Archive for December, 2012

Happy Holidays from the Archives

This holiday season we are taking a trip down memory lane known as the DMA Archives. The West Wing “Ball Court” of the Museum in Fair Park served as a stage for the entertainment at the 1969 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts Families’ Christmas Party. Happy holidays and happy New Year from the DMA!

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Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Friday Photos: Creative Chairs

We recently started a new partnership with the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School.  Over the course of the year, eighth grade students will visit the DMA four times for tours focused on the components of STEAM.

On a visit earlier this month, the students spent time thinking about the design and engineering of various chairs in the collection.  They were then challenged to create a chair out of everyday materials.  Here are some of their creations (and photographic proof that their chair supported the weight of our baby doll).

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Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

John Hernandez in C3

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Have you stopped by the Center for Creative Connections lately?  If the answer is no, then add it to your “to do” list because you won’t want to miss this exciting new work of art in the entryway.  John Hernandez’s bright and energetic piece, HI-C Avenger was recently installed along with an interactive component.

First, a little background on the art and artist.  John Hernandez is a San Antonio based artist who has ties to the North Texas region.  Hernandez received his MFA from the University of North Texas where he studied under Vernon Fisher.  Can you see the influence Fisher might have had on his student?

“When you have a teacher like Vernon Fisher and his paintings are like black and white… I just wanted to go to the extreme, I started doing these wild colors,” Hernandez said during an interview with David Rubin.

Hernandez references a wide array of influences ranging from popular culture (movies, comics, toys, and commercials) to biology and nature (plants, animals, and body parts).  He describes his process as both spontaneous and deliberate as he morphs appropriated images together to form a collage and then builds a three dimensional model to figure out the structure.  What references can you find in HI-C Avenger?

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The interactive component that we have designed to supplement this work of art is two-fold.  There is a short video that plays clips and still images of some of the direct references that inspired HI-C Avenger.  Alongside this is a magnetic board filled with pop culture icons from the past and present.  Visitors can arrange the magnets, layering and combining them to create their own Hernandez-inspired creation.

Come by, see the new work, and play a while!

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Also, mark your calendars for these upcoming opportunities to participate in a workshop led by John Hernandez:

Thursday, January 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.,
Join guest artist John Hernandez as he takes us beyond collage into a mutated experience in reality. Hear about Hernandez’s work, while constructing a unique morphed creation of your own.

Late Night Creations with artist John Hernandez
6:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 9:00 p.m., Art Studio, Center for Creative Connections (C3)
Join us for a special workshop with guest artist John Hernandez.  John will talk about his creative process and then guide participants in constructing sculptures using toys and other found objects.

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Johnson

In honor of the late Mrs. “Lady Bird” Johnson’s 100th birthday on December 22, I wanted to share with you two of Mrs. Johnson’s visits to the DMA.

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Mrs. Johnson visiting the exhibition Pompeii A.D. 79 (January 2-March 18, 1979) with Director Harry S. Parker III on January 18, 1979.

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Mrs. Johnson visiting the exhibition El Greco of Toledo (December 12, 1982-February 6, 1983) with Mrs. Margaret McDermott, DMA Trustee.

Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Culinary Canvas: Almond Crescents

The inspiration for this month’s recipe is a crescent-shaped tobelo, a sacred object from Indonesia used to connect with ancestral spirits. In my family, baking serves as a connector between generations, and at no time is this more true than the holiday season. In that spirit, be sure to bake this crescent-shaped cookie with your family and let everyone explore their artistic side with the decorations!

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Crescent-shaped ornament (tobelo), 19th Century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Nasher Foundation in honor of Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher

Almond Crescents

Yields about 60 cookies
Level: Easy

Cookies:

1 cup blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping:

2 ounces good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Decorations: crushed candy cane, chopped toasted almonds, coarse sugar, sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cookies: Place almonds in food processor and process into a fine crumb. In a medium bowl, stir together processed almonds with flour. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add flour mixture to mixer in three batches, mixing on low speed until just combined.

To form cookies, scoop off about a tablespoon of dough then roll between hands to shape into a log about 3 inches long. Place on baking sheet, then pull ends down and pinch to form a crescent shape, leaving about 1 inch between each cookie. When sheet is full, gently press down each cookie to flatten slightly. Bake until golden on bottom, about 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet then transfer to metal rack to cool completely.

Topping: Whisk dark chocolate in a glass bowl set over a small pot of simmering water until mostly melted, then remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Once cookies have cooled, dip one end of each into chocolate then sprinkle with desired decoration. Place on wax paper to dry. Repeat process with white chocolate.

 
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Recipe adapted from Very Merry Cookie Party.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

A New Inness in the Collection

Earlier this fall, we announced the discovery of a George Inness painting in our collection. The work, Stream in the Mountains, entered the DMA’s collection over eighty years ago and was thought to be the work of Asher B. Durand, a prominent artist who was part of the Hudson River school of painters in the mid-19th century. At some point between its arrival at the DMA and the early 1970s, doubts to the authorship were raised and the painting was downgraded to possibly being by Durand. Sue Canterbury, The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art, joined the DMA in August of 2011, and during a visit to the Museum’s Art Storage was intrigued by the strong composition of the piece as well as the history surrounding its attribution. During her research, she noticed strong similarities to Inness’s early work and eventually came across a pen and ink drawing from the Princeton University Art Museum that contained compositional elements found in the DMA’s piece. The most eye-catching of these similarities is the pointing trapezoidal rock that appears in the center of both the drawing and painting. Read more about the attribution in the DMA’s Press Room, and view the painting in the Museum’s American art galleries on Level 4.

George Inness,Stream in the Mountains [formerly: In the Woods], c. 1850, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Cecil A. Keating

George Inness, Stream in the Mountains [formerly: In the Woods], c. 1850, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Cecil A. Keating

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George Inness, Woodland Scene, 1845–1855, pen and brown-black ink, brush and brown wash heightened with white gouache over traces of graphite on brown wove paper, Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Frank Jewett Mather Jr., x1943-27

Home for the Holidays

With the holidays upon us, there has been a lot of talk of travel, family, and traditions. Everyone’s experience is unique, so I asked some of my fellow bloggers to choose a work of art from the DMA’s collection that reminds them of home during the holidays.

Studio of Pere Espalargues, Altarpiece, second half of 15th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Leicester Busch Faust and Audrey Faust Wallace in memory of Anna Busch Faust and Edward A. Faust.

Studio of Pere Espalargues, Altarpiece, second half of 15th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Leicester Busch Faust and Audrey Faust Wallace in memory of Anna Busch Faust and Edward A. Faust.

My choice is this 15th century altarpiece. It makes me think of my family’s annual visit to The Cloisters museum in New York. We’ve been going there around Christmastime since I can remember. I would always hunt down my favorite two pieces: the Merode Altarpiece from the workshop of Robert Campin and an insanely intricate rosary bead made from boxwood. Though as a kid I had to be dragged there kicking and screaming, I can now appreciate this wonderful family tradition, and I’m looking forward to returning very soon.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Bare Tree Trunks with Snow, 1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Bare Tree Trunks with Snow, 1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase.

Danielle Schulz: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Bare Tree Trunks with Snow reminds me of going home to Albuquerque for the holidays. I can just imagine that these bare trees are in my mother’s backyard. The few trees that we do have in New Mexico are quite bare like the painting shows, but become so much more beautiful when it snows. When I look at this painting, all I want to do is curl up in front of the fireplace, eat some green chile stew and watch A Christmas Story on repeat!

John Ward Lockwood, Magic of the Snow, 1945-1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Lida Hooe Memorial Fund.

John Ward Lockwood, Magic of the Snow, 1945-1946, Dallas Museum of Art, Lida Hooe Memorial Fund.

Pilar Wong: I chose Magic of the Snow because the colors are reminiscent of my hometown of Delta, Colorado. While snowy landscapes are dominated by shimmery whites, the blue of the mountains and tan of the shrubbery creates a winter wonderland!

Edgar Degas, Ballet Dancers on the Stage, 1883, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin B. Bartholow.

Edgar Degas, Ballet Dancers on the Stage, 1883, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin B. Bartholow.

Leah Hanson: I would pick Edgar Degas’ Ballet Dancers on Stage. When I was little, we had a tradition of going to see The Nutcracker every year. My sister and I would get dressed up in our Christmas dresses (usually matching!), and every year it was magical to watch Clara and her Christmas tree that grows and grows and the Nutcracker who comes to life. After the show, we’d twirl around in our dresses and reenact our favorite parts – the Arabian dancers, the Russian dancers, and of course, the Sugarplum Fairy. One of my favorites!

Clara McDonald Williamson, Get Along Little Dogies, 1945, Dallas Museum of Art, Ted Dealey Purchase Prize, Seventeenth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition.

Clara McDonald Williamson, Get Along Little Dogies, 1945, Dallas Museum of Art, Ted Dealey Purchase Prize, Seventeenth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition.

Amanda Blake: The work of art that reminds me of the holidays is Get Along Little Dogies by Clara McDonald Williamson because I grew up spending Christmas on farms in Oklahoma with both sets of grandparents. This painting reminds me of the view of cattle and wide-open space as we would drive from Kansas to Oklahoma.

Harold Holdway (designer), Regimental Oak shape dinner plate with Christmas Tree pattern, designed 1938, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stephen Harrison in honor of George Roland.

Harold Holdway (designer), Regimental Oak shape dinner plate with Christmas Tree pattern, designed 1938, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stephen Harrison in honor of George Roland.

Amy Copeland: For me, nothing says the holidays like this pattern. My family gathers with our neighbors for holiday meals, and the bunch of us have eaten many a Christmas dinner off plates like these.

Happy Holidays from all of us at the DMA!

Alex Vargo
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching


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