c. 1909, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds

Leah Hanson is Manager of Early Learning


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