Archive for the 'Collections' Category

Islamic Art Festival: By the Numbers

Starting tomorrow, the DMA will host a free three-day Islamic Art Festival celebrating the Keir Collection of Islamic Art. The Keir Collection installation on view in Focus Gallery I and included in the DMA’s free general admission is the largest public presentation in the history of one of the world’s most important private collections of Islamic art. While the collection has been on view since the spring, we knew we wanted to host a large celebration in honor of the collection coming to the DMA, which led us to plan the Islamic Art Festival: The Language of Exchange.

The festival will feature talks, artist demonstrations, music, and dance performances all highlighting Islamic art and the influence it has had across cultures.

American Bedouin will perform on Thursday night.

Calligraphers from the Islamic Art Revival Series will write your name in Arabic on Saturday.

Dance performances will take place in the Atrium on Friday and Saturday.

To give you a sense of all of the exciting and informative programs that will be packed into three days, I thought it would be fun to share a “by-the-numbers” for the Islamic Art Festival:

59 – Number of musicians, dancers, artists, and speakers participating in the festival

6 – Number of Spotlight Talks in the Keir Collection of Islamic Art

15 – Total number of hours of the Islamic Art Festival—who will spend all 15 hours with us?

4 – Number of hands-on art-making activities you can do during the festival

8 – Number of music performances you can enjoy during the festival

3 – Number of dance performances you can watch during the festival

0 – The cost of attending the Islamic Art Festival

1 – Number of princesses who will speak at the DMA to kick off the festival! Tonight, DMA Members can hear a talk by Her Highness Lalla Joumala Alaoui of Morocco, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States. If you’re not already a DMA Member, join today to experience this special opportunity.

Ewer, Egypt, late 10th–early 11th century, rock crystal, 19th-century gold mount by Jean-Valentin Morel, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art, K.1.2014.1.a–b

Casket, Iran, second half of the 14th century, brass inlaid with silver, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art, K.1.2014.86

The Islamic Art Festival: The Language of Exchange is made possible by Dr. Haroon Rasheed and Mrs. Rania Mohamed. We are also excited to collaborate with the Islamic Art Revival Series, the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States, and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth on several of the programs for the festival. The Keir Collection of Islamic Art is presented by Kosmos Energy.

We look forward to seeing you at the DMA over the next three days!

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

Petal Party!

This week we celebrate the birth of two influential artists born 47 years apart. Georgia O’Keeffe (November 15, 1887), the mother of American modernism, and Claude Monet (November 14, 1840), one of the founders of French Impressionist painting, may have practiced different styles, but both shared a love of nature, as can be seen in the vast majority of their paintings. Flowers, in particular, seemed to capture their imaginations!

I am following Nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.  —Claude Monet

Water Lilies

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1908, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, 1981.128


I know I cannot paint a flower. I cannot paint the sun on the desert on a bright summer morning but maybe in terms of paint color I can convey to you my experience of the flower or the experience that makes the flower of significance to me at that particular time.
—Georgia O’Keeffe

Yellow Cactus

Georgia O’Keeffe, Yellow Cactus, 1929, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, the Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, bequest of Patsy Lacy Griffith, © The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, 1998.217

Stop to smell the roses and help us celebrate these renowned artists by visiting their works for FREE in the DMA’s collection galleries sometime this week!

Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the DMA. 

Last Call!

It’s last call for Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail at the DMA! Don’t miss this spirited exhibition full of various vessels and accessories for creating and knocking back cocktails in style.

Grand Prize punch bowl on stand, Libbey Glass Company (manufacturer), c. 1905, cut glass, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund by exchange, 1997.140.a-b

On display in the foyer, the glittering cut-glass Grand Prize punch bowl is designed for drinking at home with friends. Punch bowls made the perfect over-the-top accessory for late 19th- to early 20th-century parties, and would’ve held a concoction of spirits, citrus juices, spices, sugar, and water known as “punch.” Providing an impressive centerpiece to a gathering, punch bowls allowed hosts to serve and replenish drinks from one bowl rather than continuously creating individual cocktails.

Silver Style cocktail shaker, Karl Emmanuel Martin (Kem) Weber (designer), Friedman Silver Company (manufacturer), designed 1928, silverplate and rosewood, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Decorative Arts Guild of North Texas’ 1994 Midwest Trip, 1994.52.a-c

Cocktails grew in popularity well into the 20th century, but during Prohibition (1920-33), manufacturers of cocktail wares avoided the word “cocktail” in lieu of “beverage” in advertisements. Cocktail shakers like the Silver Style cocktail shaker were often disguised as coffee- or teapots, discreetly hiding their function. But shakers like this rooster-shaped cocktail shaker barely attempt to hide its intent. As American journalist H. L. Mencken said, “the business of evading Prohibition and making a mock of it has ceased to wear any aspects of crime, and has become a sort of national sport.” The rooster cocktail set seems to mockingly crow out an invitation for revelers to raise a glass!

Bottoms Up cocktail tumblers, McKee Glass Company (maker), c. 1928, pressed glass, Dallas Museum of Art, the Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, bequest of Patsy Lacy Griffith, 2001.163.2

If you’re in the mood for something a bit bawdy, look for the Bottoms Up cocktail tumblers, which are anything but discreet. The original design featured nude ladies with legs spread apart, but that was eventually deemed too risqué, so the design was modified to this slightly less scandalous version. When using these cups, the only option is to drink it or hold a full cup, as the design does not allow the drinker to set down anything except an upside-down empty glass.

Normandie pattern beverage mixer with rod, Morgantown Glassware Guild (manufacturer), designed c. 1955, blown glass, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund 1995.176.a-b

For a retro throwback to the suburban cocktail party, check out the Normandie pattern beverage mixer, used by hosts eager to show their neighborly hospitality by mixing up drinks, Mad Men style. During the 1960s, pitchers or mixers eclipsed shakers due to the popularity of stirred cocktails, most notably gin or vodka martinis.

Bar tools, San Lorenzo (manufacturer), Lella Vignelli (designer), Massimo Vignelli (designer), Milan, Italy, introduced 1972, silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Jewel Stern American Silver Collection, Decorative Arts Fund, 2002.29.78.1–4

Don’t leave without checking out the more recent cocktail wares, particularly the sleek lines of these bar tools, whose chic design and smooth, ultramodern lines were described as “the most elegant Christmas gift of Christmas 1972,” and were available only at Cartier in New York.

Come to the DMA for one last toast to cocktails before this exhibition closes on November 19!

Heather Bowling is the Digital Collections Content Coordinator for Decorative Arts and Design and Classical Art at the DMA.

Spooky Sightings

The debut of Yayoi Kusama’s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (2016) conveniently coincides with seasonal celebrations of bounty. Inside this reflective chamber, visitors encounter an infinite field of illuminated gourds—Kusama’s immersive expression of universal, continuous connectivity. Her imaginative use of pumpkins and Halloween’s emphasis on otherworldly beings inspired us to search the galleries for metaphysical motifs.

Olivia Feal, the McDermott Intern for Interpretation, assembled a short tour highlighting five works that relate to events after life. From an example of European needlework to a portrait completed nearly two decades after the sitter’s death, these objects offer glimpses of artists who, like Kusama, tackled the creative challenge of visualizing immense, intangible ideas.

Please enjoy this Spooky Sightings tour on your next visit to the DMA!

Emily Schiller is a Digital Collections Content Coordinator at the DMA.

 

Who’s the Boss

Today is national Boss’s Day so we decided to look back on the legacy of one of the DMA’s former bosses, Jerry Bywaters.

Jerry Bywaters with his painting On the Ranch

Jerry Bywaters was the figurehead for the Dallas Nine, a group of artists from the 1930s who all focused on individual styles while working together to present unique aspects of the Texas landscape. Throughout his career, he was an art critic, professor, museum director, and, of course, a Texas artist. From 1943 to 1964, Bywaters served as Director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, which would merge with the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts to create the DMA in 1963. He believed museums should be responsible for inspiring and cultivating art within the community, something that is still very important to the DMA today.

Jerry Bywaters, Self-Portrait, 1935, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Duncan E. Boeckman in honor of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, 1990.5

The DMA is fortunate to have a number of his works in our collection, including his paintings Share Cropper (1937) and On the Ranch (1941). Celebrate one of the DMA’s bosses with a visit to Level 4 to view Bywaters’, and his contemporaries’, work.

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

 

Basket Weaving with the “Acorn Lady”

The time and concentration it takes to weave even a small basket is great. You have to focus very intently on the spacing between materials you’re weaving and how tight you’re pulling each section. That’s why watching Lois Conner Bohna, popularly known as the “Acorn Lady,” make a basket is so fascinating. It’s easy to fall into a trance while watching her work because of the repetitive and focused motions she uses. This past weekend, adult workshop participants were lucky enough to be taught the art of Mono basket weaving by this master weaver. Before they began working with natural materials like Redbud string and Sourberry sticks, they heard from Dr. Kimberly Jones, The Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of Arts of the Americas. She spoke about the new acquisition to the collection of a work by Conner, and other baskets in our North American art collection. Below you can see the gambling tray that took Conner two years to complete. You can also see workshop participants weaving small handmade baskets that are traditionally made before the birth of a child.

Gambling tray, Lois Conner Bohna, 2006, deer grass, sedge root, redbud, and bracken fern, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, 2017.14.2

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Katie Cooke is Manager of Adult Programming at the DMA. 

Exhibition Throwback

More than fifty years after their Dallas debut, several paintings by South American artists are on view at the Dallas Museum of Art. These works first appeared on the Museum’s walls in 1959 as part of the exhibition South American Art Today at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in Fair Park (DMFA). Now they reside in the terminus of the Tower Gallery, which formerly housed a portion of México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde.

Sue Canterbury, The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art, selected thirty works from the Latin American art collection and private collections to fill the walls of this T-shaped gallery. The front portion of the gallery contains twenty works by artists living in Mexico from the 1930s to 1950s.

Perpendicular to this space is the high-ceilinged gallery featuring ten works by South American artists. Eight of these entered the Museum’s permanent collection following their presentation in South American Art Today—an exhibition scheduled during the 1959 State Fair of Texas, when the DMFA’s Fair Park building welcomed thousands of fair-goers.

For the assembly of the show, DMFA Director Jerry Bywaters hired Dr. José Gómez-Sicre, a Cuban art critic and writer who was the Chief of the Visual Arts Section of the Pan-American Union (now the Organization of American States). Following the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, public enthusiasm for international solidarity and cultural exchange increased. Though some in the United States still feared the political influences of Communist-controlled countries, Bywaters and DMFA patrons embraced the need to expand awareness of contemporary art practices in South America.

To curate the exhibition, Gómez-Sicre traveled to ten countries and selected works by seventy-one artists. Following the close of South American Art Today, the DMFA purchased sixteen of the works; another four paintings from the exhibition have remained in the collection as long-term loans.

Humberto Jaimes Sanchez, Composition in Blue, by 1959, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1959.57

The eight paintings now on view in the Tower Gallery as part of the Latin American art collection were produced by artists in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, and Uruguay. In his introduction to the 1959 exhibition catalogue, Gómez-Sicre described his intention for the works to demonstrate that “the creative talents of Latin America have acquired a world vision which enables them to express national themes in subtle accents, rather than by raw, literal reproduction.”

Today visitors can enjoy these works from South American Art Today with the benefit of hindsight on the 20th-century movements that surrounded mid-century artists. The art historical context of Abstract Expressionism is readily apparent. Color, scale, and gestural brushstrokes predominate in this throwback to 1959.

Emily Schiller is the Digital Collections Content Coordinator at the DMA.


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