Archive for the 'Behind-the-Scenes' Category

Class of 2016

It’s time for us to welcome our 2015-2016 class of McDermott Interns to the DMA. Each year a new class joins the Museum for nine months in positions divided between the Museum’s curatorial and education departments. You will hear from each of the interns on Uncrated throughout their nine months at the DMA, but we thought we would share a few fun facts about this group before they delve into their internships.

Devon Hersch, the McDermott Intern for Asian Art, plays the piano and has been recording music in Austin of songs he wrote during college.

Jenny Wang, the McDermott Graduate Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live, has no luck with earrings—she’s had her ears pierced twice in the same spot but the holes always close up.

Nolan Jimbo, the McDermott Intern for Contemporary Art, has never had queso dip (a problem he hopes the other interns will help rectify). He also still has three baby teeth.

Erin Piñon, the McDermott Graduate Intern for American Art, uses coconut oil as a cure-all product (similar to Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

Paulina Lopez, the McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement, was the only girl in her town’s regional baseball league during the 6th grade.

Emily Wiskera, the McDermott Graduate Intern for Family and Access Teaching, has had the same pen pal for eleven years. They only communicate through cryptograms and have never met face to face!

Franny Brock, the Dedo and Barron Kidd McDermott Graduate Intern for European Art, won a snow-sculpting competition in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Whitney Sirois, the McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching, made a time capsule with friends in college, but the gravel was too dry to bury it so they hid the capsule in ceiling tiles on campus . . . along with the shovel.

Amanda Kramp, the McDermott Graduate Intern for Ancient American Art, loves planning, hosting, and attending themed dinner parties. This includes themed decorations, music, and food and drink. She even requests that guests don fancy or period specific dress relevant to the theme.

Learn more about the McDermott Internships on the DMA’s website; you can apply for your chance to be a 2016-2017 McDermott Intern in January.


Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Precious Objects

Twenty-five works from the celebrated Rose-Asenbaum Collection of modern and contemporary jewelry are now on view, and included in free general admission, in the Museum’s Tower Gallery exhibition Form/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present. The collection includes over 700 pieces of modern studio jewelry created by more than 150 acclaimed artists from Europe and around the world. Take time to “ooh” and “ahh” over these magnificent bracelets, brooches, necklaces, and more.

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School’s in Session

School is back in session in DFW and at the DMA. You may have heard about the establishment of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas last fall and the downtown campus at the DMA. Dr. Kimberly L. Jones, the DMA’s Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas, will lead one of the Institute’s first seminars this fall on Inca art inside the Museum galleries, and ahead of the completion of the construction of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History’s space at the DMA. Check out the progress below on the the new downtown campus in the Museum’s building.

Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA.

Speakeasy Star

This Friday we’re traveling through the 20th century during Late Night with a different decade highlighted every hour. We asked one of our favorite costume gurus, Breanna Cooke (you may remember the amazing Greek Hero look she created inspired by The Body Beautiful), for tips on how to dress for a time traveling evening.

The evening kicks off with a tribute to the 1920s-30s, so here’s how you can make a flapper headband and then put together an outfit.


What you’ll need for the headband:

  • Long piece of sequined elastic, or stretch fabric, or other headband
  • Craft foam or a large button
  • Hot glue
  • Duct tape (optional)
  • Feathers
  • Bits of lace, ribbon, fringe
  • Rhinestones, buttons, brooches, or even pieces from broken earrings


  1. Make a headband
    Measure a piece of elastic or fabric to fit around your head. Then use hot glue, tape, or needle and thread to attach the ends together. If you’re taping or gluing it together, overlap the two ends. Don’t worry about the seam—you’ll glue your embellishment on top of it.


  1. Make an embellishment
    Using a small circle of craft foam (or a large button) as a base, start gluing rhinestones, sequins, and buttons on top. Get creative and use what you have lying around at home. Then glue some feathers or fringe to the back of your craft foam base.



  1. Put it together
    Using hot glue, attach your embellishment to your headband. Be sure to stick it on top of the seam to hide it.

Ideas to complete the outfit

  • Gloves
  • Feather boa
  • Long string of pearls (Hint: Mardi Gras beads work great! If you don’t have the right color, just paint them with spray paint or acrylic paints)
  • Sleeveless dress
  • Black fishnet stockings

For the gentlemen
It’s still hot in Texas, but a suit is a great accompaniment to your flapper friends. Find a bow tie, grab your fedora, shine your shoes, and we’ll see you at the DMA!

Once you have your costumes complete, come kick up your heels with the Matt Tolentino Band, who will be performing songs from the roaring 20s and 30s at 6:00 p.m. Check out the full night’s lineup online at

Breanna Cooke is a Graphic Designer, Costume Creator, and Body Painter living in Dallas. To see more of her work, visit Check out progress photos of her latest projects on Facebook.

Pint-Size Sous Chefs

During this month’s Art Babies, our mini museum-goers joined a hungry caterpillar at an imaginary dinner party to explore the sense of taste. Armed with their very own—Museum staff approved!—silver spoons, they goo-ed and gah-ed over the shiny silver serveware on Level 4. Their appetites primed with art, we then headed to the Art Studio, which was transformed into a smorgasbord of color, texture, and even flavor! Our petite Picassos used vibrant food puree “paint” to create their own masterpieces, taste-testing encouraged. Class ended with a colorful, baby-approved snack of blueberry carrot oat mini muffins, which you can try out at home:

Blueberry Carrot Oat Mini Muffins
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
½ cup sugar
6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt, room temperature
½ cup carrot puree
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberriesPreheat oven to 375° F. Line mini muffin pan with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.In large mixing bowl, stir together oats, both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until pale and frothy. Add yogurt, carrot puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla, whisking until fully combined and smooth.

Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir with rubber spatula until flour is mostly incorporated. Gently fold blueberries into batter with a few revolutions, just enough to incorporate remaining flour and distribute berries evenly throughout.

Divide batter into muffin cups, using a tablespoon scoop to fill them almost to the top. Bake about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: A regular muffin pan can be used instead, increasing the baking time to 20 minutes.

Tickets for our fall classes go on sale September 3—we hope to see you then!

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator at the DMA.

Our Portal Into Publishing

View from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group located in the famous Flatiron Bldg

View from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group located in the famous Flatiron Building

The annual DMA Arts & Letters Live planning trip to New York provides the foundation for each season of the DMA’s literary and performing arts series. During more than 30 meetings in five days at the end of July, Carolyn Bess and I learned which authors are generating a lot of buzz for their new books, and who will be on tour during our 25th anniversary season. These meetings provide a portal into the publishing world not yet revealed to the media or to the public. Here begins the dialogue regarding the authors and books publishers want to catapult into public conversation. We share statistics and successes from our recent events as we attempt to woo such “wish list” writers as Donna Tartt, Bill Bryson, and Nick Hornby. Authors often tour to a predetermined number of cities and only for a short time following their book release date, so there can be significant competition when it comes to securing them for Arts & Letters Live. We seek to balance the type of books, speakers, and performances we feature in each season to construct a mix of literary and historical fiction, poetry, memoir, nonfiction, pop culture, and emerging authors.

Though our meeting schedule certainly kept us busy, we managed to squeeze a few excellent cultural outings into our visit. The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed illustrated memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic was excellent and would fit nicely into our Artful Musings category (if only Alison weren’t in such high demand these days!). We enjoyed seeing Gerald Murphy’s Cocktail on view in the glorious new Renzo Piano building of the Whitney Museum of American Art as we look forward to hosting Liza Klaussmann tomorrow night at the DMA for her new fictional account of Sara and Gerald Murphy in Villa America. On a Friday evening visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we joined the Museum Hack tour for what their brochure terms “a highly interactive, subversive, fun, non-traditional museum tour.” Their strategy did not disappoint. During our three-hour tour, we learned obscure and whimsical tidbits about a select number of pieces in the Met’s collection and wandered the galleries after hours, inciting childhood fantasies of spending the night in the Met like Claudia in E. L. Konigsburg’s iconic novel, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

One of the things that impressed me most during these meetings was the number of times publishers commented on the excellent reputation of the Dallas Museum of Art and Arts & Letters Live. After working on events with publicists all year via phone and e-mail, it is gratifying to meet with them in person and to hear how much they appreciate the quality of events that we host at the DMA. The professional relationships built and fostered during this New York trip are a key component to Arts & Letters Live’s success.

Michelle Witcher is the Program Manager, Arts & Letters Live, at the DMA.

Moore on the Move

Photos showing the North Entrance of the museum prior to the start of renovation efforts.

The North Entrance of the Museum prior to the start of renovation efforts.

Henry Moore’s Two Piece Reclining Figure, No. 3 has greeted visitors at the Museum’s North Entrance for many years. Last week, Moore’s sculpture moved to a new home on the south side of the building, where it will welcome visitors into the Sculpture Garden. The move involved a lot of planning, and many precautions were in place to move the 2,200-pound bronze sculpture. Follow the sculpture’s journey below:

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