Archive for January, 2016

Friday Photos: National Puzzle Day

How well do you know the DMA collection? Celebrate National Puzzle Day by putting your memory to the test and guessing which works of art these puzzle pieces come from. Read the rhyming clues if you want some extra help, then check your answer by clicking the link under each set of puzzle pieces. No cheating!


Find this painting and much more
hanging on the 2nd floor.


It’s not a painting – here’s a hint:
These are pieces from a print.


Filled with colors bright and bold,
This work’s thousands of years old.


Sometimes you just need to sit,
Maybe rest your legs a bit.


If you’re looking for more hands-on puzzle action at the DMA, stop by the Pop-Up Art Spot on the 4th floor in March to recreate a life-size version of Ocean Park No. 29 by Richard Diebenkorn. Happy puzzling!

Paulina Lopez
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement

From the Archives: The Museum During WWII

“No annual report, no discussion of affairs, at this time, can ignore the one major fact of this year: we are at war.”

This is the opening sentence of the Report of the Director, dated April 9, 1942, and published in the May-June 1942 Bulletin. The report goes on to describe the effects of the first months of WWII on the Museum. It sparked my interest to investigate how the Museum prepared for and supported the war effort.

Two service men at an exhibition of war posters

Two service men at an exhibition of war posters

I discovered that while many east and west coast museums focused on civil defense preparations, the DMFA (Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, which would later become the DMA) was able to focus its wartime efforts on offering cultural programs of wide general appeal, including exhibitions, musical performances, movies, gallery talks, art classes, and recreational activities. These programs were designed to support the service men and women stationed in the area and boost morale among the civilian residents of Dallas.

Twenty exhibitions representing the part that art plays in the war effort were assembled from army camps and individual artists in the Service and were held between 1942 and 1945.

Prints by British Artists in Service, July 1942
Red Cross Poster Exhibition, August 1942
British and American War Posters, September 1942
Art in War, July 4-August 8, 1943
Exhibition of Work by Soldiers from Camp Maxey, September 12-October 3, 1943
John Knott: War Cartoons, October 3-November 7, 1943
War Posters, October 10-31, 1943
Lt. Bill Lumpkins: Watercolors, December 1-21, 1943
Speak Their Language: British and American Cartoons, March 19-April 3, 1944
Pfc. Benham Dangers: Alaska Paintings, June 18-July 11, 1944
Costumes of 7 American Wars, June 18-July 16, 1944

The World War II section of the exhibition Costumes of Seven American Wars

The World War II section of the exhibition Costumes of Seven American Wars

Fred Darge: Paintings of Bougainville, July 2-August 1, 1944
Paintings from Camp Barkley, July 9-August 13, 1944
Alexandre Hogue: Aviation Production Drawings, October 15-November 3, 1944
[Pfc.] Walt Wiggins: Photographs, December 3-28, 1944
The Abbott Collection: Paintings of Naval Aviation, December 10, 1944-January 9, 1945

The Abbott Collection included over 100 paintings and drawings by seven nationally known American artists depicting the varied phases of naval aviation from pre-flight to combat. The artists visited Naval Air Stations and lived and talked with students, instructors, and fighter pilots in order to produce this important historical record of the Navy.

Mayor Woodall Rogers and Dr. Umphrey Lee, president of Southern Methodist University, view the Naval Aviation paintings with a group of Waves

Mayor Woodall Rodgers and Dr. Umphrey Lee, president of Southern Methodist University, view the Naval Aviation paintings with a group of Waves

Paintings from Frederick Army Air Field, December 31, 1944-January 30, 1945
Ben Culwell: War Paintings, March 4-16, 1945
Army Arts Exhibition-8th Service Command, April 29-May 13, 1945

The Army Arts exhibition included 191 works from 800 entries submitted. The jury consisted of Lt. Col. Ward Lockwood, Major Louis D. Smith, Lt. T.A. Reeves, Jr., DMFA Director Jerry Bywaters, and Dallas artist Allie Tennant. A national jury visited the Museum and chose 30 works to represent the 8th Service Command in the national exhibition in Washington, D.C.

War Bond House Organ Cover Designs Exhibition, July 15-29, 1945

Members of the Armed Services at the Sunday Canteen sponsored by the Museum League

Members of the Armed Services at the Sunday Canteen sponsored by the Museum League

In addition to programming, the Museum League sponsored a canteen for members of the Armed Services in the Museum’s Lounge every Sunday afternoon. The canteen is noted as one of the most appreciated activities by service men and women far from home. The Museum League also sold defense stamps, put on special events for soldiers and their wives, and generally worked to bring the Museum to the attention of those in the Armed Services.

Certificate of appreciation for the museum's wartime support from the United Stated Marine Corps, presented to Jerry Bywaters.

Certificate of appreciation for the Museum’s wartime support from the United Stated Marine Corps, presented to Jerry Bywaters

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

 

 

C3 Visiting Artist: David Herman

Through the C3 Visiting Artist Program, the Center for Creative Connections invites local and national artists from a variety of disciplines to participate in the development and facilitation of educational programs and spaces offered at the DMA. Most recently, we invited conceptual artist, educator, and co-founder of Preservation LINK, David Herman, to lead the January Late Night Art Bytes program and create content for the #DMAdigitalspot, the video display wall in our gallery. David is currently a Ph.D. student in Visual Culture Studies at the University of North Texas, and I sat down with him to talk about his work.

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Tell us about yourself.

That’s always an interesting question to be asked. I am a fairly mild mannered individual who appreciates the idea of careful consideration. When I reflect on my work, my friendships, and the things I’m most fond of they all seem to ascribe to this notion in one way or another. Life is most interesting when I’m able to engage with the surface of things to gain insight on their complexities. Most of the time this requires a sort of “pulling back” so that the richness and value of things can begin to show themselves.

For the January Late Night, you hosted Late Night Art Bytes, which highlights how artists use art and technology. You led a drop-in experience where visitors responded to prompts about the state of the world today and the future through collaborative collage. Technology came into play through your documentation of the night. You photographed the collages as they evolved over the course of three hours and those images were displayed on the #DMAdigitalspot monitors. What was the inspiration for this program? 

A large part of the inspiration, from the very beginning, was the idea of “shared thinking.” Collaborative work is an interest of mine. Ideas are always enriched when there is divergence and an openness to let things evolve into themselves. I really wanted to use aspects of collage and mixed media that involved visual culture, images from our contemporary mass-mediated lives such as magazines, to have a conversation about the world we live in.

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How does this visual conversation fit within the bigger picture of your work?  

Well, I like to think about how people “see” the world. How people use visual content to interpret and understand context. We live in such a visually stimulated society where most of the information we experience–as creators or consumers–comes in bits and pieces of imagery. Images are embedded throughout our lives as a sort of “hyper” extension of what is real and what is possible. The Late Night Art Bytes conversation really provided me with an opportunity to experience how people respond and share their views of the world through the visual culture “art-i-facts” they created. It was their attentiveness to all the various images and materials that confronted them that I found most useful to how I think about my own work.

My current work is all about “looking” and “being with” images. I am interested in how individuals contend with all the images they have to manage at every juncture of life. It is certainly an interest in visual literacy, however it goes well outside of just literacy. It really is about our attentiveness to the images around us and what images are seen and which ones go unnoticed. Today images seem to have a life of their own in very unique ways.

Often, contemporary images are sensationalized as a method of gaining our attention. Selfies have to be staged, colors have to be super vibrant, and images have to “appear” when we demand them. I’m not opposed to the hyper-ness of our contemporary mode of apprehending images (or images apprehending us), however I do believe that this kind of “being” with images leaves us with less opportunities to experience the natural world. In other words, seeing and being with “everyday” images become a part of a background noise that we become inattentive to. They become a part of an obscured view – and with that we lose a little bit of humanity.

What do you think visitors got out of the experience?  What did you gain/learn from hosting this program?

The Late Night experience was exciting. I didn’t have many expectations, really. A part of the night was about seeing how visitors accepted the space, the materials available to them, and the project at hand. There was a wide swath of diversity that entered the space. I really loved the way that the visitors took their time in the space. The Tech Lab became a relaxing space for the visitors to listen to music, enjoy each others company, and create art. There were several visitors that returned to the space towards the end of the night to see how the visual conversation had progressed. I believe that this was significant as it spoke to the level of engagement and curiosity about what and how others had addressed the prompts: The world today and the future world. For me, the pleasure was seeing how the visitors committed the time and attention to add their voice to the conversation.

Tell us about your plan for the #DMAdigitalspot.

The wall monitor is a digital installation that will be comprised of photographs, manipulated digital images, and videos. It is a visual exploration of interpretative narrative. I am most interested in creating an opportunity for all visitors to the Center for Creative Connections to experience different ways of looking and being with visual language.

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Stop by the Center for Creative Connections in February to see how David Herman transforms the #DMAdigitalspot.

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Manager

Women in the Arts

On Thursday, January 28, the DMA is pleased to host State of the Arts: Women in the Arts, highlighting Dallas-area women who are shaping the cultural landscape of our city and the surrounding area through leadership positions in their respective fields. The conversation will be led by Anne Bothwell, Director of KERA’s Art&Seek, and will include Amy Lewis Hofland, Director of the Crow Collection of Asian Art; Margie Reese, Executive Director of Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture; and Tina Parker, Co-Artistic Director of Kitchen Dog Theater.

As we look forward to hosting these great leaders in one space, let’s take a moment to highlight works of art in our permanent collection by women. From Berthe Morisot’s 1880 painting of a woman in winter to Margaret Lee’s 2013 photograph Dots on Top, these women have made their mark in the timeline of art history.

Jessica Fuentes is The Center for Creative Connections Gallery Manager at the DMA.

Let’s get Zen-ical

The DMA’s Asian Collection features many works of art that express the Japanese Zen Buddhist tradition. Essentially, Zen art seeks to express the True or Formless Self, a form of being that is prior to and free from any physical form. In order to channel one’s True Self, the creative act must be conducted in a state beyond thinking. In other words, the pinnacle of artistic achievement results from an act of creation made with no inhibitions or restraint in a flow of consciousness.

Hakuin Ekaku, Daruma, Edo, n.d., ink on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund 1972.1

Hakuin Ekaku, Daruma, Edo, n.d., ink on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund 1972.1

A few works that demonstrate this most purely include the Daruma Scroll (c. 1603-1868) by the Zen priest Hakuin Ekaku and the Tiger Scroll (c. 1603-1868) by Nagasawa Rosetsu.

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, Edo, after 1792, ink and color on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund 1972.13

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, Edo, after 1792, ink and color on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund 1972.13

Daruma is the Buddhist monk that transmitted Chan Buddhism to China from where it was then transferred to Japan and became its own distinct phenomenon known as Zen. The inscription on the Tiger scroll indicates that the artist was able to express the essential nature, the pure essence of “tiger.” Notice that in both works, the outlines of the images are loosely defined, suggesting that the boundaries of the forms are permeable and in a state of flux. Indeed, both works appear as if done in a rush, which reflects the Zen ideal that the creative act must be a reflection of the Formless Self, something only attainable in a state of non-thinking.

Another concern at play in these scrolls is the display of rugged masculinity and strength. For instance, the tiger, an animal not indigenous to Japan, was appropriated from Chinese mythology due to its association with power and military might. Daruma appears ruggedly knowledgeable with his unkempt beard and wrinkled forehead. These characteristics contrast with more traditional forms of Buddhism, in which holy figures were generally depicted with pristine, youthful appearances and perfectly symmetrical faces. The emphasis on masculine characteristics and the association of age with holiness reinforced the patriarchal structures responsible for maintaining the feudal system in Japan.

Meditate on these works and more that capture Zen Buddhism in the DMA’s free collection galleries.

Devon Hersch is the McDermott Intern for Asian Art at the DMA

Friday Photos: Arturo Flies the Coup!

My internship is made up of many programs, tasks, and joys, but one of its main focuses is our Go Van Gogh program, which helps the Museum take art lessons into schools all over our community. Every week I drive the van to schools in Dallas to help teach students about artworks in the DMA’s permanent collection, and when we’re done we do an art project inspired by the lesson.

This week, after many weeks of begging and bargaining, I let Arturo drive the van to Lake Highlands Elementary School to observe our Stories in Art program! He asked to fly, but the supplies were a little too heavy for his wings, so I figured his pilot’s license would do on the Dallas highways. Here is a documented look at Arturo’s van day!

 

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To learn more about Go Van Gogh or to schedule a visit to your classroom, check out our website!

Whitney Sirois
McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

DART to Discovery!

The DMA is so happy to continue our partnership with DART for this year’s DART Student Art Contest. Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit an 11×17 poster with their most creative vision of this year’s theme, DART to Discovery. Visit DART’s website for complete rules and details.

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The contest deadline is Leap Day, February 29, and we’ll host the winners for a reception at the Museum in April. So encourage those little creative minds to get to work–we can’t wait to see their posters!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator


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