Archive for the 'Collections' Category

Supporting Art

Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit is a new year-long exhibition highlighting a forty-eight foot mural by Hopi artists Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie. The mural, titled Journey of the Human Spirit, depicts the history of the Hopi people from their mythic emergence to modern day. Included in the installation are numerous works from the DMA’s permanent collection, carefully curated to enhance and highlight the story told by the mural. Many of the objects included are ceramics ranging in dates from 950 CE to the late 20th century. As can be expected with such a range of dates, the condition of the objects varies from pristine to reassembled fragments. A question that must be answered prior to installing works like these is how to best display the work while not compromising its structural integrity. This problem is often solved by building specialty mounts.

A mount is a support, backing, or setting on which an object is fixed for display purposes. There are multiple types of mounts, but the one utilized most for Hopi Visions is a custom built brass mount. Russell Sublette, who just celebrated his 39th year at the DMA, is a Senior Preparator and the Head Mount Maker at the Museum. He is responsible for the majority of mounts you see (or rather, don’t see) within the permanent collection displays.

During exhibition planning, the curator and designer work together to determine how they wish to display an object. Do they want to show a bowl placed flat on a surface in a way that reflects its utilitarian purpose or do they want to display it at an angle to better highlight the design on the interior? Once these decisions have been reached, it is up to Russell to turn these wishes into a reality. He carefully inspects the object, looking for fractures, breaks, and any other issues that might affect its structural integrity, in order to determine the best contact points between the mount and the object. He then takes measurements and works on design. Russell’s goal is to create a mount that provides maximum stability while maintaining a minimal profile. In other words, the mount needs to be as invisible as possible. It is a job that requires focus and precision.

Russell begins with long rods of brass that he cuts down and shapes to follow to contour of the object. He uses extreme care when working on the clips—the part of the mount on which the object rests. It is imperative that the clips do not put too much pressure on the object as that could lead to cracks and breakage. Once he has completed the fabrication of the mount, Russell hands it over to fellow preparator, Sean Cairns, for the finishing touches. Sean’s job is to make the visible parts of the mount disappear. He paints the mount to match the object’s design as closely possible, layering colors and making sure to inspect the piece from multiple viewpoints. When Sean’s work is done, the mount should blend seamlessly with the object.

A good mount maker is a great asset to any museum. Mount making requires skill, talent, and artistic abilities, all of which abound in Russell and Sean. So, when you visit Hopi Visions, please appreciate the objects on display, but then take an extra moment to appreciate the mounts that support the art.

Katie Province is the Assistant Registrar for Collections and Exhibitions at the DMA

“One Way Ticket”

To celebrate the day dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on America, the DMA is hosting Boston-based performing group, Trio Ardente. The Trio will be performing “One Way Ticket”, which was created by American composer Robert Bradshaw inspired by the poem with the same name, written by Langston Hughes, at the DMA tomorrow, January 13 at 2:00 p.m.. These two major artistic works were created in response to the 60 paintings by Jacob Lawrence, titled, Migration Series.

Migration Series is a prolific piece of American art that propelled Lawrence to a place amongst the most influential painters in our country’s history. The paintings depict the migration of over a million African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North after World War I had begun. I asked Adam Gautille, one of the members of Trio Ardente about the group’s process and why they chose this piece to recreate for the performance.

A photograph from the DMA collection of Jacob Lawrence with his painting The Visitors, which is also in the DMA collection
[image credit: Arnold Newman, Jacob Lawrence with “The Visitors”, 1959, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, the Jolesch Acquisition Fund 2001.259]

Q: What drew Trio Ardente to this specific musical, art, and spoken word performance?
A: I grew up surrounded by the arts, other musicians, dancers, artists and later in college became an avid reader of poetry. I realized very quickly that art, as a whole, is something we all experience very differently. Some people are very tactile and visual learners, others are aural and some don’t particularly care for either of those and they just love poetry and words. This program “One-Way Ticket” was our first commissioned work by Robert Bradshaw. We discussed a piece involving multiple mediums of art and a strong message, we eventually landed on social justice. Rob took a dive into history and came up with a great work by pairing 4 of Jacob Lawrence’s 60 paintings in the Migration Series, with a stanza about those paintings by Langston Hughes. He wrote a movement around these elements in a response to how they moved him. 

Q: Did you and the other performers look to the Migration Series while practicing for the performance as a visual prompt?
A: We absolutely looked to the art and poetry as a way to inform the mood or colors we are striving for in our performance. The subject matter of the Great Migration is extremely powerful, so often if we are struggling with a musical decision we take a step back and look at the bigger picture to give us some guidance.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about this concert?
A: For us, the chance to celebrate Black musicians, artists, and poets is incredible. Too often in classical music we miss a rich part of American history, so when we get the chance to put it on display we take it. I also love that Jacob Lawrence was so greatly affected by his time during the Great Migration, that it made him take to art and paint his experiences.

Q: What do you think the connection is between the Migration Series and Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs and teachings?
A: The links between the Migration Series and Martin Luther King Jr’s beliefs and teachings are parallel. Between segregation, Jim Crow Laws, a fear of death and a desire for a new life with the same opportunities others were born with, MLK Jr. and Jacob Lawrence were seeing the same things at slightly different times. We can still see these things subtly and sometimes not so subtly in our world today, which is why it is so important to us to bring this program to the public. Many people are not taught about the Great Migration or really understand its impact on America to this day.

Trio Ardente will be performing “One Way Ticket” on Saturday, January 13 at 2:00 p.m. at the DMA. Tickets are available online or at the door for $10.

Video via Phillips Collection http://lawrencemigration.phillipscollection.org/

Katie Cooke is the Manager of Adult Programming at the DMA

Haute CAT-ure: National Dress Your Pet up Day

It’s the most PAWsome time of the year for DMA pets: National Dress Your Pet Up Day is on January 14. Every year our favorite pups and kitties look to the galleries for inspiration and bring to life works of art for this dog-gone fun day.


DMA Staffer: Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services
DMA Pet: Parker, English Springer Spaniel, age 4 (he belongs to my parents but I borrowed him when I was home for Christmas)
Portrait Inspiration: This year I picked Old Pilgrim because Parker is really good at giving you all-knowing and wise expressions. I borrowed my dad’s duster and hat and my mom’s purse and used talcum powder on Parker’s ears to make him look older and more distinguished. I believe Parker is very comfortable posing for this yearly event, as he loves all the attention, hugs, and treats.


DMA Staffer: Jessica Thompson, Manager of Teen Programs, and Gregory Castillo, Multimedia Producer
DMA Pet: Bastion, Cocker Spaniel, age 11 months
Portrait Inspiration: Although the DMA has wonderful portraits of spaniels in the collection, we looked for a work of art that shares one of Bastion’s best traits: his floppy ears! We made a saddle that tied onto his harness so he could carry one of his favorite toys around; however, we don’t think Bastion was very pleased with this development.


DMA Staffer: Jessie Carrillo, Manager of Adult Programming
DMA Pet: Jenny, Basset Hound, age 7
Portrait Inspiration: Whenever I see this work of art, I’m reminded of Jenny with her long nose, knobby head, and signature expression that is some combination of skepticism, poutiness, and irritation.


DMA Staffer: Dr. Anne R. Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art
DMA Pet: Miss Suzl, Maine Coon, and Miss Bounce Bounce, Abyssinian
Portrait Inspiration: Suzl is ready to pose for anything and resembles the lively cats in this painting. Bounce loves food and would be happy to raid a larder.


DMA Staffer:
Tamara Wootton Forsyth, Associate Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Facilities Management
DMA Pet: Hamish McTavish, Shelter dog, but definitely some Schnauzer and maybe some Scottie, age 1 1/2
Portrait Inspiration: My step-daughter Katrina Forsyth chose the pumpkins for our work of art, mainly because she loves the experience of the pumpkin infinity room. But also because we love our dog. The work is aptly titled All the Eternal Love I Have for the Hamish McTavish!


DMA Staffer:
Lindsay O’Conner, Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs
DMA Pet: Hattie, Terrier Mix, age 3
Portrait Inspiration: Hattie is known for her lively personality and long, wiggly little body, making her the perfect fit to channel Fernand Léger’s playful, seemingly weightless swimmers. Always happy to be the center of attention and no fan of baths, Hattie needed no encouragement to dive into the felt water-free re-creation of The Divers (Red and Black).

[images: Pietro Bellotti, Old Pilgrim, c. 1660s–1670s, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation 1987.4; Chess piece, India, Punjab Hills, late 18th-early 19th century, gilt and polychrome ivory, intended gift of David T. Owsley, 64.1996.2; Hakuin Ekaku, Daruma, date unknown, ink on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, 1972.1; Frans Snyders, Cats Fighting in a Larder, with Loaves of Bread, a Dressed Lamb, Artichokes and Grapes, by 1620, oil and panel, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Campbell; Yayoi Kusama, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016, wood, mirror, plastic, acrylic, LED, Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore and Victoria Miro, London, pending joint acquisition of The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund, © Yayoi Kusama; Fernand Léger, The Divers (Red and Black), 1942, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation, 1982.29.FA, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris]

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

What a year!

What a year 2017 was at the DMA! Below is a brief look back on some of our memorable moments.

January
The launch of the C3 Visiting Artist Project.
The DMA Teen Advisory Council organized and debuted their Disconnect to Reconnect program.
The launch of Sensory Scouts, a monthly program designed for teens and tweens on the autism spectrum.
The 26th season of DMA Arts & Letters Live kicked off on January 14 with Zadie Smith.
The DMA welcomed Anna Katherine Brodbeck as The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art.

February
The DMA launches its first ever crowdfunding campaign, Destination Dallas: Bringing México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde to Dallas, bringing in more than $100,000.
The DMA’s Speakeasy was the bee’s knees, celebrating the Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail exhibition.

March
México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde opens at the DMA on March 12, presenting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the greats of Mexican modernism in Dallas.
The first of a total of 12 DMA Family Days launched on Sunday, March 26, with a total of 39,778 visitors on those days, with almost half being first-time visitors.

April
The 52nd Art Ball raises more than $1.3 million.
The DMA is proud to be the recipient of the second annual Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program, which included the addition of work by Justin Adian, Katherine Bradford, Andrea Galvani, Matthews Wong, and Derek Fordjour.
The Keir Collection of Islamic Art Gallery opens to the public, marking the largest public presentation of the collection to date.

May
Aruto’s Nest got a new look.
Visions of America: Three Centuries of Prints from the National Gallery of Art and Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion open, kicking off our summer fun.

June
Works of art centered around the idea of communication went on view in C3.
Twenty-four DISD students with vision impairment participated in the DMA’s first indoor touch tour of the Museum’s European sculptures.
Six hundred and fifty sleuths help solve our sixth annual Museum Murder Mystery evening.
President and Mrs. Bush explored México 1900–1950 with DMA Director Agustín Arteaga.

July
More than 1,000 people participated in our Guinness World Record attempt on what would have been Frida Kahlo’s 110th birthday during the DMA’s Frida Fest, with almost 6,000 visitors in attendance.
México 1900–1950 welcomed 125,894 visitors before it closed on July 16.
Visitors went gaga for our Iris van Herpen-themed Late Night featuring a Lady Gaga costume contest.

August
Guerrilla Girl Käthe Kollwitz discussed the groups iconic work during the August Late Night
The Junior Associates celebrated the last days of summer during their August 25 Kickoff Party.

September
The DMA celebrated the first anniversary of Agustín Arteaga’s tenure as The Eugene McDermott Director.
DMA Members got to be the first to step into infinity during two weeks of preview days for Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins.
More than $17,000 was gifted to the DMA during North Texas Giving Day.
The Dallas Cultural Plan held a kickoff event at the DMA to help shape the future of arts and culture in Dallas.

October
Yayoi Kusama officially opened and immediately became an Instagram sensation.
Truth: 24 frames per second, the DMA’s first time-based media exhibition, opened.
TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, benefiting amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art, raised over $7.3 million.
It was Potter-mania during a spellbinding Second Thursday with a Twist.

November
The second annual Rosenberg Fête featured an evening themed around François Lemoyne’s The Bather from the Rosenberg Collection.
More than 7,000 visitors took part in our three-day Islamic Art Festival: The Language of Exchange celebrating the Keir Collection of Islamic Art.

December
Asian Textiles: Art and Trade Along the Silk Road goes on view in the Museum’s Level 3 gallery.
We traveled to a gallery far, far away during the final Second Thursday with a Twist inspired by Star Wars
The DMA reflects upon a year of amazing art, events, and visitors!

Present Perfect

To get you into the holiday spirit, we’ve gathered and gift-tagged some DMA artworks that were originally made to be gifts for others.

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

Renoir is thought to have gifted the sentimental Lise in a White Shawl to its model, Lise Tréhot. There are many well-founded rumors about a romantic relationship between Lise and Renoir. We can certainly confirm that Lise was a frequent sitter for Renoir, and according to Emery Reves, the painting’s final private owner, Lise in a White Shawl was the last work Renoir made of his favorite model. Lise kept this portrait, along with the now DMA-owned Lise Sewing, throughout her life.

Aberdeen Painter, Red-figure pyxis and lid, Greek; Attic, last half of 5th century B.C.E., Ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Junior League of Dallas 1968.28.A-B

This Greek red-figure pyxis was likely given to a young woman as a wedding gift to hold her medicine, jewelry, incense, or cosmetics. The images on the outside of the pyxis depict a leisurely life at home, with closed double doors perhaps symbolizing the transition of a maiden into her new life as a wife. Even the shape of the pyxis is symbolic: the alluring lidded vessels that concealed hidden items were often a classical metaphor for women.

Crawford Riddell, Bedstead, c. 1844, Brazilian rosewood, tulip poplar, yellow pine, and polychromed textile, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation 2000.324

This imposing Gothic revival bed was supposed to be a gift to Henry Clay, a well-known American statesman who ran for president in 1844. Whig supporters were certain that Clay would win the presidency. Before the election even occurred, these supporters commissioned furniture from Crawford Riddell to fill Clay’s White House. When Henry Clay lost the election to James K. Polk, this bed traveled to a new owner in Louisiana instead of D.C.

Hemis Mana, Hopi, c. 1915, Cottonwood, paint, and fiber, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Martin Matyas, Bob Rheudasil and Mrs. Edward S. Marcus in honor of Edward S. Marcus 1982.95

Traditional Hopi Katsina dolls are given to children during ceremonial masked dancer performances. The wooden dolls are the carved representations of spirit intermediaries and are typically hung in the home with string. This DMA Kachina doll, Hemis Mana, was carved to be sold to non-Hopi people, but the traditional giving of Katsinas during Hopi religious ceremonies is still practiced today.

A big thank you to my fellow McDermott Interns who helped me find these objects! Seasons greetings and happy gift-giving!

Kathleen Alva is the McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live.

Winter Wonderland

Oh, the weather outside is not so frightful
But inside the Museum it’s so delightful
And since we’ve got no real snow, let your disappointment go, let it go, let it go

Man it doesn’t show signs of ever startin’
So I brought some paintings for viewin’
The canvas’ don’t require shovelin’ though
Let it go, it’s not gonna snow, let it go

Dallas in Winter

Guy Carleton Wiggins, Dallas in Winter, 1942, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, the Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, bequest of Patsy Lacy Griffith, 2001.175

East Dallas House in Snow

John Breckinridge Martin, East Dallas House in Snow, 1913, pastel on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Maggie Joe and Alexandre Hogue, 1986.229

Winter Landscape, Fort Lee NJ.

James P. Knox, Winter Landscape, Fort Lee NJ., 1923, oil on board, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. W. A. Morrison in memory of Mrs. Alvin M. Owsley, 1992.29

1912.4

Guy Carleton Wiggins, Fifth Avenue in Winter, c. 1911–1912, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association, 1912.4

Winter Morning

Leonard Ochtman, Winter Morning, 1911, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1912.2

Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the Dallas Museum of Art

Fall Is in the Air

Fall is one of my favorite times of year: the leaves turn colors and the weather turns cool, bringing with it the promise of the holidays soon to come. One thing I enjoy most is taking a walk around my neighborhood to appreciate the fall scenery. I especially love to take in all of the beautiful colors this season has to offer. Red orange, spring green, golden yellow, deep magenta, and navy blue are just a few that might come to mind.

If the weather is too cool for a walk, a trip to the Museum is definitely the next best thing. The DMA has such a wonderful collection of paintings that capture the beauty of fall. One artist who was greatly inspired by nature in every season is Camille Pissarro. He loved to paint outdoors, sketching every detail he observed and then adding his own color to the picture.

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest, 1888, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund, 1955.17.M

Pissarro’s Apple Harvest shows a fun seasonal activity that takes place in the French countryside. Normandy, the province where this scene occurs, is well known for its apples. Many of the region’s most famous dishes include apples: apple brandy, apple tarts, and mussels with apples and cream are some examples of Normandy’s cuisine. Pissarro chose his colors very carefully to convey the colors of the countryside. There are warm hues of orange and red, bright tones of green, and cool shades of blue. His painting is a perfect reminder of all there is to enjoy about the beauty of the season.

Camille Pissarro, The Road to Versailles, Louveciennes: Morning Frost, 1871, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.42

Pissarro was also well known for his landscape paintings, in which he strove to capture his chosen scene with great attention to detail and honesty. He found great beauty in nature, carefully observing his surroundings. One of his paintings in the Museum’s Reves Collection depicts a morning walk in the fall, just before the season turns into winter. There is snow on the ground, but it is beginning to melt in the morning sun. Pissarro loved to take humble scenes, like a morning walk, and make them into something special.

Take some inspiration from Pissarro this season. Take time to observe your surroundings—there is so much beauty to be seen at this time of year.

Samantha Evans is the McDermott Graduate Intern for Family and Access Teaching at the DMA.


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