Archive for the 'Late Nights' Category

Whiskered Deities

Cats are invading the DMA beginning this Sunday, October 9, when the Museum opens the nationally touring exhibition Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt. The exhibition features 80 objects from the world-renowned Egyptian collection of the Brooklyn Museum depicting cats and lions in ancient Egyptian mythology, kingship, and everyday life (and a few dogs too).

Below is an interview with DMA curator and avid cat-lover Dr. Anne Bromberg that was first published in the DMA Member magazine Artifacts. Mark your calendars for a cat-tastic night on Friday, October 21, during a special Late Night celebrating all things cat and Egypt. Listen to the purrrfect soundtrack to understand why cats are the Furry Conquerors of Culture, and follow the DMA on Spotify.

What are you most excited to present in this exhibition?
The ancient Egyptians were superb artists. Or perhaps one should say they were wealthy enough that they could afford to pay artists generously. The other interesting aspect is that for the Egyptians, cats were very important as divinities, as well as fun and delightful in ordinary life. I’ve said this to practically everybody, but cats have the closest brains to primates, or us, monkeys!

Sphinx of King Sheshenq, c. 945–718 B.C.E., bronze, Brooklyn Museum. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 33.586

Sphinx of King Sheshenq, Egypt, Third Intermediate Period, c. 945–718 B.C.E., bronze, Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 33.586

Many people associate the ancient Egyptians with death or funerary rituals.
That’s partly because tombs were substantially built, so they survived. It’s clear from tomb paintings that the homes of the ancient Egyptians were equally glamorous, but almost none of that has survived.

What did this glamorous life look like?
They had beautiful clothes and were well fed. Furnishings of the everyday, as well as ritual objects, were exquisitely made. I’m sure they had trashy junk (because everyone does) but the impression you have is that the objects people lived with were really beautiful. The Egyptians believed that after death you could live forever in the land of eternal life. Part of the appeal of all Egyptian art, and certainly of this show, is that you see art made by people who believed you could take it with you.

Cat's Head, 30 B.C.E. to 3rd century C.E., bronze, gold, Brooklyn Museum. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.114

Cat’s Head, Egypt, Roman Period, 30 B.C.E.-3rd century C.E., bronze and gold, Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.114

It’s impressive that the ancient Egyptian civilization lasted so long.
They were isolated to some degree, and they had a foolproof source of food with the Nile River. They were also extremely literate. People who conquered Egypt knew they were taking over one of the most sophisticated cultures in their world, so they allowed that culture to continue. This many-thousand-year continuity of culture did not disappear until the coming of the Christians, who were opposed to traditional Egyptian religious ideas.

Does any part of that culture persist today?
Something that has continued unabated from prehistoric times and up until today is the passion for cats. It is still a very pro-cat civilization.

Figure of a Cat, 305 B.C.E.–1st century C.E., wood (sycamore fig), gilded gesso, bronze, copper, pigment, rock crystal, glass, Brooklyn Museum. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund , 37.1945E

Figure of a Cat, Egypt, Ptolemaic Period-Roman Period, 305 B.C.E.–1st century C.E., wood (sycamore fig), gilded gesso, bronze,rock crystal, and glass, Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1945E

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

Telling Stories

The DMA has enlisted the help of C3 Visiting Artist Ann Marie Newman to reimagine five Egyptian stories. Each story depicts Egyptian deities, many of which are represented in the upcoming exhibition Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt. Newman’s take on these stories will be available at a listening kiosk in the educational space of the exhibition. Before you visit, learn a little more about Ann Marie Newman and her process.

ann-marie-headshot

Tell us a little about yourself in fifty words or less.
I am a creative dreamer, storyteller, and artist. Using various materials and techniques, my sensory-rich, interactive stories are a unique fusion of colorful characters, improvisation, and fine art–inspired visuals. My love for people, stories, and art is made manifest through my life’s calling to be a storyteller, a “story sharer”!

How did you become interested in writing and storytelling?
In a purely organic way! I’ve always loved stories, hearing them told orally when I was small, and later, reading them in books. Being an intensely curious person, I discovered that folktales, legends, myths, and personal tales illuminated and helped me better understand the world and its people. Writing came about naturally as I embraced my creative need to tell the stories and to share my joy, love, and respect for them with others.

ann-marie_writing
Describe your process of reimagining the Egyptian stories for the Divine Felines educational space.
It starts with research: reading three or more versions of each myth, studying the images and descriptions of the gods and goddesses, looking at maps of Egypt, noting cultural details. I jot everything down in a mess of chaotic writing only I can decipher—LOL!

Then it’s like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, except I don’t have a picture on the box lid to use for a guide. Instead, I create a movie of the myth in my mind. I look at all the pieces and select a starting point, a dramatic statement that allows the story to unfold. During the movie, I note how I feel emotionally, how my body feels, what senses are awoken. If something doesn’t “feel” right, I go back and reimagine it until it does. The ability to daydream is huge for me, and I like best to do it in cozy little coffee shops for some reason. All these tales were written, except one, in a quaint little coffee shop along the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada.

Which story is your favorite and why?
Pick a favorite!?! I love them all. Under the surface of these myths lie deeply symbolic meanings and analogies about the human condition.

Take the myth of Sakhmet for instance. Sent by the gods to punish mankind, Sakhmet is the embodiment of the ferocious lioness on a hunt. Her destructive nature knows no constrain; she quickly begins exterminating mankind from the earth. She is eventually stopped, tricked by her own gluttony. She passes out cold. Upon awakening, she immediately falls in love with Ptah, a god whose name means Life and Stability. She forgets her past, marries Ptah, and they give birth to Nefertum, whose name means Mercy. Thus, Sakhmet’s destructive ferocity disappears when she embraces life and stability, and this brings mercy. The insightful wisdom in this myth makes it a favorite of mine.

ann-marie_cat1

What did you enjoy most about working on this project?
Discovering the powerful, protective, clever “superwomen” goddesses of ancient Egyptian mythology. I have been a storyteller for over twenty years, and somehow I’d missed these amazing myths about strong, heroic women. They deserve more attention, and I am a very happy storyteller who can do just that.

I should also mention a cat owns me. His name is Leonidas and he is king of our home. After working on the myths, I enjoyed becoming more appreciative of his cat characteristics. He is a male, but he inhabits all the good traits of the goddesses, and even a few of the not so good, but he is still simply divine.

Visit Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt, on view October 9, 2016, through January 8, 2017, to see more than eighty objects featuring domestic cats, feline deities, cat burial practices, and luxury items decorated with feline features, as well as a small section on dogs. Be sure to stop in and listen to Ann Marie Newman’s reimagined Egyptian stories in the educational space.

Stop by the October 21 cat-themed Late Night for lectures and programs related to Divine Felines. Ann Marie Newman will perform stories of Warrior Goddesses of Ancient Egypt at 7:30 p.m. in the C3 Theater.

And mark your calendars for the upcoming Divine Felines–themed Gallery Talks by Dr. Anne Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art; storyteller Ann Marie Newman; and Aditi Samarth, Professor of Humanities.

Jessica Fuentes is the Manager of Gallery Interpretation and the Center for Creative Connections at the DMA.

Let Them Eat Cake!

Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, © L & M Services B. V., Amsterdam, 1981.105

Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, 1981. 105, © L & M Services B. V., Amsterdam

Bastille Day is this Thursday, but the revolution will last an extra day as we continue the festivities during our July Late Night.

marie antoinette 2

To help you practice your French numbers, here are some things you can experience that evening:

Un – The number of movies starring Kirsten Dunst that will be screened (spoiler alert: it’s Marie Antoinette).

Deux – The number of people facing off against each other in our fencing and dueling demonstrations.

Trois  The number of hours DJ Wild in the Streets will spin a mix of eclectic French music.

Quatre – The number of tours that will explore the French Revolution, fashion, and portraiture.

Cinq – The number of hours you can hear live French music performed by local musicians.  

Six – The time that Late Night starts, so don’t être en retard!

Sept – The start time for our Late Night Talk sharing a quick history of the French Revolution.  

Huit – The number of selfies you should take in front of French portraits in our Rosenberg Collection, and then share them on our Instagram with #DMAnights.  

Neuf – The number of rogue mimes you might see walking around.

Dix – The number of times DMA staff might yell “vive la DMA!” during the evening.

Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust, The Harp Lesson (La leçon de Harpe), 1791, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund -

Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust, The Harp Lesson, 1791, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 2015.10.FA

In addition to our Late Night, Bastille Day Dallas will expand its annual celebration and bring more French culture to the Dallas Arts District with outdoor activities on Flora Street. So put on your beret, grab a baguette, and join us!

Bastille on Flora

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

An Attempt at Dinner with Jackson Pollock

This Friday, author and photographer Robyn Lea will be here to discuss her cookbook Dinner with Jackson Pollock during our March Late Night. And, in what has become a tradition for the Adult Programming team, we decided to try our hand at making a few of the recipes. You can find our other cooking attempts here and here.

Dinner with Jackson Pollock

Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services:

I decided to make Pollock’s Spinach Muffins with Tomato Chutney because it sounded delicious and I had never made a chutney before.

Stacey Ingredients

The recipe was pretty straightforward and easy to make. Because the chutney takes an hour to simmer on the stove, I started that first by putting all the ingredients in a pot on medium-low heat. While that was simmering, I prepared the spinach muffin dough.

The “muffin” dough was very wet and very dense, and after baking it, I would classify the final product as a stuffing more than a muffin.

Once the chutney was finished simmering, I sampled it, and while I loved the flavor I did not like the texture (as I am not a fan of raisins, which was a main ingredient). So I took half of it and used an immersion blender to smooth it out. I loved the smoother chutney and used it in other dishes I made for dinner that week.

Stacey Two Chutneys

On its own, I felt the spinach muffin was very salty; the recipe called for one teaspoon of salt, and if I made this again I would go down to half a teaspoon of salt. Though pairing the spinach muffin with the sweet and savory chutney did help balance the saltiness in the muffin.

Stacey Final

Things I learned: Your home will smell amazing after simmering chutney for an hour on your stove. Even a good chutney can’t make me like raisins.

 

Jessie Frazier, Manager of Adult Programming:

In Lea’s recipe for Long Island Clam Pie, she references an interview that Pollock gave for a 1950 New Yorker story in which he recalled his and Krasner’s first year in Springs, living off of the sale of one painting and some clams that he dug out of the bay with his toes. True or not, it’s a pretty romantic story. Plus, I wanted to try my hand at cooking clams.

Jessie Ingredients

After scrubbing the recommended thirty-six clams and letting them rest in a brine to release their sand and grit, I steamed them for a few minutes in a Dutch oven with two cups of water. Word to the wise: do not let clams boil over. Terrible things happen.

Jessie Action Shot

I sautéed the chopped clam meat with a little onion and more than a little butter. Then I added peeled and chopped potatoes, flour, milk, lemon juice and zest, herbs, and some of the leftover clam juice for an extra punch. I poured the mixture into a *cough* store-bought pie dough, added a top crust, finished with an egg wash, and baked for forty minutes.

The creamy roux and potatoes made for a hearty pie, but the lemon and the parsley gave it a really light, refreshing flavor.

Jessie Final Pie

Things I learned: Next time I will increase the clams, decrease the lemon zest, and step up my pie decorating game.

 

Madeleine Fitzgerald, Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming:

I love to cook! But working for both DMA Arts & Letters Live and Adult Programming at the DMA means that I’m regularly not home in the evenings. So I chose a recipe that would be a full day’s affair for a Sunday dinner with my brother and his girlfriend! I have never roasted beef or made Yorkshire Pudding or gravy before, so I was pretty concerned and excited to see how things would turn out. Any recipe that starts with a giant steak stuffed with six cloves of garlic is already a winner in my book!

Madeleine Raw Steak

The recipe also called for twelve small onions, but that seemed like an insane amount of onions. Maybe Lee Krasner meant twelve pearl onions?! But I come from a family of onion lovers and that didn’t seem like enough. I decided to quarter four small regular onions instead.

Once the meat was browned on the outside, I transferred it to my pan filled with potatoes and onions. This was no easy task and required a pair of tongs, a wooden spoon, and help from the multi-armed goddess Shiva Nataraja. I tossed in some fresh rosemary from my balcony garden as well.

Madeleine Cooking Steak

After cooking for thirty-five minutes for medium-rare, the steak looked perfect: crispy on the outside, very pink on the inside. And my apartment smelled like rosemary and garlic. But I could already tell the potatoes and onions could use another ten minutes.

Madeleine Table

This section of the cookbook also had a recipe for Yorkshire pudding, which was fantastic! I used bacon grease instead of goose lard (because who has that in their kitchen?!), and they were smoky and delicious! I also made the gravy recipe (not pictured), but having never made gravy before, it wasn’t pretty. Tasted good, but quite lumpy. The recipe also suggested this meal be served with roasted Brussels sprouts, which are one of my favorite vegetables. I followed my mother’s recipe, which is essentially 1 part Brussels sprouts, 1 part garlic, 1 part olive oil, roasted at 425 for 20 minutes. DELICIOUS!

Madeleine Plate

Things I learned: Gravy is hard. Transferring a giant steak from a frying pan to a baking dish is also hard. Making your apartment smell amazing for the rest of the evening and feeding your family with a delicious and historical meal? Worth it.

Did we whet your appetite? Then please join us on Friday, March 18, at 9:00 p.m. to hear Robyn Lea discuss her cookbook Dinner with Jackson Pollock.

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

Source: MoMA.org

Mark Leonard is the Chief Conservator at the DMA.

Late Night Knock Out

Ushio Shinohara

This past Friday, artist Ushio Shinohara entered the artistic ring to create one of his Boxing Paintings out on the Museum’s Ross Avenue Plaza as part of our Late Night celebrating the opening of International Pop. Late Night visitors were able to experience his interactive painting style in which he uses paint-soaked sponges attached to boxing gloves to create his unique brand of action painting. If you missed Friday’s artist performance, you still have a chance to view four works by Shinohara in the International Pop exhibition on view through January 17, 2016.

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

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.


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