Archive for the 'Collections' Category

#LoveWins

In commemoration of today’s decision we wanted to share Félix González-Torres’s work in the DMA collection Untitled (Perfect Lovers).

The date of this work corresponds to the time during which Félix González-Torres’s partner, Ross Laycock, was ill, and it embodies the tension that comes from two people living side-by-side as life moves forward to its ultimate destination. González-Torres comments: “Time is something that scares me . . . or used to. This piece I made with the two clocks was the scariest thing I have ever done. I wanted to face it. I wanted those two clocks right in front of me, ticking.”

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

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

Dad’s Day at the DMA

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures, c. 1909, oil on canvasm Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds 1986.9

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures, c. 1909, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds, 1986.9

In honor of Fathers’ Day, we are showcasing artist Henry Ossawa Tanner’s tender rendering of his wife and son, whom he used as models for Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures. In addition to this painting in the DMA’s collection, another, later version is in the Des Moines Art Center. The two were based on inscribed photographs taken by Tanner of his Swedish-born wife, Jessie, and their son, Jesse; the photographs are now housed in the Tanner Papers collection at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

(Image: Jessie Olssen Tanner and Jesse Ossawa Tanner posing for Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting of Christ and his mother studying the scriptures, not after 1910. aaa.si.edu/)

Tanner painted a portrait of his own father, African Methodist Episcopal bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner (1897), now in the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Tanner family lived primarily in France, where the artist had settled in the 19th century to escape racial discrimination in America. The artist’s last years were devoted to the care and recovery of his only son, who had a nervous breakdown following his graduation from Cambridge. Jesse Tanner went on to become a successful petroleum engineer, and in the 1950s he wrote a manuscript, The Life and Works of Henry O. Tanner, dedicated to his father.

Visit Tanner’s painting, on view in the DMA’s Level 4 galleries and included in free general admission, this weekend to celebrate the dad in your life.

Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar at the DMA.

Candles for Courbet

Gustave Courbet was born June 10, 1819, and thus 196 years ago today the realist movement was born. The DMA is home to a number of works by the 19th-century French painter. Stop by and wish this great artist happy birthday by visiting two of his works currently on view, Fox in the Snow on Level 2 and  Still Life with Apples, Pear, and Pomegranates in the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection.

Gustave Courbet, Fox in the Snow, 1860, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund 1979.7.FA

Gustave Courbet, Fox in the Snow, 1860, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 1979.7.FA

Gustave Courbet, Still Life with Apples, Pear, and Pomegranates, 1871 or 1872, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection 1985.R.18

Gustave Courbet, Still Life with Apples, Pear, and Pomegranates, 1871 or 1872, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.18

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

Golden Glaze

Today is one of the tastiest holidays all year, National Doughnut Day. Last year, we had so much fun seeing one of our paintings transformed into a ring of delicious art that we teamed up with Hypnotic Donuts for round two. James, the owner of the popular North Texas doughnut shop, and his head designer, Chrysta, explored the four floors of art in the Museum and were drawn to our pre-Columbian gallery and the gold Sicán ceremonial mask.

donut pic

Chrysta sculpted the fondant by hand and made each individual piece of the ceremonial mask.The pieces were then assembled and painted gold, and darker color was added for shadowing. For the eyes, she died the fondant an emerald hue and rolled it in sprinkles. The “paint” was created by mixing food coloring, sprinkles, and sugars.

This pastry fit for the gallery walls will be “on view only” at Hypnotic Donuts today during business hours. Head to Hypnotic Donuts in East Dallas to see the artistic doughnut, and stop by the DMA to see the work that inspired this year’s sweet masterpiece.

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

The Cat’s Meow

There are holidays for just about everything, from celebrating your favorite foods to family birthdays. The month of June is dedicated to one of the furrier members of your household: cats. During National Adopt-A-Cat month, we thought we would honor a few of the felines that call the DMA home.

Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom, c. 1846-1847, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund 1973.5

Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom, c. 1846-47, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund, 1973.5

Alfred Stevens, The Visit (La Visite), before 1869, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation 1997.112

Alfred Stevens, The Visit, before 1869, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, 1997.112

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

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

Sword ornament in the form of a lion, Asante peoples, Ghana, Africa, c. mid-20th century, cast gold and felt, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc. 2010.2.McD

Sword ornament in the form of a lion, Ghana, Asante peoples, c. mid-20th century, cast gold and felt, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2010.2.McD [Note: currently not on view due to gallery construction]

Grab this Family Gallery Guide, and others, online or on your next visit to the DMA. They are one of the many ways to experience the DMA for free this summer.

On the Road Again

Memorial Day is the holiday that kicks off the travel season.

So whether you are traveling by plane,

Alexander Calder, Model for Flying Colors, 1973, fiberglass and acrylic paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Braniff International in memory of Eugene McDermott © Estate of Alexander Calder / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Calder, Model for Flying Colors, 1973, fiberglass and acrylic paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Braniff International in memory of Eugene McDermott, © Estate of Alexander Calder/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

train,

James Welling, Pennsylvania Railroad, 1990, Negative November 2,1990, gelatin silver print on Oriental Seagull photographic paper, Dallas Museum of Art, Director's Enhancement Fund © James Welling

James Welling, Pennsylvania Railroad, 1990, negative November 2, 1990, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Director’s Enhancement Fund, © James Welling

or automobile

Lee Friedlander, Untitled, 1961, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Polaroid Foundation grant

Lee Friedlander, Untitled, 1961, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Polaroid Foundation grant

to places far

Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated © L & M Services B. V., Amsterdam

Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, © L & M Services B. V., Amsterdam

Florence E. McClung, Torii–Japan, 1959, silkscreen, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Florence E. McClung

Florence E. McClung, Torii–Japan, 1959, silkscreen, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Florence E. McClung

or near

Berenice Abbott, Flatiron Building, 1938, print 1983, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Morton and Marlene Meyerson

Berenice Abbott, Flatiron Building, 1938, print 1983, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Morton and Marlene Meyerson

George Grosz, A Dallas Night, 1952, watercolor on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift of A. Harris and Company in memory of Leon A. Harris, Sr. © Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

George Grosz, A Dallas Night, 1952, watercolor on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift of A. Harris and Company in memory of Leon A. Harris, Sr., © Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

we hope you have a fun and safe summer.

Lynn Lennon, Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, 1984, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Homer B. Jester Fund © 1984 Lynn Lennon

Lynn Lennon, Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, 1984, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Homer B. Jester Fund, © 1984 Lynn Lennon

Don’t forget to stop by the DMA to cool off all summer long and explore the collection for free!

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

Communicating in Quechua

INCA

Months. It took literally months during the summer of 2014 to decide on the orthography (the correct spelling/writing) for the exhibition Inca: Conquests of the Andes/Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes, which opened Friday. For example, should the Museum use “Inca” or “Inka,” among other spelling differences that would emerge in the exhibition texts. Many factors weighed into my decision, from popular recognition to modern linguistics, from consistency in labels to proper pronunciation. For the first few months of the exhibition project, I solicited the opinions of many individuals about the issue—from leading pre-Columbian linguists to Inca archaeologists to fellow curators, and even friends and family. I read the most recent publications, edited volumes, scholarly monographs, and online blogs to ascertain the most current opinions. Indeed, I researched, inquired, and deliberated so long that there was general confusion around the DMA itself about the final decision for months after I had finally settled on a position. Mea culpa; thank you to everyone for their kind patience. And I appreciate the generous input from many colleagues on an issue that elicits deep passion and strong opinions from scholars across disciplines.

Quipu (Khipu) fragment with subsidiary cords/Quipu (khipu) parcial con cuerdas afiliadas, Perú: Andean highlands or coast, Inca (Inka) culture, A.D. 1400–1570, cotton and indigo dye, Dallas Museum of Art, the Nora and John Wise Collection, bequest of John Wise, 1983.W.2174

Quipu (Khipu) fragment with subsidiary cords/Quipu (khipu) parcial con cuerdas afiliadas, Peru, Andean highlands or coast, Inca (Inka) culture, A.D. 1400–1570, cotton and indigo dye, Dallas Museum of Art, the Nora and John Wise Collection, bequest of John Wise, 1983.W.2174

The central issue is this: What is the ideal manner—in a US public exhibition context—for writing words from Runasimi, or Quechua, the language used as a lingua franca by the Inca state system and spoken today by many Andean peoples. Prior to the Spanish arrival in the 1530s, the Andean populations did not utilize a recognizable written script, one that the Spanish acknowledged and transcribed into a phonetic alphabet, as certain Spanish chroniclers attempted in New Spain. The Andean knotted cords, or quipu (khipu), that recorded information were documented by certain chroniclers in South America, who noted that the quipu were used to register taxes and census data, among other information. The individual Spanish chroniclers further documented Quechua words in the phonetic alphabet and according to Spanish pronunciation, with variant spellings. Certain spellings gained in pronunciation, popular recognition, and adoption into English.

Since the mid-20th century, there have been great efforts to revise the orthography of Andean languages, in particular Runasimi (Quechua), with laws passed in Peru during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The revised orthographies introduced changes such as the reduction from a five-vowel alphabet to a three-vowel system for Quechua. Modern linguists, such as the Peruvian scholar Ramon Cerrón-Palomino, have provided welcome standards for ongoing publication in Inca and Andean studies.

Four-cornered hat/Gorro de cuatro puntas, Peru: south-central highlands or coast, Huari (Wari) culture, A.D. 700–900, camelid fiber, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison, 1976.W.2013

Four-cornered hat/Gorro de cuatro puntas, Peru, south-central highlands or coast, Huari (Wari) culture, A.D. 700–900, camelid fiber, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison, 1976.W.2013

As an Andean scholar, I had actively used many revised spellings in teaching and coursework, as well as in a recent 2013 exhibition, Between Mountains and Sea: Arts of the Ancient Andes, at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. Upon joining the DMA, I had further standardized the terms within the Museum’s database, emphasizing the revised spellings of Wari (for Huari), Tiwanaku (for Tiahuanaco) and Inka (for Inca). With specialization in the cultures of the Formative Period and the north coast of Peru, I confess to addressing only superficially the issue of orthography prior to the DMA exhibition. The spellings of the Cupisnique, Moche, and Chimú—the successive north coast cultures—have remained relatively constant. So I had adopted the basic premise that to utilize the new Quechua spellings was to honor indigenous rights, which aligns well with my role as a researcher of Andean cultural heritage.

Through the months I spent researching, however, the issue became less black and white for this context; it came to include various factors regarding public recognition and spelling consistency through the exhibition design. In the end, the decision to maintain historical spellings as the primary terms in the Inca exhibition likewise presented the wonderful opportunity to introduce an audience to corresponding Quechua spellings. The exhibition Inca: Conquests of the Andes/Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes thus features not only English and Spanish text but also dual spellings for most Quechua terms. A wall panel explaining the chosen orthography opens the exhibition, providing viewers with an opportunity to consider the complex ways language records, reflects, and defines a historical culture.

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, is The Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas at the DMA.


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