When my husband, Bryan, unexpectedly told me that he had redeemed the Art Beauty Shoppe reward from the DMA Friends program, I could hardly contain my “blow-your-wig” (check out other 1930s lingo) excitement. Bryan and I are in love with the DMA. We are both researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and its close proximity to the Museum allows us to easily enjoy lunch breaks and late night events in one of our favorite places. I was particularly surprised that he had used his points because we were trying to redeem a voucher for the coveted Overnight at the DMA, which takes 100,000 points. (I was actually able to redeem it for us—see you there on November 1!).
With the Art Beauty Shoppe reward, three of my friends and I were able to have our hair and makeup done in 1930s style and then have photos taken in front of the DMA’s 1934 painting Art Beauty Shoppe by Isaac Soyer. Pouf Blow Dry Salon accommodated the four of us just as if we were the four customers in the painting.
I was elated to get to share my love of the DMA with some of my friends in such a “swell” way. So I gave my friends, Amanda, Stephanie, and Katrina, a “dil-ya-ble” and we hit the Internet and antique malls to find the perfect vintage-style dresses to wear for the occasion.
Bryan had the idea of adding props to make us look as if we were actually sitting in the salon, waiting for our appointment. He found a spring 1934 edition of Women’s Home Companion for us to peruse. I could “bump gums” for hours on that magazine alone, but I digress.
Amanda was able to find a 1930s cigarette holder, Stephanie brought tons of “snazzy” 1930s-era costume jewelry, and, with the addition of my red hat and mirror, we knew we were going to look like a group of “hot tomatoes.”
The day of the photo shoot went off with a “bang”! We had quite the “hop.” The ladies from Pouf did an amazing job. They even saved the day when Katrina’s hair hadn’t quite dried enough—she ended up with quite a cool up-do. With our “keen” makeup and “nobby” hair, we posed our hearts out in front of the compelling painting. It was so much fun!
Then, to top it off, Sarah Coffey—DMA assistant to the chair of learning initiatives, and organizer of the event—wasn’t going to take back stage or “goldbrick” around. She gave us a history of the painting and style of the time period. What I found most interesting was that not only did Soyer have his friends pose for the painting, but the granddaughter of the woman with the red hat actually spoke to the Museum about the piece. She informed them that her grandmother had just been engaged to her grandfather prior to sitting for the painting, and you can actually see her engagement ring while her nails are being painted a bright red. It’s so fascinating that each piece in the DMA’s collection has its own unique and interesting human history. Thank you so much Dallas Museum of Art for bringing this piece to life for me during such a wonderful experience!
Lacey Smith is a DMA Friend and researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.