Archive for the 'Members' Category

Black and White: Pollock’s Breakthrough Paintings

Artifacts, the DMA Member magazine,  invited Jackson Pollock’s nephew Jason McCoy to share his thoughts on his uncle’s work on the eve of the DMA’s exclusive presentation of Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, which opens on Friday, November 20. We hope you are as delighted by his article as we were to publish it.

Breakthrough: Pollock’s Black Paintings
By Jason McCoy
Original publish date: Artifacts Fall 2015

Jackson Pollock, n.d. Photograph by Hans Namuth, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate

Jackson Pollock, n.d.
Photograph by Hans Namuth, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate

When DMA curator Gavin Delahunty first talked to me about his dream of organizing an exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s so-called Black and White paintings, I was of course intrigued but thought to myself “good luck.” It is notoriously difficult to organize any Pollock show, and I knew the paintings were scattered all over the world. But the good luck seems now to be ours—Gavin has pulled it all off and we have been given the great good fortune to be able to view the largest assemblage of these works together, ever. Jackson Pollock is one of the most recognizable names in modern art, but we generally associate the name not with a single image of a specific painting but rather with the idea of paintings that consist of masses of fine lines, skeined across the picture’s surface in seeming confusion.

I appreciate that the Blind Spots exhibition will present an additional view of Pollock’s oeuvre, the paintings that followed the so-called pourings. These paintings were yet another breakthrough for Jackson Pollock, because here he was able to convey the certainty and discipline of works that, for the most part, were made in one session. There is a clarity to the paintings, a minimalism and a simplicity that make it all look so easy and pre-ordained. Not so, of course, but what is revealed is a master’s ability to get it right the first time, and so let the paintings stand for themselves. They are a powerful, fascinating lot, crowned with one of my personal favorite paintings of all, Portrait and a Dream, a longtime resident of Dallas.

Blind Spots will enable all of us to reevaluate the breadth and depth of Pollock’s accomplishments. It will illuminate that there was most often a figurative element in all of Pollock’s paintings, as images of man or beast are easy to recognize in Pollock’s first gestures on the plane. We can recall a comment he made to this effect, that in these paintings the “figure is coming through.” Such recognizable forms in fact caused consternation with certain modernist critics at the time, who did not care to acknowledge less than fully abstract painting as being modern.

Blind Spots will also include examples of Pollock’s interest in scale. In 1951, with the help of his brother, Sanford McCoy, he chose six paintings not at all similar in size to be used in a suite of serigraphs, a selection of which are exhibited in this exhibition. With a computer today, this type of curiosity might seem obvious, but this was not the case sixty-five years ago.

Had Pollock stopped after his “drip paintings” of the late 1940s he would certainly still have his place in history. Rather, his creative drive was such that it continued to evolve in unexpected ways and cover new ground, as Blind Spots reveals, accentuating that Pollock’s gift was much more than one-dimensional.

Untitled, n.d., Photograph by Hans Namuth, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate

Untitled, n.d., Photograph by Hans Namuth, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
© 1991 Hans Namuth Estate

–Jason McCoy is President of Jason McCoy Gallery in New York.

For more stories like the one above, all of which were created exclusively for Artifacts, visit

(image: Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953, oil and enamel on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated © 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

Speakeasy Star

This Friday we’re traveling through the 20th century during Late Night with a different decade highlighted every hour. We asked one of our favorite costume gurus, Breanna Cooke (you may remember the amazing Greek Hero look she created inspired by The Body Beautiful), for tips on how to dress for a time traveling evening.

The evening kicks off with a tribute to the 1920s-30s, so here’s how you can make a flapper headband and then put together an outfit.


What you’ll need for the headband:

  • Long piece of sequined elastic, or stretch fabric, or other headband
  • Craft foam or a large button
  • Hot glue
  • Duct tape (optional)
  • Feathers
  • Bits of lace, ribbon, fringe
  • Rhinestones, buttons, brooches, or even pieces from broken earrings


  1. Make a headband
    Measure a piece of elastic or fabric to fit around your head. Then use hot glue, tape, or needle and thread to attach the ends together. If you’re taping or gluing it together, overlap the two ends. Don’t worry about the seam—you’ll glue your embellishment on top of it.


  1. Make an embellishment
    Using a small circle of craft foam (or a large button) as a base, start gluing rhinestones, sequins, and buttons on top. Get creative and use what you have lying around at home. Then glue some feathers or fringe to the back of your craft foam base.



  1. Put it together
    Using hot glue, attach your embellishment to your headband. Be sure to stick it on top of the seam to hide it.

Ideas to complete the outfit

  • Gloves
  • Feather boa
  • Long string of pearls (Hint: Mardi Gras beads work great! If you don’t have the right color, just paint them with spray paint or acrylic paints)
  • Sleeveless dress
  • Black fishnet stockings

For the gentlemen
It’s still hot in Texas, but a suit is a great accompaniment to your flapper friends. Find a bow tie, grab your fedora, shine your shoes, and we’ll see you at the DMA!

Once you have your costumes complete, come kick up your heels with the Matt Tolentino Band, who will be performing songs from the roaring 20s and 30s at 6:00 p.m. Check out the full night’s lineup online at

Breanna Cooke is a Graphic Designer, Costume Creator, and Body Painter living in Dallas. To see more of her work, visit Check out progress photos of her latest projects on Facebook.

Plumed Preview

DMA members are able to preview exhibitions before the official openings and this past week our members were able to get a sneak peek at the new exhibition The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico. Below are a few photos from the preview days, be sure to visit the exhibition now through November 25.

Photography by Adam Gingrich, the Marketing Administrative Assistant at the Dallas Museum of Art

All That Jazz

Friday, March 2nd Dallas Museum of Art members celebrated the Youth & Beauty: Art of the American Twenties in style. The evening included a 20’s themed costume contest, an introduction of the exhibition, dance lessons, and more! We thought we would share some of our favorite shots from the evening.

Show off your twenties outfits tonight at our Roaring Twenties Late Night!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Wendi Kavanaugh is the Member Outreach Manager at the Dallas Museum of Art

French Twist: An Intern Abroad

The Dallas Museum of Art offers a variety of internships throughout the year in various departments. This past July, Amandine Marchal joined the Development Department. Marchal hails from Montbéliard, in Franche-Comté (eastern France) and is currently studying business at the French School, HEC Paris. We tracked her down to discuss her experience at the DMA.

Describe your internship in fifty words or less?
I am a Development intern at the DMA and occasionally I assist other departments (such as Marketing and Education). I am mainly working on the Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. I keep some of the special events’ invitation lists and help organize those events.

What might an average day entail?
Every day is really different. Some days I add people to the invitation lists, other days I add information about the DMA’s works of art online, order linens and flowers for lunches, and make reservations for group tours of our collection. It is very varied!

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?
The best part of this internship is that I work with so many people and do so many different things. It’s also quite a challenge because it requires a good deal of organization! But I really wanted to have a good overview of how a museum works, and I feel like I have a better understanding after interning at the DMA.

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Has interning at the DMA changed your career path in any way?
I started with business studies in France and saw myself working in publishing houses. Last year, I began taking art history courses (or lessons in history of art, as we say in France). My internship at the DMA has really made me reconsider my career path. I will certainly keep learning about art and consider any museum job opportunities when I finish my studies.

What is your favorite work in the Museum’s collection?
It’s hard to choose. I would say it is Edward Hopper’s Lighthouse Hill. He is one of the first American painters that I discovered, and I love his paintings’ atmosphere. But I love to hang around the European floor and see the incredible Monet, Vernet, and Courbet paintings; they remind me of France.

How did you find out about an internship at the Dallas Museum of Art?

I wanted to find an internship in the United States, and in a cultural field. I learned that one of my fellow students at HEC (Adrien Lenoir) was doing an internship at the DMA, and I applied too. I really wanted to go to Dallas because it seemed so unusual for a French student to have an internship here! And Adrien was so enthusiastic about his own internship and the kindness of the people at the DMA that I didn’t hesitate.

What advice would you give to other students looking for an international internship?
I would tell them not to fear the “language barrier”; they will get used to talking in English. People are very patient and nice about our mistakes. An international internship is actually an incredible experience, and a way to meet extraordinary people. So don’t hesitate!

What has been your favorite Dallas experience thus far?
I was amazed by the 4th of July parades! In France people don’t celebrate Bastille Day this way. It was a very fun and unusual thing to see for me. Now I am looking forward to seeing some Halloween parties!

Member Appreciation Week

The DMA’s third annual Member Appreciation Week (MAW) is less than a month away. Each year we set aside one week to celebrate our members! Membership contributions are vital to the Museum’s operations, allowing us to present exquisite special exhibitions and rich multidisciplinary programming like Late Nights. The Dallas Museum of Art is extraordinary because of the generosity and investment of its members.

We’ve added a couple of days to this year’s MAW so that we can incorporate the opening of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk. Over twenty events are planned during these nine days, which was no easy feat, and there is something that will appeal to all of our members. Some of the week’s highlights include:

  • Member previews of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – Preparation for the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition has been in the works for months, but we reserved time for our members to have the opportunity to view the exhibition prior to the November 13 public opening.
  • Arts & Letters Live special lecture: Vincent van Gogh and Jackson Pollock: Changing What Art Is – Authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith will discuss their new book Van Gogh: The Life as well as the similarities they found between Vincent van Gogh and Jackson Pollock, on Monday, November 14. Members will be able to attend this event free (to make reservations click here), and I’m taking this night off so that I can enjoy my membership benefits!
  • Story Time – Every summer the education department sends an e-mail to staff members asking who wants to read books during Story Time. I’m always one of the first to volunteer to read a children’s story in one of the collection galleries. It is a popular event with families and we want to offer our members this experience in the fall. After the story, we talk about the art. Hearing children tell me about their experience with art is one of the highlights of my job!
  • 20% off in the Museum Store – who doesn’t love a good sale! The extra 20% is just in time to start your holiday shopping.

For a full list of events, visit Events for Members. Don’t forget to stop by the Member Services Desk to introduce yourself so that we can thank you in person! For information on how to become a member, call 214-922-1247 or visit

Wendi Kavanaugh is the Member Outreach Manager at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Membership Miles

At the Dallas Museum of Art we are often asked, “Why should I join?” A membership allows you to enjoy all that the Museum has to offer all year long, while supporting your local arts. There are many reasons to be a member at the DMA, and one of the exciting perks this year will be tickets to the upcoming exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

Because it’s hard for us to pick our favorites, we invited a few members to share their thoughts on what makes being a DMA member special. Do you see your favorite listed below? If not, we would love to hear from you!

• Free admission
• Supporting the Museum’s collection
• “It’s a place that I can take my grandson to; it’s fun for both of us.”—Shari, member since 2006
• Free lectures
• “The discounts to Arts & Letters Live. We loved David Sedaris.”—Kenneth,  member since 1996
• “Free parking and access to jazz programs”—Stockton, member since 2009
• Discounts in the Museum Store and on dining (the store discount is most popular with children under 10, who can always find something they can’t leave without)
• Reciprocal membership to over 500 museums
• Subscription to the Dallas Museum of Art Magazine
• “I know about things before they happen and stay in tune with new things in Dallas”—Liz, member since 2008

Wendi Kavanaugh is the Membership Outreach Manager at the Dallas Museum of Art.

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