#LoveWins

In commemoration of today’s decision we wanted to share Félix González-Torres’s work in the DMA collection Untitled (Perfect Lovers).

The date of this work corresponds to the time during which Félix González-Torres’s partner, Ross Laycock, was ill, and it embodies the tension that comes from two people living side-by-side as life moves forward to its ultimate destination. González-Torres comments: “Time is something that scares me . . . or used to. This piece I made with the two clocks was the scariest thing I have ever done. I wanted to face it. I wanted those two clocks right in front of me, ticking.”

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA

Weaving in the Andes

For thousands of years, artists in the Andean region of South America have been weaving beautiful and complex textiles—an extremely labor intensive process as well as an important form of artistic expression. Beyond serving as protection from the arduous cold of the highlands and the intense sun of the Andean coast, textiles played important roles in ritual, political, and social life and functioned as a marker of social identity for both the living and the dead. Because it took so much time and effort to produce a textile, wearing a highly decorative tunic, for example, conveyed the wearer’s social prestige. Today, we are surrounded by textiles—from the upholstery of our living room sofas to our clothes and bed sheets. But most of today’s textiles were created in mass and for the masses.

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One of the goals of Inca: Conquests of the Andes—on view until November 15, 2015—is to emphasize that each of the textiles in the exhibition was laboriously and thoughtfully created by hand. So, we designed a space within its galleries to illustrate the step-by-step process of making a textile, from the shearing of a camelid for natural hair or the picking of raw cotton, to the many specific ways that fibers can be woven together to produce a textile.

We were thrilled to collaborate on this project with University of North Texas professor Lesli Robertson and the awesome students in her class Topics in Fiber: Community, Culture, and Art. To kick it off, the class visited the DMA’s textile storage and examined fragments representing a variety of weaving techniques for inspiration. Then, they returned to campus and got busy creating enlarged samples of the weaving techniques, using extra strong and thick cording and string so that visitors can touch and feel the nuanced differences between the various techniques. The students experimented with natural dyes like indigo and cochineal (a parasitic insect) to produce bright colors, mirroring the Andean artists in the exhibition. They also produced a backstrap loom—a small, portable loom popular in the Andes that is attached around the weaver’s back and anchored to a tree or other high post. Be sure to check out the students’ photodocumentation of their project on Instagram. They tagged all of their photos and video with #IncaConquestUNT.

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Better yet, visit the Inca exhibition and explore the sample wall to learn about the intricate weaving processes used by the artists represented in the exhibition. When you enter, grab a Weaving Techniques guide from the holder. The colorful round icons on labels indicate the predominant weaving technique used for that artwork. Look for differences in the techniques in the artwork galleries, but try to feel the difference in the Weaving in the Andes space.

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Andrea Severin Goins is the Interpretation Manager at the DMA.

 

 

 

 

Dad’s Day at the DMA

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures, c. 1909, oil on canvasm Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds 1986.9

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures, c. 1909, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds, 1986.9

In honor of Fathers’ Day, we are showcasing artist Henry Ossawa Tanner’s tender rendering of his wife and son, whom he used as models for Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures. In addition to this painting in the DMA’s collection, another, later version is in the Des Moines Art Center. The two were based on inscribed photographs taken by Tanner of his Swedish-born wife, Jessie, and their son, Jesse; the photographs are now housed in the Tanner Papers collection at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

(Image: Jessie Olssen Tanner and Jesse Ossawa Tanner posing for Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting of Christ and his mother studying the scriptures, not after 1910. aaa.si.edu/)

Tanner painted a portrait of his own father, African Methodist Episcopal bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner (1897), now in the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Tanner family lived primarily in France, where the artist had settled in the 19th century to escape racial discrimination in America. The artist’s last years were devoted to the care and recovery of his only son, who had a nervous breakdown following his graduation from Cambridge. Jesse Tanner went on to become a successful petroleum engineer, and in the 1950s he wrote a manuscript, The Life and Works of Henry O. Tanner, dedicated to his father.

Visit Tanner’s painting, on view in the DMA’s Level 4 galleries and included in free general admission, this weekend to celebrate the dad in your life.

Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar at the DMA.

DMAxTAC = Super Late Night

The Teen Advisory Council.

The Teen Advisory Council

If your tour guide looks a tad younger than expected during this month’s Late Night on Friday, June 19, chances are you’re meeting one of the amazing members of the Teen Advisory Council (TAC). You’ll see others as well—decked out in black and festooned with capes—leading art activities and scavenger hunts, helping with haiku slams and performances, and having a great time with visitors throughout the night.

The masterminds behind the evening’s activities, the TAC has spent the past three months working on the first-ever teen-planned Late Night in DMA history. Their vision for the event not only reflects their ideas for what the Museum can offer but is a collaboration that I hope will only continue to grow.

I caught up with some of the council members to ask them about what this opportunity has meant to them and what they hope visitors will experience on Friday:

Q: What activity has been the most fun or the most challenging to plan?

“The most difficult activity to plan was probably the scavenger hunt because if one detail is off then it can throw off the entire scavenger hunt. At the same time, planning this was a lot of fun because we got to choose the different works of art ourselves and make up the clues. We really got to take charge of this activity, and I think it’s cool that a group of teens was able to pull off such a task.” —Maddi

Teen Council members collaborate with Eliel Jones on his Alternative Signage event during the March Late Night.

Teen Council members collaborate with Eliel Jones on his Alternative Signage event during the March Late Night.

Q: What do you hope visitors take away from this evening?

“I hope that visitors will gain a greater appreciation of the Museum as a whole, in particular through the DMAzing Race, as it offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the Museum. I also hope people meet others with the same interests as them and gain new friends in the process, especially teens who will have a separate lounge area for themselves.” —Cristina

“I hope the new visitors to the Museum see how the Museum is actually very different from the normal museum experience and how they can interact and be a part of the Museum just as any artist can.” —Maddi

“I want the visitors to leave saying ‘I’m glad I came to this’ and learning something. They could learn about anything at the Museum, even about themselves. So, I want the visitors to learn, about anything they want.” —Nadir

The Teen Council experiments with a Creativity Challenge idea.

The Teen Council experiments with a Creativity Challenge idea.

For me, it’s been a blast to watch the TAC execute their ideas and see how much fun they’ve had in the process. I’m amazed at how undaunted they’ve been throughout the process given the magnitude of this project (maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet?) and how many moving pieces there are. You can check out the full schedule of events for Friday’s Late Night here.

I couldn’t be more proud of all the hard work they’ve put in, and I can’t wait to see how visitors respond. Super!

JC Bigornia is the C3 Program Manager at the DMA.

A Soft Touch

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This evening, in advance of our special DMA Arts & Letters Live event with Rebecca Alexander, who will discuss her memoir about losing her vision and hearing due to a rare genetic disease, we will host our first Touch Tour for adults in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden. Last summer, the DMA hosted a similar tour for a group of children with visual impairment; you can explore photos from the event below and learn more about the history here.

Tonight, artist John Bramblitt will lead participants to three works of art and then discuss his process as an artist who happens to be blind. The all-inclusive tour for those attending the Arts & Letters Live event (those with full vision will be given blindfolds for the tour) begins at 6:15 p.m. Visit DMA.org for additional information about tonight’s program and to purchase tickets.

Amanda Blake is the Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences at the DMA. 

Candles for Courbet

Gustave Courbet was born June 10, 1819, and thus 196 years ago today the realist movement was born. The DMA is home to a number of works by the 19th-century French painter. Stop by and wish this great artist happy birthday by visiting two of his works currently on view, Fox in the Snow on Level 2 and  Still Life with Apples, Pear, and Pomegranates in the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection.

Gustave Courbet, Fox in the Snow, 1860, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund 1979.7.FA

Gustave Courbet, Fox in the Snow, 1860, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 1979.7.FA

Gustave Courbet, Still Life with Apples, Pear, and Pomegranates, 1871 or 1872, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection 1985.R.18

Gustave Courbet, Still Life with Apples, Pear, and Pomegranates, 1871 or 1872, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.18

Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA.

Off to Art Camp

The end of the school year marks the beginning of the DMA’s summer camp program, where each week campers make friends while exploring works of art in the collection and making their own art in the C3 studios. Yesterday we welcomed a fun and energetic group for our first two Summer Art Camps of 2015: New World Kids and Paint, Print, and Pattern.
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On the first day of New World Kids, campers got to work with plants . . . and get their hands dirty while doing so!
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It was a fun day, and the campers were excited to show their families the plants and other activities they had worked on.

Some of the campers were, admittedly, a little excited to see their families at pick-up…
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Although all our camps are fully booked, if you would like to see a list of the types of summer camps we offer, for ages ranging from 4 to 19, visit our website, DMA.org.

Josh Rose is the Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs at the DMA.


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