Archive for January, 2016

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.

 

 

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

A New Lady in Town

This past weekend, the DMA introduced a very special guest to visitors: Johannes Vermeer’s painting Young Woman Seated at a Virginal from The Leiden Collection in New York. Everyone was excited to see her arrive in Dallas, and we captured the moment she was placed in the DMA gallery.

This 17th-century Dutch painting is one of only 36 Vermeer paintings in existence and one of only a few in private collections. This small but powerful piece is the inspiration for Vermeer Suite: Music in 17th-Century Dutch Painting, a DMA-organized exhibition of 17th-century Dutch paintings on view through August 21, 2016, and included in our daily free general admission.

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.59.02 PM

Kimberly Daniell is the Senior Manager of Communications, Public Affairs, and Social Media Strategy at the DMA.

Pet-a-Palooza: A Tail-Wagging Line-Up of Fabulous Felines and Furry Fidos

You have got to be kitten me right meow—is it national Dress Up Your Pet Day already? Indeed it is! If you were having a ruff day, not to worry! Every January 14 the dog-gone crazy DMA staff transform their cuddly critters into a favorite work from our collection (check out the catwalk from 2014 and 2015). It is im-paw-sible not to smile after viewing these purr-fect copycats. Who will be your favorite cat-tenders?

recto

DMA Staffer: Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services
DMA Pet: Parker, English Springer Spaniel, age 2 (he belongs to my parents but I borrowed him when I was home for Christmas)
Portrait Inspiration: Camille Pissarro, Self Portrait, c. 1898
I sent my mom several portraits from our collection to pick from and she liked Camille Pissarro’s Self-Portrait best because Parker has the same soulful look. We had a lot of moving parts with this portrait—from props, background, and getting the right angle so that Parker’s chest hair looked like a beard—therefore it took about 120 shots to get one good one of Parker as Pissarro. And a shout out to George Costanza for letting Parker borrow his beret and painter’s palette.

Mexico Jessica
DMA Staffer:
Jessica Fuentes, C3 Gallery Manager
DMA Pet: Fidel (age 4), Nene (age 6), and Cappuccino (age 2 months), Chihuahuas
Portrait Inspiration: Jesús Guerrero Galván, Images of Mexico (Imágenes de México), 1950
New year, new pup! Just a few weeks ago we added a new Chihuahua puppy to our Chihuahua family, so when thinking about this year’s Dress Up Your Pet Day, I had to find a work of art with three figures. I planned to roam the galleries searching for the perfect painting, starting on Level 4 and working my way down. But I didn’t have to go very far. On the Level 4 Landing, overlooking the DMA Cafe, I came across Images of Mexico (Imágenes de México) by Jesús Guerrero Galván. Not only did it contain three figures, but each figure seemed to capture each of my dogs’ traits. The figure in the middle with the piercing eyes had the unmistakable stare of my moody dog, Nene. The figure on the left seemed younger and sweeter, asleep and cuddling up to the older sibling, spot on for my loveable, cuddly Fidel. And the figure at right, lying slightly adrift, illustrated the slight rift between the dogs who’ve grown up together and the newbie, Cappuccino.

george chloe
DMA Staffer: 
Amanda Blake, Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences and Interim Director of Education, and Kimberly Daniell, Senior Manager of Communications, Public Affairs, and Social Media Strategy
DMA Pet: George Costanza (age 9) and Chloe (age 10), West Highland White Terriers
Portrait Inspiration: Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Mexican Adam & Eve (Adam y Eve Mexicanos), 1933
George and Chloe enjoyed teaming up so much for last year’s blog that they just had to do it again in 2016. Chloe desperately wants to be best friends with George, but becomes a bit shy when he is around because he is such an Insta celebrity. In order to get her out of her bubble and bring these two westies closer together, we decided making them the original couple would help them take their friendship to the next level—could it be puppy love? Both pups enjoyed re-creating this beautiful, large painting by Alfredo Ramos Martinez, and they can’t wait for next year’s art date.

Jessi red hat
DMA Staffer:
Jessie Frazier, Manager of Adult Programming
DMA Pet: Jenny, Basset Hound, age 5 1/2
Portrait Inspiration: Frank Duveneck, Lady with a Red Hat (Portrait of Maggie Wilson), c. 1904
This is one of my favorite paintings in the collection, and I thought it was only fitting for one graceful lady to emulate another. Jenny agreed that, like Ms. Maggie Wilson, her delicate features are best captured in profile.

T43118, 3/31/05, 12:37 PM, 8C, 5518x7554 (216+420), 100%, Repro 1.8 v2, 1/8 s, R68.5, G54.1, B79.0

DMA Staffer: Rebekah Boyer, Assistant Manager, DMA Member Groups
DMA Pet: Stokely Carmichael, Domestic Housecat, suspected Panther, age 4
Portrait Inspiration: Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, c. 1827
This painting by Eugène Delacroix always catches my eye when I browse our European collection. The model is dressed with studio props intended to persuade the viewer that she is a mysterious and “exotic” foreigner; her “otherization” is further solidified by the use of familiar conventions of Renaissance portraiture. Not only does this send me down memory lane to my undergraduate infatuation with Edward Said but the contemplation of this “Orientalism” piques my interest in the model herself. Was she complicit in this “imperialist oppression,” or was she merely seeking gainful employment to alter her material conditions? I think Stokely’s faraway gaze mirrors and reveals the original work’s secrets: He is ready to help, as long as there is a tuna-laden reward awaiting him.

pollock, 7/10/08, 12:29 PM, 8C, 4086x8892 (1584+108), 112%, chrome 7 stops, 1/8 s, R55.4, G34.4, B47.8

DMA Staffer: Chelsea Pierce, Curatorial Administrative Assistant, Contemporary Art
DMA Pet: Helios, Great Pyrenees mix, age 6
Portrait Inspiration: Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953
Helios is a sensitive dog with many artistic qualities. Most days, he lounges in his armchair as he waits for his mom to return home. Above this chair is a work on paper—made by a DMA colleague—that resembles the black entangled mass in Jackson Pollock’s Portrait and a Dream. After catching Helios curiously examining this work, the idea presented itself to use his precious face as the portrait side of Pollock’s work. Having worked on the current Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots exhibition for over a year, I can say that Pollock has now become ingrained in every aspect of my life.

2008_43_2_a_e, 11/18/08, 12:33 PM, 8C, 6000x8000 (0+0), 100%, Custom, 1/15 s, R92.9, G57.6, B60.4

DMA Staffer: Andrea Severin Goins, Interpretation Manager
DMA Pet: Artemisia Gentileschi (“Artie”), Malshi (Maltese-Shihtzu), age 6
Portrait Inspiration: Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008
While Artie is named after a 17th-century painter, her favorite kind of art is contemporary. She is particularly drawn to this Dzama sculpture because, like the Minotaur—a hybrid of man and goat—Artie is herself a hybrid (of Maltese and Shihtzu).

lindsay dorothy
DMA Staffer: 
Lindsay O’Connor, Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs
DMA Pet: Hattie, Dachshund-Terrier mix, age 1
Portrait Inspiration: John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1900
Little Miss Dorothy was the natural choice for feisty one-year-old Hattie’s first Dress Up Your Pet Day. While this energetic pup enjoys getting cuddles or tearing around the dog park, Hattie patiently sat for her turn-of-the-century portrait and met the camera with poise beyond her years. She enjoyed chewing on the bonnet when we wrapped up.

Not DMA Photography

DMA Staffer: Dr. Anne R. Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art
DMA Pet: Miss Suzl, Maine Coon, age 5
Portrait Inspiration: Thomas Sully, Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, 1843
Miss Suzl loves posing in her library home and we have a white Snow Leopard toy for her to pose next to as Cinderella and her cat. I named this piece Companion Animals: Miss Suzl and the White Pussy.

queta
DMA Staffer: Queta Moore Watson, Senior Editor
DMA Pet: Floyd, Tan and White Tabby, age 9 months
Portrait Inspiration: Léon Frédéric, Nature or Abundance (La Nature or Fécondité), 1897
This allegorical depiction of the unity and harmony of nature was painted by Belgian symbolist artist Léon Frédéric. The dual title, Nature or Abundance, is apt here as flora and fauna unite while surrounded by the abundance of the holidays. Perhaps even more apt, however, is the abundance of ornaments Floyd broke as he harmonized with nature.

(Images: Camille Pissarro, Self-Portrait, c. 1898, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.44; Jesús Guerrero Galván, Images of Mexico (Imágenes de México), 1950, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1951.102; Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Mexican Adam & Eve (Adam y Eve Mexicanos), 1933, oil on canvas, Lent by Private Collection, Dallas, TX; Frank Duveneck, Lady with a Red Hat (Portrait of Maggie Wilson), c. 1904, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, 1987.368; Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, c. 1827, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Patricia McBride, 2005.34.McD;  Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953, oil and enamel on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, 1967.8, © 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, plaster, gauze, rope, fabric, chair, bucket, and paintbrushes, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2008.43.2.a-e, © Marcel Dzama; John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1900, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc., 1982.35; Thomas Sully, Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, 1843, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, 2005.1; Léon Frédéric, Nature or Abundance (La Nature or Fécondité), 1897, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 2007.18.FA

Kimberly Daniell is the Senior Manager of Communications, Public Affairs, and Social Media Strategy, and Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the DMA.

A Tip of the Hat

In honor of National Hat Day this Friday, I wanted to tip my hat to a few fascinating finds in our collection.

Charles Willson Peale, Rachel Leeds Kerr, 1790, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation 1989.23

Charles Willson Peale, Rachel Leeds Kerr, 1790, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, 1989.23

During the late 18th century, hats were the most important element of your outfit. Formal (read: ridiculously over-dressed) hairstyles had reached such heights that they required proper containment during daytime hours—Mrs. Kerr’s cap does just the trick.

John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1900, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc. 1982.35

John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1900, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc., 1982.35

At the turn of the 20th century, children were outfitted like mini-adults. Miss Dorothy’s oversized hat is decked out with such extensive feathers and ribbons that it’s almost too much for her little head to hold!

Isaac Soyer, Art Beauty Shoppe, 1934, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Public Works of Art Project 1935.7

Isaac Soyer, Art Beauty Shoppe, 1934, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Public Works of Art Project, 1935.7

A jaunt to the beauty shop wouldn’t have been complete without a favorite piece of millinery. But can you spot all the toppers in this keen scene? Don’t be fooled—the headpiece in back is actually a permanent wave machine!

Visit the DMA’s collection galleries, included in free general admission, and pick out your perfect chapeau.

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator at the DMA.

My Definition of Pop

It is almost time for us to say goodbye, auf wiedersehen, adiós, and sayōnara to International Pop, an exhibition that explores the world of Pop art through more than 125 works drawn from over 13 countries on 4 continents. The DMA Member magazine, Artifacts, asked several participating artists for their own personal definition of Pop to celebrate the October opening of the exhibition at the DMA. Check out their responses below, and stop by the DMA before January 17 to find out what Pop art means to you.

Jana Želibská's Toaletta I (Toiletta I) and Toaletta II (Toiletta II) from 1966 on the left.

Jana Želibská’s Toaletta I (Toiletta I) and Toaletta II (Toiletta II) from 1966 at left

Jana Želibská |  Slovakia, born Czechoslovakia
Pop meant for me a way to express myself as a woman, to articulate my ideas in the new contemporary visual language—language totally different from the academic media and topics that we were taught by the professors at the academy—literally a new realism. Aside from that, Pop also meant for me the Youth as such and a way to communicate with the new harmonious world of future, in which men and women will be equal in both their rights and desires, minds and bodies.

Eduardo Costa's Fashion fiction 1: Vogue, 1968 (photographer: Richard Avedon; model: Marisa Berenson) from 1968.

Eduardo Costa’s Fashion Fiction 1: Vogue USA, Feb. 1, 1968 (photographer: Richard Avedon; model: Marisa Berenson), from 1966-68

Eduardo Costa |  Argentina
Pop is a small usual object magnified many, many times and presented as a sculpture. Pop is a silkscreen print representing the face of a famous movie star left to the imagination of a sophisticated artist. Pop is a pretty girl showing off her lovely face and body from all angles. Pop is a professional body builder posing. Pop is an electric chair. Pop is the lonely image of a highway seen sometimes from a moving car. Pop is a flag representing a whole country in the space of a painting. Pop is a gold prop in the shape of an ear of gold reproduced in millions of copies of fashion magazines. Pop is a philosophy disguised as trivia and presented as art. Pop is basically a wind of life and energy from the popular mind that reaches all over the globe. Pop art seems to require no effort to be understood. Pop is best served with many definitions.

Ushio Shinohara's 1968 piece Oiran on the left.

Ushio Shinohara’s 1968 work Oiran on the left

Ushio Shinohara |  Japan
For the work Oiran (1968) I chose Japanese ukiyoe (pictures of the floating world) as my creative theme due to the influence of Pop art. First, I removed the eyes, nose, and mouth from the woodblock print of a famous picture of a courtesan. Second, I simplified her hair accessory and kimono design. Third, I used fluorescent paint. As a result, it became a great work of art that is much flashier than the original woodblock print. In this way, the image was reborn as a contemporary painting.

(Rosalyn Drexler's Sorry About That from 1966 on the right.)

Rosalyn Drexler’s Sorry About That from 1966 on the right

Rosalyn Drexler | United States
Pop is the sound made when a cork is removed from a bottle. It announces that the “liquid” in the bottle is ready to be released. It is a reminder that Pop is an announcement of what is to come. If you are sleeping, Pop will wake you up. It is in the same class as an alarm clock. Simply put, the public at large may not have to struggle with MEANING any longer, but may at last understand the painting. It means nothing. It repeats itself. It advertises what it is, and nothing else. It does reveal the careful hand of the artist and his/her acceptance of nothing done beautifully. The more things change, the more one’s expectations are short-changed. However . . . ignore the label; press one on yourselves. Wash in cold water. Do not iron. The wrinkles are permanent. Pop is not Mom.

Delia Cancela 1966 Portrait of Girls and Boys: Antoine and Karine (Retrato Muchachas y Muchachos: Antoine y Karine) on the left.

Delia Cancela’s 1966 Portrait of Girls and Boys: Antoine and Karine (Retrato Muchachas y Muchachos: Antoine y Karine) at left

Delia Cancela |  Argentina
Pop was, for me, a label that I accepted. Critics said I was Pop; they wrote it. Personally, I don’t like categories. Then, in my life, what counted was pop music, cinema, and fashion, and women’s social situation too. Also, as I intended to introduce fashion into art language, magazines were part of my inspiration. My partnership with Pablo Mesejean was not only artistic but personal too. Life and art mingled. Jorge Romero Brest, the art critic who was at the time the director of the Institute Di Tella’s Visual Arts department, said that Pablo Mesejean and I were the most truly Pop artists of our generation.

Kimberly Daniell is the Senior Manager of Communications, Public Affairs, and Social Media Strategy, and Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the DMA.


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