Archive for the 'Education' Category

Fast Food

Don’t visit the International Pop exhibition on an empty stomach! With paintings of luscious cakes and pies, installations of tempting produce stands, and giant French fries spilling over your head, you just might find yourself suddenly craving a snack. For the December Homeschool Class for Families, we are exploring food-inspired works in the exhibition, and then turning our snack attack into inspiration for art-making. Using recycled food packaging and labels, children experiment with the idea of mixing advertising and art in their own crazy consumer collages.

Visit for a fill list of upcoming classes and workshops offered for kids of all ages.

Leah Hanson is the Manager of Early Learning Programs at the DMA

Preserving Pollock: A Conversation about Art Conservation

Jim Coddington at work on Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950 in the Conservation Studio at MoMA

Jim Coddington at work on Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950 in the Conservation Studio at MoMA

I’ll be talking with Jim Coddington, the Chief Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this Friday evening, November 20, at 9:00 p.m. about his extensive experience with the work of Jackson Pollock. We’ll be discussing the materials and techniques Pollock used in his paintings, the ways in which those materials have aged and changed over the years, and how conservators approach the preservation challenges that Pollock’s works present.

For a preview of some of the topics that we’ll touch upon, you can have a look at the “Jackson Pollock Conservation Project” blog posts that Jim has been making over the past few years.

MoMA has generously lent Echo: Number 25, 1951 to the Dallas Museum of Art for the Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots exhibition, opening Friday, November 20:

Echo Number 25 1951

Jackson Pollock, Echo: Number 25, 1951, 1951, enamel on canvas, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest and the Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller Fund, © 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jim carried out technical studies and conservation treatment on Echo, and we will be discussing some of the details of that work during our Late Night conversation. Here is a photo of the reverse of Echo during its treatment, with the stretcher removed, which reveals darkening of the canvas where it had been in direct contact with the wood stretcher support:

Conservation Blog Post

In addition to a behind-the-scenes look at the conservation treatments that Jim has undertaken, we’ll also examine Pollock’s working methods. Jim and his colleagues at MoMA have done pioneering analytical studies of Pollock’s materials and techniques, lending new insight into our understanding of this extraordinary artist’s work. Join us this Friday at the DMA!

Pollock in Studio


Mark Leonard is the Chief Conservator at the DMA.

Fashion on Flora Street

One of the many things I’ve enjoyed since joining the DMA Intern Class of 2016 is working with Booker T. Washington seniors to develop their own projects for community engagement at the DMA. A few times a week, the students walk down the street to visit the Museum. We’ve been discussing different learning styles and how to appeal to all the diverse learners that visit museums. While assisting students with their projects is my main focus during their visits to the DMA, I cannot help but also pay special attention to their fashion choices. From week to week, each student’s individual style has inspired me.

So for today’s post, I wanted to highlight some pieces in the DMA’s collection that feature elements of these students’ style. Maybe they will inspire you too!

From the stage to the runway, septum rings have moved beyond counterculture to mainstream fashion.
Find these nose rings at the DMA on Level 4 in the Ancient American galleries.

Carefully taut buns, messy half-up top knots, and lots of little Bantu knots—this unisex hair trend can be styled in so many different ways. Like it or knot, buns are here to stay.

For top knot inspiration, look to Bodhisattva in the South Asian gallery and Monju (Manjusri) in the Japanese gallery, both on Level 3.

One-piece swimsuits and leotards have been back for a few years now. But with some of the Booker T. girls, I’ve noticed them as daily wear with skirts and sweaters or even cut-off shorts and a flannel shirt wrapped around the waist.

This Bather in a one-piece carries off the look with some attitude. She’s a music video waiting to happen. Catch her on Level 4 in the American galleries.

Men’s patterned shirts mirror many of the patterns in our permanent collection. Some of the young men at Booker T. have been seen sporting stripes and floral prints on their button downs. The DMA is home to many intricate textiles as well as paintings that feature patterns that may inspire your own style.


You can see these three men in patterned shirts in the folding backgammon board in the Level 3 South Asian galleries; the shirt for the figure of a saint is found on the Level 4 outside the Ancient American galleries; and Leon Polk Smith’s asymmetrical work Homage to Victory Boogie Woogie #1 is in the American galleries on Level 4. The paisley pattern is a detail of Alfred Stevens’ The Visit, found on Level 2 in the European galleries.

Stop by the DMA soon for your next style inspiration.

Whitney Sirois is the McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching at the DMA.

Images: Group of nose and ear ornaments, Columbia, Sinú, c. A.D. 500-1550, gold, 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.451-454, 456-458,460; Nose ornaments, Columbia, Sinú, c. A.D. 1000-1550, gold, 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.468, 810, 605; Maitreya, India, Kushan period, 2nd–3rd century, schist, Intended bequest of David T. Owsley; Monju (Manjusri), Japan, Nanbokucho, 1336-1392, ink, color, and gold on silk, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1970.8; Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Bather with Cigarette, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase Fund, Deaccession Funds/City of Dallas (by exchange) in honor of Dr. Steven A. Nash, 1988.22; Folding backgammon board, India, Mughal period, 19th century, wood, ivory, cord, and inlay, Intended bequest of David T. Owsley; Shirt for the figure of a saint, Guatemala, Kaqchikel Maya, c. 1910-1930, cotton and silk, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift, 2008.194; Leon Polk Smith, Homage to Victory Boogie Woogie #1, 1946, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA League Purchase Fund, 2000.391; Alfred Stevens, The Visit, before 1869, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, 1997.112

Pint-Size Sous Chefs

During this month’s Art Babies, our mini museum-goers joined a hungry caterpillar at an imaginary dinner party to explore the sense of taste. Armed with their very own—Museum staff approved!—silver spoons, they goo-ed and gah-ed over the shiny silver serveware on Level 4. Their appetites primed with art, we then headed to the Art Studio, which was transformed into a smorgasbord of color, texture, and even flavor! Our petite Picassos used vibrant food puree “paint” to create their own masterpieces, taste-testing encouraged. Class ended with a colorful, baby-approved snack of blueberry carrot oat mini muffins, which you can try out at home:

Blueberry Carrot Oat Mini Muffins
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
½ cup sugar
6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt, room temperature
½ cup carrot puree
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberriesPreheat oven to 375° F. Line mini muffin pan with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.In large mixing bowl, stir together oats, both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until pale and frothy. Add yogurt, carrot puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla, whisking until fully combined and smooth.

Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir with rubber spatula until flour is mostly incorporated. Gently fold blueberries into batter with a few revolutions, just enough to incorporate remaining flour and distribute berries evenly throughout.

Divide batter into muffin cups, using a tablespoon scoop to fill them almost to the top. Bake about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: A regular muffin pan can be used instead, increasing the baking time to 20 minutes.

Tickets for our fall classes go on sale September 3—we hope to see you then!

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator 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.


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.

CosPlaying at the DMA


This week, teens have been experimenting and creating through group and solo challenges during our Urban Armor: Cosplay Challenge Camp. Each challenge allows this group to learn new concepts and construction techniques to use in their final costume design which they showcased this afternoon in the Museum galleries. Inspired by last year’s Zombie Camp, this year’s group was visited daily by experts from various professions that they may want to pursue like film and fashion. One of the returning campers from last year, a student at Booker T. Washington, said “this (the Urban Armor camp) is the only camp that I sign up for every year because it’s so awesome. I love it.”

So if you’re in the DMA galleries this afternoon, don’t be surprised if you run into a superhero or two.


Weaving in the Andes

For thousands of years, artists in the Andean region of South America have been weaving beautiful and complex textiles—an extremely labor intensive process as well as an important form of artistic expression. Beyond serving as protection from the arduous cold of the highlands and the intense sun of the Andean coast, textiles played important roles in ritual, political, and social life and functioned as a marker of social identity for both the living and the dead. Because it took so much time and effort to produce a textile, wearing a highly decorative tunic, for example, conveyed the wearer’s social prestige. Today, we are surrounded by textiles—from the upholstery of our living room sofas to our clothes and bed sheets. But most of today’s textiles were created in mass and for the masses.


One of the goals of Inca: Conquests of the Andes—on view until November 15, 2015—is to emphasize that each of the textiles in the exhibition was laboriously and thoughtfully created by hand. So, we designed a space within its galleries to illustrate the step-by-step process of making a textile, from the shearing of a camelid for natural hair or the picking of raw cotton, to the many specific ways that fibers can be woven together to produce a textile.

We were thrilled to collaborate on this project with University of North Texas professor Lesli Robertson and the awesome students in her class Topics in Fiber: Community, Culture, and Art. To kick it off, the class visited the DMA’s textile storage and examined fragments representing a variety of weaving techniques for inspiration. Then, they returned to campus and got busy creating enlarged samples of the weaving techniques, using extra strong and thick cording and string so that visitors can touch and feel the nuanced differences between the various techniques. The students experimented with natural dyes like indigo and cochineal (a parasitic insect) to produce bright colors, mirroring the Andean artists in the exhibition. They also produced a backstrap loom—a small, portable loom popular in the Andes that is attached around the weaver’s back and anchored to a tree or other high post. Be sure to check out the students’ photodocumentation of their project on Instagram. They tagged all of their photos and video with #IncaConquestUNT.



Better yet, visit the Inca exhibition and explore the sample wall to learn about the intricate weaving processes used by the artists represented in the exhibition. When you enter, grab a Weaving Techniques guide from the holder. The colorful round icons on labels indicate the predominant weaving technique used for that artwork. Look for differences in the techniques in the artwork galleries, but try to feel the difference in the Weaving in the Andes space.



Andrea Severin Goins is the Interpretation Manager at the DMA.





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