Archive for the 'Collections' Category

30-Minute Dash: Eric Zeidler

Because we offer free general admission, visitors often pop in for a few minutes when they are in the Dallas Arts District. Our Visitor Services team is frequently asked this question: “What would you recommend seeing if you only had thirty minutes to visit the Museum?” We thought it would be fun to pose this tough question to DMA staffers from different departments to see what they consider to be among the highlights. First up is Eric Zeidler, our Publications Manager:

If a visitor had thirty minutes and accepted me as a guide, I would take them to many galleries to highlight multiple works in the collection, starting with the African galleries on Level 3.


My favorite stops include the Fang reliquary guardian figure. It is so riveting and perfectly carved, I can never get my fill of looking at it. Another work to visit is the Songye female power figure with her sheen (she exudes the oil with which she has been anointed down through the years) and that unnerving grin. I can well imagine her exerting a beneficent or malefic power, depending on the inner qualities of those who come into contact with her. Last stop in this gallery would have to be the Djennenke/Soninke figure, with her protuberant eyes and spare, almost angular, elegance.


Continuing our tour on Level 3 in the Arts of Asia gallery includes time to take in the serene Buddha Muchalinda. I love his canopy of naga heads and the fascinating expressiveness of his lips. The Vajrabhairava, with its horns and fangs and union of ecstatic abandon with higher truth, is always a must see, as is the sensuously provocative celestial female with that scorpion on her thigh. And finally we would visit the Vishnu as Varaha, with its diagonal lines and the redoubtable tusks and snout.


We would then dash downstairs to the European galleries on Level 2 to look at a large selection of some of my favorite works, starting with Paul Signac’s neoimpressionist masterpiece Comblat-le-Château, the Meadow (Le Pré), Opus 161. We would then continue on to Paul Sérusier’s Celtic Tale, which partly reminds me of Paul Gauguin but also has symbolist elements reminiscent of Javanese-Dutch artist Jan Toorop, with whom (for me) its imagery has luminous affinities. Next would be Piet Mondrian’s Farm Near Duivendrecht, in the Evening, with its low light, reminds me of Dahl’s Frederiksborg Castle, on view around the corner (it makes me wish that we could acquire some Atkinson Grimshaw canvases), and a quick look at Hans Hofmann’s expressive masterpiece Untitled (Yellow Table on Green).


Going down the other side of the European galleries, I would point out the nice little Still-life with Fruit by Emilie Preyer; Sir Joshua Reynolds’ commanding Portrait of Miss Mary Pelham (she has such a penetrating stare, which for me suggests a certain formidable willfulness); the gorgeous still-life Basket of Flowers by Beert the Elder, with its petals lying strewn on a tabletop; and my beloved College of Animals by Cornelis Saftleven. I think this work, beyond its allegorical subtleties and its charm for all those who love animals, is a beautifully painted canvas, and I love studying its various striking details.


I would also take a quick trip to the Level 4 to see the Dust Bowl and other Texas paintings, which show that beauty can be found amidst stark desolation, and the Navajo eye-dazzler blanket, which is a pleasure to gaze upon. We would end our whirlwind tour with the fascinating little painting by Roberto Montenegro, The Shell, one of my favorite works in the entire collection.

Follow Uncrated to catch the next DMA Dash and more behind-the-scenes scoops. Visit our collection online anytime here.

 Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar, Exhibitions at the DMA.

A Table fit for a Contessa

Today is what the DMA Arts & Letters Live team has been waiting for since we began planning this event last July: INA GARTEN DAY!

ina

We are hosting the lovely Ina Garten tonight as part of the 2015 DMA Arts & Letters Live season. To celebrate the Barefoot Contessa’s visit to Dallas, below are some of my favorite pieces from the DMA’s collection that are fit for any fête in the Hamptons with Ina! Explore the DMA collection galleries for free and plan your fantasy table setting.

If you missed getting tickets to Ina Garten’s event, foodies are in still in luck, we are hosting the amazing chef Marcus Samuellson on March 27, get tickets now online.

A Barrel of Art

Next Friday, February 20 the DMA is opening three exhibitions (Frank Bowling: Map Paintings, Bold Abstractions: Selections from the DMA Collection 1966–1976, and Concentrations 58: Chosil Kil) in time for our February Late Night. Installation for these three exhibitions began last week, get a sneak peek at the works of art below and start planning your artful Late Night now.

 

CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_001 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_002 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_004 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_005 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_006 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_007 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_008 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_009 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_010 CHOSIL_INSTALL_BLOG_FEB_2015_012

Cuddly Symbols of Undying Love

Uma-Maheshvara, central India, likely late 11th to 12th century, buff sandstone, Intended bequest of David T. Owsley

Uma-Maheshvara, central India, likely late 11th to 12th century, buff sandstone, Intended bequest of David T. Owsley

Dr. Anne Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art at the DMA, can always be counted on to discuss the representation of love in various forms in the works in the DMA’s collection. We asked her to pick out a work on view for a special Valentine’s Day post:

In this sumptuous temple relief, the great Hindu god Shiva embraces his wife Parvati in a sensuous and romantic way. As both gods are deities of fertility, they are shown as almost naked and with beautifully modeled bodies. By their feet are their two sons, the elephant-headed god Ganesha and Skanda, a war god. Over the couple is a scene with Shiva in his other aspect, as the great god of yogic meditation. According to a Hindu text, Parvati longed for a baby after she and Shiva married, but he remained stubbornly ascetic. Finally, the beautiful Parvati said, “Alright, just give me a child and you can go on being the divine yoga master.” So he did, but since Shiva is the god of life, death, and rebirth, it wasn’t that simple. When Shiva found the child Ganesha barring him from Parvati when she was bathing, he cut off his son’s head. Then, moved by Pavati’s despair, he said that he would restore the boy with the head of the first person he saw, which turned out to be an elephant. Elephant-headed Ganesha became the god who removes obstacles from people’s path and gives them prosperity. He is the most popular god in India today. So the tumultuous story has a happy ending, and Shiva and Parvati are cuddly symbols of undying love.

Detail of Ganesha

Detail of Ganesha

Visit this work, and many other works that embody love, in the DMA’s collection galleries for free this Valentine’s Day.

Anne Bromberg is The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art at the DMA.

ThisClose: A Rare Look at Reves Treasures

This year, the Dallas Museum of Art celebrates the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Wendy and Emery Reves Galleries, which house a varied and celebrated collection of paintings, sculptures, furnishings, and decorative arts. The Reves Galleries were designed as a replica, on a slightly reduced scale, of the principle rooms in the couple’s villa on the French Riviera. The unusual domestic character of these galleries has made them both loved and loathed over the years. They offer an opportunity to step into the past and discover the history of art collecting and display in the mid-20th century. But, the barriers that separate visitors from the displays have been a perennial frustration. As curators, we are often as frustrated as our audiences with the limitations of the display in the Reves Galleries. Yes, we feel your pain.

The Grand Salon in The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art

The Grand Salon in the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art

This spring, we are making some modest refurbishments to two of the rooms in the Reves Galleries that will require them to be closed for some months (the rest of the Reves wing will remain open). We’ll take advantage of the partial closure to photograph the works of art on view in those galleries as part of the DMA’s multi-year digital cataloging project. In coming months, visitors to our online collection will discover the fruits of that labor in hundreds of new and improved images of works of art in the Reves Collection. But, there will be also be an even more immediate opportunity for visitors to take a closer look at some of the Reves treasures.

Claude Monet, The Pont Neuf, 1871, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.38

Claude Monet, The Pont Neuf (detail), 1871, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.38

On January 31, we will open an intimate exhibition, included in free general admission, in Focus Gallery II on Level 1, featuring the great impressionist paintings from the Reves Collection, including works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Paul Cézanne. These works, usually on display in the Library and Grand Salon of the Reves Galleries, are among the greatest treasures of the Reves Collection . . . and among the most difficult to appreciate in their current setting, hanging on distant walls some twenty or even thirty feet from the barriers. In the exhibition Impressionist Paintings from the Reves Collection, thirteen of the greatest paintings from the Reves Collection will be brought together for a period of close study and exploration. Anyone who has longed for a closer view of these paintings will revel in this opportunity, curators included! But, this opportunity will be a limited one. Impressionist Paintings from the Reves Collection will be on view only until March 22, so be sure to plan a visit soon for an up-close and personal visit with these old friends.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Lise in a White Shawl (detail), c. 1872, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.58

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Lise in a White Shawl (detail), c. 1872, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.58

Heather MacDonald is The Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art at the DMA.

The Selfie Seen Around the World

Today marks the second anniversary of DMA Friends and we are so excited to have over 90,000 friends! Today also happens to be Museum Selfie Day, with people sharing selfies in museums from around the world. Celebrate two years of free general admission and the DMA Friends program by sharing your DMA selfie with the hashtag #MuseumSelfie.

Enjoy a few of our favorite Museum Selfies from our DMA Friends, visitors, and staff. If you aren’t already a DMA Friend, sign up for our free membership program on your next visit!

Cocktail Creations: A Toast to the DMA

The DMA turns 112 this month and we wanted to celebrate with a fun cocktail contest inspired by works of art in our collection, giving our visitors a chance to toast the DMA with their creativity!

LN_CreativeCocktail

We asked visitors to choose a work of art in our collection that inspired them to create a cocktail recipe along with a fun (or even punny) name for the drink. We saw a lot of great submissions from our community of art and alcohol connoisseurs, and with the help of our Executive Chef we have picked a winner and four finalists.

Single snake armlet, 1st century A.D.Dallas Museum of Art, Museum League Purchase Funds, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., and Cecil H. and Ida M. Green in honor of Virginia Lucas Nick, 1991.75.92.1

Single snake armlet, Roman Empire, 1st century A.D., gold, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum League Purchase Funds, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., and Cecil H. and Ida M. Green in honor of Virginia Lucas Nick, 1991.75.92.1

The winning cocktail, Twisted Serpent, created by Lori Pasillas, was inspired by the single snake armlet in our ancient Mediterranean collection. This drink, made with amaretto, Chambord, club soda, Italian soda, mint leaves, and a twist of orange peel, will be available for purchase at our upcoming Late Night on Friday, January 16.

That night, we will host a Creative Cocktail Lounge in our Founders Room, where you can purchase this winning drink plus the drinks created by the four finalists. While you enjoy these libations, DJ Yeahdef will spin a set of eclectic music.

It was interesting to see that our visitors were inspired by works of art from across our global collection. We had submissions that drew inspiration from our Japanese, decorative arts, ancient American, and contemporary collections, in addition to artworks in our American and European collections.

The works chosen by the four finalists were The Fish and the Man by Charles Webster Hawthorne, Heat Wave-Texas by Coreen Mary Spellman, Still Life by Perry Nichols, and the Miss Blanche armchair by Shiro Kuramata.

 

Miss Blanche chair by Shiro Kuramata, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Caren Prothro, Vincent and Dara Prothro, and Nita and Cullum Clark, and Catherine, Alex, Charlie, Jack, and Will Rose, Lela Rose and Grey, Rosey, and Brandon Jones in honor of Deedie Rose, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, and Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, 2012.29.A-E

Miss Blanche chair, Shiro Kuramata, designer; Ishimaru Company Ltd., manufacturer, designed 1988, executed 1989, acrylic, artificial roses, and aluminum with Alumite (anodized) finish, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Caren Prothro, Vincent and Dara Prothro, and Nita and Cullum Clark, and Catherine, Alex, Charlie, Jack, and Will Rose, Lela Rose and Grey, Rosey, and Brandon Jones in honor of Deedie Rose, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, and Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, 2012.29.a-e

To find out what drink concoctions these works inspired, visit the Creative Cocktail Lounge this Friday. While you are here, don’t forget to go to Tim Federle’s talk at 7:00 p.m. Tim’s punny cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock helped inspire this contest and his talk is sure to be fun!

tequilamockingbird

So come and join us in toasting the DMA this Friday!

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.


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