Archive for the 'Collections' Category

Top Dog

Today Uncrated celebrates man’s best friend during National Dog Day. Below are some of our favorite pooches in the DMA collection. Visit these artistic canines in the Museum’s galleries, which are always included in the DMA’s free general admission, and see if you can spot a few other pups in works throughout the collection.

Nicolas Mignard, The Shepherd Faustulus Bringing Romulus and Remus to His Wife, 1654, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated 1970.25

Nicolas Mignard, The Shepherd Faustulus Bringing Romulus and Remus to His Wife, 1654, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated 1970.25

Mythical aso (one of a pair), Kayan people, 19th century, wood (kayu tapang or Koompassia: Excelsa), Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund and the Museum League Purchase Fund 1995.34.2

Mythical aso (one of a pair), Kayan people, 19th century, wood (kayu tapang or Koompassia: Excelsa), Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund and the Museum League Purchase Fund 1995.34.2

John White Alexander, Miss Dorothy Quincy Roosevelt (later Mrs. Langdon Geer), 1901-1902, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation in memory of Pauline Gill Sullivan 2007.36

John White Alexander, Miss Dorothy Quincy Roosevelt (later Mrs. Langdon Geer), 1901-1902, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation in memory of Pauline Gill Sullivan 2007.36

Ralph Earl, Captain John Pratt (1753-1824), 1792, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation 1990.146.1

Ralph Earl, Captain John Pratt (1753-1824), 1792, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation 1990.146.1

Grab this Family Gallery Guide, and others, online or on your next visit to the DMA.

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

 

Chasing Waterfalls

This month, the Dallas Museum of Art debuts a new acquisition in the American galleries that highlights the work of Henrietta Shore (1880–1963), an artist who made a significant contribution in the development of American modernism. While she and her work were held in high regard, by the 1940s both had fallen into obscurity. Fortunately, the artist is now undergoing rediscovery, as well as a long-overdue reassessment of her impact on American art of the 20th century.

Henrietta Mary Shore, Waterfall, c. 1922, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Boeckman Mayer Family Fund 2015.24.FA

Henrietta Mary Shore, Waterfall, c. 1922, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Boeckman Mayer Family Fund, 2015.24.FA

Waterfall is a remarkable product from one of the most innovative periods of Shore’s long career, when she visually interpreted the natural world into its most essential and abbreviated forms. These “semi-abstractions,” as she called them, were an attempt to convey in a symbolic way the underlying spiritual forces she sensed in nature rather than a literal transcription of the visual phenomena she observed. In Waterfall, pure line and the juxtaposition of positive and negative shapes laid down with the sheer application of pigment are the means the artist employed to render visible the dynamic power of the eternal. Color is the emotional key she wielded to unlock the visual impact of the whole.

Although she was born in Toronto, the key portion of Shore’s artistic training was acquired in the United States, most significantly under Robert Henri in New York. After several years in California, she returned to New York City in 1920 and, forsaking narrative subject matter and the loaded-brush paint application she had learned from Henri, developed the stripped-down modernist approach demonstrated in Waterfall. The inspiration for this bold composition came, most likely, from her explorations of Maine and Canada during the summer of either 1921 or 1922. When her semi-abstractions debuted in a New York gallery in January of 1923, they were widely discussed by critics, who immediately and positively compared them with works by Georgia O’Keeffe then on view at another gallery across town.

On Wednesday, August 19, learn more about the newest addition to the DMA’s American Art Galleries during our lunchtime gallery talk.

Sue Canterbury is The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art at the DMA.

30-Minute Dash: Reagan Duplisea

In our second installment of 30-Minute Dash” DMA Registrar Reagan Duplisea shares her solution to the tough task of only 30 minutes in the DMA.

A DMA highlights tour for me would begin by taking the elevator to the second floor galleries and turn left to be met with a wall of compelling and dramatic emotion and color, which begins with the despair of Ramon Casas’ Tired, the treacherous sea-swept cemetery of Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl, and ends on the idyllic pastoral note of Hans Thoma’s Olive Grove at Lake Garda.

Take the small staircase up to the third floor and take a quick turn through the Northern Decorative Arts gallery. Bask in the glow of the Tiffany windows and Front doors from the Robert R. Blacker House and admire the sturdy yet stunning craftsmanship of the Stickley workshop. Then take a few more steps into the light-infused foyer of the Reves period rooms. Don’t miss the Winston Churchill room, especially his oversized brandy glass and self-portrait in the guise of a portly pig.

As you exit the decorative arts galleries, make a right to marvel at the delicate Japanese ceramics, pause for a contemplative moment in the calming ambiance of the gallery of Japanese screens and take a quick wander amidst the sly smiles of the Oceanic figures. Take the stairs to the fourth floor and veer left on a path that will lead you past the harmonious and fine lines of Charles Biederman’s Work no. 3, 1939, the Viktor Schreckengost Jazz Bowl and Charles Sheeler’s Suspended Power.

This reverse route through the American galleries will ensure that you pass by the majestic Gothic bed before you exit and make a quick beeline for the Ancient Arts of the Americas. The first gallery features objects of jade, in amazing shade variations, and the second will dazzle you with an array of gold. As you leave the final gallery, throw a glance over your right shoulder to catch a glimpse of the charming Yup’ik Mask with seal or sea otter spirit. The Mixtec Crouching frogs outside the galleries will stick their tongues at you, playfully suggesting that you didn’t allot nearly enough time for your visit and goad you into planning another, longer visit soon.

Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar, Exhibitions at the DMA

French Riviera Fête

Celebrate artist Gerald Murphy and the Roaring ‘20s on Thursday, August 13, at the DMA’s French Riviera Fête!

Gerald and Sara Murphy on La Garoupe beach, Antibes, summer 1926 Gerald and Sara Murphy Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald and Sara Murphy on La Garoupe beach, Antibes, summer 1926. Gerald and Sara Murphy Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly.

In 1921, Gerald Murphy, his wife, Sara, and their three children set sail from New York to France. Their house, Villa America on the coast of Antibes on the French Riviera, became the site of legendary parties and the hub of an illustrious social circle that included expatriates F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, and many others. (Gerald and Sara were the real-life inspirations for Fitzgerald’s novel Tender Is the Night.) There, in their oasis by the sea, the Murphys entertained their friends with flamboyant beach parties, fiery debates over the newest ideas, and dinners beneath the stars.

On August 13, we’re having a French Riviera Fête of our own! Kick off the evening with jazz music by the Texas Gypsies and bring your dance partner. Come dressed in 1920s attire or borrow some of our props and take a selfie in our Murphy-inspired photo booth. Sip the featured cocktail (Gerald’s own recipe for “Juice of a Few Flowers”), and take tours of art by Murphy and those who inspired him.

Gerald Murphy, Razor, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald Murphy, Razor, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist, © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist, © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Gerald Murphy only painted for seven years, and only eight of his fifteen known canvases survive today. The DMA is fortunate to own two of those surviving works: Watch and Razor. Murphy gave them directly to the Museum out of gratitude for the role its curator Douglas McAgy played in reviving his reputation as an important artist.

In 2008, the DMA hosted the exhibition Making It New about the Murphys; in a review by the New York Times, Murphy was called “the progenitor of Pop Art.” So after learning more about Gerald Murphy on August 13, mark your calendars for our International Pop exhibition opening in October.

duo

As part of this celebration, Arts & Letters Live will feature bestselling author Liza Klaussmann at 8:00 p.m. She will share insights into her new historical novel, Villa America. Pre-order your book and buy tickets to hear her speak. Actors will also do dramatic readings of letters between Gerald, Sara, and their friends. How about bringing your book club to enjoy this festive night together?

Liza Klaussmann has quite the literary pedigree herself—she’s the great-great-great granddaughter of Herman Melville. A former journalist, Klaussmann was born in Brooklyn and spent ten years living in Paris. She currently lives in London.

“Liza Klaussmann’s Villa America is so artful and compassionate that I couldn’t fail to love the Murphys and everyone who fell into their orbit during those Lost Generation years, all of them fascinating and flawed and human. This is a beautifully rendered story.”―Therese Anne Fowler, author of “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”

Want to read more about Sara and Gerald Murphy? I highly recommend these books too:
Amanda Vaill, Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy, a Lost Generation Love Story, 1998
Linda Patterson Miller, ed., Letters from the Lost Generation: Gerald and Sara Murphy and Friends, 2002

 

Carolyn Bess is the Director of Programming and 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:

African Art Sketching Party

Full wall

Just before the Arts of Africa gallery closed for reinstallation in May, the DMA invited the public to a Late Night African Art Sketching Party. Over 100 sketches of visitors’ favorite African artworks were gathered during the party. It was an opportunity to tap into the creativity and perspectives of DMA visitors. Sketching is a fun way to slow down, look closely, and discover something new about an artwork.

Visitors’ drawings are on view on a temporary wall on Level 3 in the Museum. Come for a visit before August 30 to see this installation of sketches and experience the DMA’s African art collection as seen through the eyes of another.

Nicole Stutzman Forbes is the Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education at the DMA.

After Hours

Have you ever wondered what museum curators do to relax and unwind at the end of their day? For Olivier Meslay, the DMA’s Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, one of his favorite things is to look through online versions of auction house and gallery catalogs. What seems like a bit of a “busman’s holiday” worked to our advantage a few months ago.

Cover to Audap & Mirabaud’s catalog for 21 November 2014 auction

Cover of Audap & Mirabaud’s catalog for November 21, 2014, auction

It all started on a stormy night early last November when he clicked on the website for the Parisian auction house Audap & Mirabaud. On their homepage was the lovely self-portrait by Paul Claude-Michel Carpentier (1787-1877), a lesser-known French painter, sculptor, and engraver who had exhibited at the Salon between 1817 and 1838.

The painting that caught Olivier’s attention is signed and dated 1833, and Carpentier exhibited it at the Salon the following year. For some time, the DMA had been seeking to purchase a large-scale 19th-century Salon portrait, and this one fit the bill. It was to be auctioned in Paris on November 21, and, as it happened, Olivier would be in France on the day of the sale, but not in Paris. Luckily, he had plans to be in the glorious city a few days beforehand and found an occasion to examine the painting.

Paul Claude-Michel Carpentier, Self-portrait of the artist and his family in his studio, 1833, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund, 2014.38.FA

Paul Claude-Michel Carpentier, Self-portrait of the artist and his family in his studio, 1833, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 2014.38.FA

It was as impressive as he had hoped, and so he registered to bid. The only remaining problem was that at the precise time of the sale he was to be at a conference in a city four hours away. About mid-morning on November 21, he discreetly slipped out of his meeting for a few minutes to bid by telephone on the artwork. To our great fortune, he was the high bidder. All of his maneuverings were worthwhile.

When he returned to Paris a few days later, to his great surprise, he learned from an agent with Audap & Mirabaud that a small, fully realized preliminary drawing of the portrait had become available. He bought it on the spot.

(left) Study for “Self-Portrait of the Artist and his Family in his Studio,” c. 1833, pencil on paper, private collection (right) Paul Claude-Michel Carpentier, Self-portrait of the artist and his family in his studio, 1833, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund, 2014.38.FA

(left) Study for Self-portrait of the artist and his family in his studio, c. 1833, pencil on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Olivier Meslay, 2015.20.FA; (right) Paul Claude-Michel Carpentier, Self-portrait of the artist and his family in his studio, 1833, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 2014.38.FA

Having the opportunity to place a highly detailed drawing next to the executed painting is quite rare. It provides us with the chance to delve into the artist’s creative process and study any last-minute compositional changes made between the two works. In this case, we learn that in the completed painting, Carpentier rearranged the sculptures in the background, while in the foreground he added the yellow and red paisley shawl draped over the back of the chair on which his daughter,r wearing a blue dress, rests her arm.

Another exciting aspect of these purchases is that it presented us with an opportunity to learn about Carpentier’s life. One of the most immediate revelations happened shortly after the painting arrived at the DMA. Much to our surprise, we discovered a small slip of paper affixed to the back of the frame. On the very old sheet were handwritten details (in French, of course) about Carpentier; his wife, Adèle; and daughter Clémence.

Note

Slip of paper affixed to upper rail of the back of the frame with details of the artist’s immediate family and descendants.

As our research about Carpentier progressed, we unearthed some very intriguing discoveries. While he was quite active in the Society des Beaux-Arts, advocating for various artistic mutual aid societies, he was also an accomplished theoretician and technician of encaustic painting. The ancient process of adding pigment to melted beeswax, which dates back to antiquity, fascinated Carpentier throughout his lifetime and culminated in his authoring a detailed treatise about the technique that artists still consult today.

Notes en cire

Cover of Notes sur la peinture: a la cire cautérisée procédé encaustique by Paul Carpentier

Most interestingly, we discovered that one of his closest friends was Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851), the French artist and photographer recognized for inventing the eponymous process of photography. As a testament to their mutual admiration, Carpentier made a painting and bust of his good friend, but more importantly, in 1855 he wrote a monograph about Daguerre that to this day remains the single greatest firsthand contemporary account on the birth of photography.

Knowing more about Carpentier, and turning back to his self-portrait, we see that in it he brought together people and things that held an important place in his life. While we discovered valuable information about the painting and artist, we also learned that we all gain when our Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs relaxes at the end of a busy day by surfing the Web. Visit the newly conserved painting in the DMA’s Level 2 European Art Galleries, included in free general admission, today!

Martha MacLeod is the Assistant to the Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curatorial Administrative Assistant for the European and American Art Department at the DMA.


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