Archive for April, 2014

‘Do It Up

Who doesn’t love visiting the salon to relax, recharge, gossip, and get a fresh new ‘do? And all of that pampering couldn’t happen without your trusty hairstylist. Since today is Hairstylist Appreciation Day, let’s check out what hair-raising inspiration the DMA’s collection has to offer.

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Isaac Soyer, Art Beauty Shoppe, 1934, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Public Works of Art Project

It’s no surprise that women back in the 1930s enjoyed being pampered at the salon too, though their pampering may have required a bit more work. Case in point: notice the guest in the green dress with the strange contraption on her head—she’s getting a perm with an early permanent wave machine. Oh the things we do in the name of beauty!

William Wetmore Story, Semiramis, designed 1872, carved 1873, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Morynne and Robert E. Motley in memory of Robert Earl Motley, Jr., 1942-1998

William Wetmore Story, Semiramis, designed 1872, carved 1873, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Morynne and Robert E. Motley in memory of Robert Earl Motley, Jr., 1942-1998

According to myth, Semiramis murdered her husband so that she could become the sole ruler of Assyria. A lady this fierce certainly requires the appropriately coiffed hair to match. Her tight curls are bound down her back and set off with a lovely crown, just to remind everyone exactly who’s in charge.

Charles Willson Peale, Rachel Leeds Kerr, 1790, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation

Charles Willson Peale, Rachel Leeds Kerr, 1790, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation

By the late 18th century, hair was teased to towering heights. Styles would be elaborately arranged by hairdressers and maintained for weeks by sleeping in less than comfortable positions with hair wrapped in handkerchiefs. Day dress required the proper covering of the head, but for evening the intricately crafted style was put proudly on display. If size does matter, we can only imagine what talents Mrs. Kerr’s hairdresser employed under her cap.

Stop by the DMA the next time you’re in need of a little hairstyle inspiration and see what your stylist can dream up!

Sarah Coffey is Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives at the DMA.

Family Ties

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The Costantino Family

The Costantino family has been coming to the DMA for years, and we’ve had the pleasure of watching the children grow up with art as a regular part of their childhood. Mom Rose is a homeschooling extraordinaire with a background in play therapy who brings her children to the Museum at least twice a month. When the Family Programs team decided to experiment with the idea of kids creating activities for kids, we knew just who to turn to! The Costantino kids (above, ages 10, 6, 3 and 8), stepped into the role quite easily and helped us create a brand new Art to Go family tote that will soon be available for all visitors to check out and use in the galleries while at the DMA. Here’s a peek into life with these fantastic kids from their mom, Rose.

What was your first visit to the DMA with your children like?

The first time I took all four kids to the Museum, I was overwhelmed. I was worried that they would touch something they shouldn’t or act completely crazy. We stayed too long that first time. It felt like such a victory to even get there in one piece, that I wanted them to see everything.

What actually happened was the Museum guards were very nice and helpful. The kids loved all the different things to see. Then once we found Arturo’s Nest, we were hooked. The Nest is a super fun play room. It is a great way to end the day.

Littlest

Now that you’ve been coming regularly to the Museum for years, what has changed about the way you visit with your children?

We talk about what we are going to see before we get there. I try and weigh everyone’s opinion. We all enjoy seeing a new exhibit. We might take 10 minutes to walk through–the kids are eager to see what’s around the corner, so we walk through quickly. The next visit we might go back to the same exhibit to look at just one piece. Not trying to see it all in one visit is the best way we have changed our visits.

Painting like Monet at the Arboretum

Painting like Monet at the Arboretum

How have regular visits to the Museum influenced your children beyond the gallery walls?

They have become so confident in any museum setting. They recognize artists and their work in a variety of places. And, they love creating their own works of art!

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I know your kids have seen many different exhibitions come and go here at the DMA. What have been some of their favorites?

Some of their favorites include: The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum, Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, Jim Hodges: Give More than You Take, and The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

Oldest

We specifically chose to feature your family as our “Guest Family Curators” for a new Art to Go Tote because we knew your children have a lot of experience interacting with art in a variety of ways. They know that there’s so much more to do at a museum than just stand in front of a painting! What was it like for you and the children to come up with ideas for other families to use in the Museum?

We had a blast creating this bag! The kids had tons more ideas. Art for them is an extension of play.

What piece of advice would you give to parents who feel like they don’t know enough about art to enjoy a visit to the Museum with their children?

Don’t be intimidated! When you take your child to the art museum, try to let your child lead. Think broadly. Look for colors, shapes or themes. Walk around and see what your child is drawn to. Take some of their ideas and try them out at home. Enjoy yourself and your family!

Thanks for sharing, Rose! The Costantino Family Favorites Art to Go tote will debut in early summer. Be sure to check it out and see what fun activities the kids came up with!

{All photos courtesy of Rose Costantino.}

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

ARTifacts: Textile and Fine Arts Building

One hundred and five years ago, in April 1909, the Dallas Art Association (the parent organization of what is now the DMA) presented the City of Dallas with their collection and opened in a new permanent gallery space in the Textile and Fine Arts Building in Fair Park as the Dallas Free Public Art Gallery.

 

Textile and Fine Arts Building, Fair Park, c. 1909

Textile and Fine Arts Building, Fair Park, c. 1909

The DAA collection had been shown in the Art Room at the Dallas Public Library from 1903 to 1909 but was in need of larger quarters. Beginning with the opening of the new gallery on April 17, 1909, the collection’s hours were Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., and entry was free.

Dallas Free Public Art Gallery in the Textile and Fine Arts Building, Fair Park, c. 1909-1929.

Dallas Free Public Art Gallery in the Textile and Fine Arts Building, Fair Park, c. 1909-1929

The collection remained on display in the Textile and Fine Arts Building for twenty years and was then relocated to the former Halaby Galleries space in the Majestic Theatre Building, opening April 30, 1929.

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Friday Photos: Light It Up Blue at the DMA

The DMA has offered programs for children with autism and their families for the past four years, but this April marks the first time that we’ve participated in Autism Awareness Month by turning our lights blue. The global initiative, led by Autism Speaks, is called Light It Up Blue and has the goal to raise awareness about autism by inviting thousands of buildings to shine blue lights throughout the month of April. Light It Up Blue kicked off on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day. Be sure to check out our lights through the end of the month!

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Amanda Blake
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences

Culinary Canvas: Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Cakes have been around since ancient times, but what we think of as coffee cake was introduced to America during the Colonial period by European immigrants. Coffee was a favorite beverage in the new colonies, and coffee cake became a delicious accompaniment. This coffeepot from our silver collection is a lovely example of how early Americans served this ever popular drink, and perhaps a simple coffee cake would have accompanied it on a Colonial table. And in fact, we just missed National Coffee Cake Day on Monday, April 7. Even though it’s a bit late, this recipe is still sure to take the cake!

Coffeepot, c. 1780-1785, Joseph Anthony Jr., maker, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., and Mr. and Mrs. H. Ross Perot

Coffeepot, c. 1780-1785, Joseph Anthony Jr., maker, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., and Mr. and Mrs. H. Ross Perot

Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Yields 1 loaf
Level: Moderate

Topping:

¼ cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Filling:

¼ cup Nutella hazelnut spread
¼ cup hazelnuts, finely chopped or ground
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Cake:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
6 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt, room temperature
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter loaf pan using butter wrapper.

Topping: Stir together hazelnuts, brown sugar, flour and salt in small bowl. Using a fork, cut in cold butter until mixture forms into small crumbs with a texture resembling coarse sand. Chill until ready to use.

Filling: Combine Nutella, hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Set aside.

Cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar, beating at medium speed until light. Add vanilla, then incorporate eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add yogurt and mix until fully combined.

In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to mixer in two batches, stirring on medium until flour is mostly combined. Remove bowl from mixer and stir by hand with rubber spatula for two revolutions to incorporate remainder. Do not over mix.

Spread half of batter into prepared pan. Cover with filling, then top with remaining batter. Run knife through batter about 3-4 times, across both length and width of pan. Smooth batter and evenly spoon on topping across the top.

Bake 30 minutes at 350° F. Reduce oven to 325° F and continue baking for 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.


 

Filling

Filling

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Original recipe.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: The Overseas Adventures of an Artwork Courier

In the art museum world, couriers are often sent to accompany artwork in transit for loans. At the DMA, we elect to send an escort if the artwork is of high value, particularly fragile, and/or difficult to install. Couriers oversee the artwork every step of the way, ensuring its safe packing, transit, and installation. Oftentimes, these trips are not as glamorous as they initially appear, as they mean many long hours of waiting, uncomfortable travel conditions, and little sleep (but, sadly, no being handcuffed to a briefcase like in the movies). Nevertheless, they can sometimes be quite the adventure. Here is a timeline of a trip I recently took as a courier with our Matisse collage, Ivy in Flower, to the Tate Modern in London:

April 1, 2014
10:12 a.m. – Unified Fine Arts delivers the crate to the DMA. Due to the large size of the artwork, it was necessary to build an A-frame crate with a steel support structure. The artwork travels at an angle; otherwise it would be too tall to fit inside a truck or airplane cargo hold.

Art handlers strap the crate to the forklift so it can be upright for packing. Thankfully, it clears the ceiling with just an inch or two to spare.


Brackets on the artwork’s frame are used to attach it to the interior travel frame, which then fits snugly into the foam-lined crate.


12:17 p.m. – Although there is no room inside for the custom-built cradle used to maneuver the heavy artwork, the preparators screw it to the outside of the crate to be kind to the backs of their counterparts on the other end.

April 3, 2014
1:45 p.m. – The loans registrar and I learn that the cargo flight is delayed and will depart early the next morning rather than that evening as scheduled. After quickly consulting with our conservator about the climate conditions in the airport warehouse and confirming that there will be on-site security, we decide to proceed with loading the truck as planned.
3 p.m. – Lots of manpower, strategically placed dollies, and careful angling are used to load the crate onto the high-cube tractor trailer truck via the narrow dock plate.


3:42 p.m. – I climb into the backseat of a follow car that tails the truck carrying the artwork to the airport.


5:07 p.m. – The wider dock at the airport cargo area makes it much easier to offload the crate. A few more gray hairs appear on my head as I watch three forklifts, operating in tandem, raise the crate so a pallet can be slid underneath.


8:53 p.m. – Artwork couriers are very well acquainted with the “hurry up and wait” concept, as it is several hours later that additional cargo arrives to be loaded onto the same pallet. The entire structure is then wrapped in plastic (to protect from the elements) and secured via netting. It is a courier’s responsibility to make sure that cargo added to the artwork’s pallet does not contain live animals, anything perishable, or hazardous materials.


9:56 p.m. – After verifying the pallet was properly packed, security surveillance is in place, and paperwork is in order, I crash at a nearby hotel.

April 4, 2014
6:56 a.m. – My chariot awaits (bright and early!)—the customs agent from Masterpiece International drives me from the hotel to the DFW cargo hanger.
8:27 a.m. – The pallet is loaded and I board the cargo plane. Rather than the usual flight attendant spiel on how the seat cushion can be used as a flotation device, the pilots point out three possible escape hatches. As the only passenger, I settle into a row of business-class seats.


9:15 a.m. – Flight departs Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.


11:02 a.m. – Flight arrives in Chicago to take on additional cargo. I experience a minor moment of panic when I overhear the load supervisor say, “The animal’s not breathing and you have to sign all these papers and a waiver for them to do CPR.” I breathe a sigh of relief when I realize he is on the phone talking about his girlfriend’s cat (having ridden on planes with horses, chickens, and monkeys, you just never know).
1:01 p.m. – I inspect the pallet to make sure it is still secure after the extra cargo was loaded (thankfully no monkeys in sight).
2:15 p.m. – The pilots invite me into the cockpit for takeoff from Chicago.


9:46 p.m. Dallas time/5:46 a.m. local time – The plane touches down in Luxembourg (while London is my final destination, its airports don’t accept large cargo planes).


The airport is deserted at this early hour, and the pilots have to call for customs clearance. A bleary-eyed agent comes out of a nearby office, unceremoniously takes a stamp out of his pocket, marks our passports, and we are on our way. I manage to find a much-needed caffeine fix.


6:20 a.m. – Representatives from the art-freight forwarders Hasenkamp drive me to the cargo area and help secure my clearance (an ID badge affixed to a sexy green vest). Two drivers from the British fine art company MOMART meet us to help with the depalletizing and loading the crate onto their truck.


8:03 a.m. – The paperwork is finalized, the truck is locked and sealed, and we set out on the road to Calais, France.


8:40 a.m. – I pass into my third country of the day as we cross the border into Belgium.


12:53 p.m. – We drive into France and I jam with the drivers to Pharell Williams’ “Happy” and Elton John songs on the French radio.
1:39 p.m. – The customs agents in Calais ask for copies of all my documentation, including my e-ticket for the return trip to Dallas.
2:07 p.m. – MOMART drives the truck onto the Eurostar train flatbed, the wheels are locked, and the drivers and I board a bus for the passenger car. The drivers warn me of the potential stench of the train car and its scary bathrooms. I’m not sure what the warning instructions are about on the seat back—possibly what to do in the event of a nuclear holocaust or alien invasion.


2:54 p.m. French time/1:54 p.m. local time – The train arrives in England via the tunnel under the English Channel.
2 p.m. – While we are waiting to clear customs at the truck stop, we are engulfed by a tidal wave of drunk college students in body paint and various states of dress (or lack thereof), apparently en route to a big sporting expo. I am grateful for “Horatio Hornblower” on the lounge television . . .


4:30 p.m. – Customs are finally cleared and we depart for London.


6:15 p.m. – The Tate Modern loading dock is a most welcome sight. The crate is taken up in a massive elevator to be stored in the exhibition gallery because it is too large for their storage facilities.


7:10 p.m. – A taxi spirits me away to my hotel for a much needed shower and night’s sleep.

April 6, 2014
Acclimatization day (24 hours’ acclimatization is the museum standard to allow artworks to adjust to their new surroundings before they are unpacked. We couriers are grateful for these days so our bodies can also “acclimatize” and recover from jetlag.)

April 7, 2014
8:30 a.m. – I report to the museum for my unpacking appointment. The technicians clamp the crate to the forklift for extra stability and security. The cradle is used to slide the collage through the galleries, since (naturally) it is to be installed in the last one.Preview


9:50 a.m. – Sir Nicholas Serota (Tate Modern’s director) and Nicholas Cullinan (exhibition curator) work with the art handlers to place the artwork.


10:03 a.m. – I thoroughly examine the collage with the Tate’s conservator for the condition report and to verify it traveled safely overseas. The artwork is compared to the outgoing report and the photos taken before it was packed at the DMA.


11:28 a.m. – The frame is lifted into place and hardware is attached to secure it onto the wall.


11:52 a.m. – I request that a reading be taken with a light meter since there are skylights in the galleries. Works on paper are very susceptible to light damage, but thankfully the levels were low enough to meet our standards.
12:09 p.m. – I can now breathe a sigh of relief that everything is as it should be and set out to explore London.
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Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar, Exhibitions, at the DMA.

The 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

As an environmentally conscious artist, I find myself often thinking about the amount of waste that can be created during the art making process. The quantity of paper that I use for sketching and writing ideas for future projects is staggering in itself. As an art educator it can sometimes be even more daunting. I consider the amount of supplies that I alone use and then multiply that by the number of visitors we see in C3. So in an effort to be a little more green for Earth Day, I chose recycled/recyclable materials for the current C3 Art Spot theme.

Though some of these materials were purchased, much of the cardboard we have been using at the Art Spot has been donated by DMA employees. Admittedly, when I put out new supplies, I was curious and anxious to see what our visitors would make. As usual, the creativity of our visitors has been astounding! The creations have included animals, robots, and vehicles, just to name a few.

When I chose these materials, I was hoping to perhaps help visitors see what kinds of beautiful, creative things they could make with items they may typically take for granted. An added bonus has been hearing from the DMA staff who have donated their recycling. It has been a joy for them to see their recyclables transformed into works of art! Check out more of our visitors’ creations on our Flickr page.

Perhaps this Earth Day you can take some time to reconsider your art materials and make a recycled masterpiece!

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

 


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