Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

At an arms length

Are selfies a form of art? With the advent of the front facing camera, the digital age’s self portrait was born. Whether seeking social approval, documenting travels, or not wanting anyone to be left out of the picture, selfies give us a snapshot of life’s many moments. Much like paint and brush, filters, and editing apps allow one to dictate how the world see them. Genuine and doctored images are now so seamlessly intertwined that society is left to their own interpretations. Sound familiar?  How many times have you felt differently about a work of art than the person next to you?

Whether you are a proponent of selfies or adversely opposed, you have to admire the forethought and skill involved in taking the perfect one. Has the 45 degree upward tilt been achieved, the most flattering light found, and the perfect filter picked? Not to mention the caption, is it vague or descriptive? Like the text on a label, does it leave one wanting more or fully informed?

This National Selfie Day try your hand (literally) at this art form in the DMA. We promise plenty of beautiful backgrounds, ambient light, and free WiFi, all for your selfie taking adventures.

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

A Curator’s Best Days

In celebration of Paul Gauguin’s birthday today, we thought we would revisit one of Uncrated’s first blogs from August 2010 exploring the conservation work on the DMA’s “Under the Pandanus” painting by Gauguin.

Dallas Museum of Art Uncrated

The best days in a curator’s professional life are often the days spent in the conservation lab. That’s where we get to spend quality time with works of art and talk to conservators, the fantastically knowledgeable people who can look through a microscope or infrared scope and tell you the life history of an object. I was lucky enough to spend several hours in the painting conservation lab of the Midwestern Art Conservation Center (MACC), a private conservation center housed at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). I was there to confer with conservator David Marquis just before he begins cleaning an important painting in the DMA’s collections, Paul Gauguin’s Under the Pandanus, also known by its Maori title I Raro Te Oviri.

Gauguin painted Under the Pandanus in 1891, a few months after he arrived in Tahiti for the first time.  Sometime later, possibly the next year…

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The Golden Age on the Silver Screen

This summer, as part of our México 1900-1950 exhibition, we are celebrating Mexico’s Golden Age of Mexican cinema with free screenings of some of the era’s most beloved and acclaimed films. I asked Alex Garcia Topete, Lead Programmer for Latino and International Programming with The Dallas International Film Festival, to share a few words about what makes this period of film so special and how these films continue to impact filmmaking today. Here’s what he had to say:

What is the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and what is its legacy in the history of film?
It’s the period between the late 30s and late 50s when Mexico became a powerhouse of cinema because of the quality of talent, technical achievements, and overall success of the now-classic films. Without the Mexican Golden Age, there would be no Scorsese, no Spielberg, no Coppola. It also established many of the stars and characters that are worldwide icons of Mexico since then.

Salón México, 1949

What are some of the recurring themes and genres of films made during this period?
First and foremost, strong women are one of the constants. Even when the female lead may be a damsel waiting for her lover, she would still be the one in control and driving the narrative in most Golden Age films. The theme of family and duty also appears a lot, thanks to the changing social mores of the era. In terms of genre, the “ranch comedy” surged—funny or romantic stories that happen in rural settings, kind of a subdued western; however, every major genre had a presence in the Golden Age: film noir, screwball, musicals, biblical epics, you-name-it!

La Perla (The Pearl), 1947

What do you think modern day audiences might like about these films?
Modern audiences will appreciate the universality of the Golden Age films. Yes, they’re all emblematic of what “Mexico” means and what a lot of people think of when they hear that, but the stories and characters are all timeless and universal. Yearning lovers, matriarchs, funny goofballs—the Golden Age presented the whole world in the setting of Mexico.

What are a couple of your favorites and why?
Ahí está el Detalle is one of my favorite comedies because it was the beginning of the legacy of Cantiflas, Mexico’s Charlie Chaplin; Los Olvidados and El Ángel Exterminador because they’re Luis Buñuel at his most masterful; and Los Tres García because it’s a milestone bringing together three of the biggest stars of Mexican cinema. I could go on and on.

Check out a full lineup of film screenings at DMA.org, and don’t miss your chance to see these classics on the big screen.

Jessie Frazier is the Manager of Adult Programming at the DMA.

Nesting

This week, we open the new and improved Arturo’s Nest in our Center for Creative Connections (C3)! The old play areas and design were so well loved that it was time to refresh and re-imagine this beloved play-learning space for our youngest visitors. The Exhibitions team and I had the pleasure of collaborating with the Education Department to come up with a fresh design that harmonizes with the updated Young Learner’s Gallery just around the corner in C3.

Some of the changes we made include installing new carpet (with giant polka-dots) to help with ambient sound, and applying a brand-new landscape to the walls, courtesy of our Exhibitions Graphic Designer, Kevin Parmer. We’ve added a nightscape to a previously plain wall, which adds to the calming and enveloping charm of this space. For our design team, this project was a playful departure from the many ongoing exhibition design projects in the Museum galleries.

Material samples used in the Arturo’s Nest redesign

There will be a new “nest” structure (coming soon) that will also function as a reading nook, and the daytime landscape will be dotted with interactives that engage our youngest visitors’ budding aesthetic sensibilities. We invite you to explore Arturo’s Nest upon its reopening!

Arturo’s Nest space before

Arturo’s Nest space after

Skye Malish-Olson is the Exhibition Designer at the DMA.

Visions of America

What do Paul Revere and Andy Warhol have in common? Seemingly nothing, right? Wrong. Both of these men, who are equally renowned for different reasons, were also American artists (yes, the Paul Revere “The British are coming” fellow) responsible for depicting important moments in the nation’s history through prints. This Sunday, May 28, their works will be joined at the DMA by others from greats such as James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, John Marin, Jackson Pollock, Louise Nevelson, Romare Bearden, Robert Rauschenberg, Chuck Close, Jenny Holzer, Kara Walker, and many more.

Politics in an Oyster-House

Michele Fanoli, after Richard Caton Woodville, Politics in an Oyster-House, 1851, hand-colored lithograph, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Corcoran Collection (Gift of the Estate of William Woodville, VIII)

Just in time for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Visions of America: Three Centuries of Prints from the National Gallery of Art takes a look at how America and its people have been represented in prints made by American and non-American artists between 1710 and 2010. As the final venue of a four-city international tour and the only other US venue, the DMA will present more than 150 outstanding prints from the colonial era to the present, drawn exclusively from the National Gallery of Art’s collection.

Lose yourself in the nation’s spacious skies and amber waves of grain through September 3, 2017.

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

Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being

At Late Night this Friday journalist and author Susana Martínez Vidal will speak about her beautiful new book, Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being, which looks at the iconic and carefully curated style of Frida Kahlo and the artist’s lasting influence in the worlds of fashion and art. Before her visit, I asked the author to share a few insights about this project.

Frida Kahlo Cover 3D crop

What inspired you to write a book about Frida Kahlo?

During the almost 18 years that I headed EllE Spain and attended international fashion shows, I saw Frida walk by on innumerable occasions, interpreted in diverse ways by the greatest designers in the world: Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Lacroix, Kenzo, all have paid homage to her.  Countless times I witnessed her influence in music, film, and in the best international fashion magazines.  The most famous actresses, models, and singers have evoked her: Monica Belluci, Naomi Cambell, Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, Beyoncé, Madonna, Patti Smith, Cold Play.

In 1993 Frida Kahlo inspired the first fashion shoot I published as the director of EllE.  Through the eye of Canadian photographer Michel Pérez, actress and model Patricia Velásquez, the exotic beauty for “The Mummy” saga (who along with Frida shares indigenous heritage), was transformed in an Aztec princess. Years later, I was impacted by the spring collection of the great Jean Paul Gaultier, the first of the major designers to evoke her.

It powerfully attracted my attention that a woman who was half indigenous and was not from a first world country nor from show business (she wasn’t an actress, singer, or dancer) had gatecrashed into ranking among the most iconic women of the 20th century, next to Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy or Maria Callas.

In 2012, shortly after relocating to live in Mexico, the Huffington Post asked me to write a blog about the exposition of Frida Kahlo’s clothing that had recently opened.  Seeing this fantastic showcase in the Casa Azul Museum, I started to remember all the images of Frida from the runways and decided that the subject deserved to be explored more profoundly.  At the end of the article I expressed my desire that one day a book would speak to the influence of Frida Kahlo on fashion.  It was a challenge I gave myself to dare myself to take the step.  For months the article was one of the most read on Huffington Post, and this convinced me that Frida lived even though she had died more that half a century prior.   Frida Kahlo: Fashion As the Art of Being is the realization of that dream.

Frida Book 2 crop

In your opinion, what is the biggest lesson Frida taught us about fashion, art, or life?

Her determination to transform pain into beauty, while being an imperfect beauty, motivated her to build an image that she cared for and cultivated in order to elevate her self-esteem. She used fashion like therapy, emphasizing her defects to develop her own hallmark image and identity. The more pain she was in, the greater she made herself up. At the end of her life she dressed as if going to a party.

Her fans applaud her paintings because they admire her story, and therefore you cannot separate her life from her work. Like Stephen W. Hawking, she is someone who knew how to transform her limitations into opportunities. In both situations, their disabilities have transformed in aids that encourage them to focus on there abilities. Certainly, she was her finest work of art.

Frida in Gallery 01

Do you see the fashion world’s appropriation of her style as honoring her, exoticizing her–both?

Perhaps both: Fashion has resurrected Mrs. Kahlo, to give her the glory she didn´t have during her life.

Since the beginning, the idea of the book has been to show the influence of Frida Kahlo in contemporary fashion and pop culture and why she continues to appear so modern in the 21st century.

My objective has been to unravel fashion’s constant obsession with Frida Kahlo, despite being a field which by definition is always in constant motion, and decipher why it is that her style continues to provoke an irrepressible appeal the world over.

Frida in Gallery 02

Join Susana Martínez Vidal this Friday for talks in both English and Spanish and pick up a copy of Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being, available for purchase in the DMA store.

And let Frida inspire your own fashion – come dressed like Frida Kahlo on May 19 and your Late Night ticket will be $5.

Jessie Frazier is Manager of Adult Programming at the Dallas Museum of Art.

The DMA Test Kitchen

This Friday, author, artist, and editor Natalie Eve Garrett will be here to discuss The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook which features intimate, funny, and heartbreaking stories paired with recipes from some of the most brilliant creative minds of our time.

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 featured in the book. You can find our other cooking attempts here, here, and here.

Madeleine Fitzgerald, Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming:

I couldn’t resist choosing Alice Hoffman’s Grandmother’s Recipe for Life (also known as potato soup) for a couple of reasons. First of all, my mother’s potato soup has literal healing powers. Anytime one of my family members or friends had surgery, my mother and I would make the Famous Magical Potato Soup and by morning you would miraculously feel better. I knew going into this that nothing would beat my own mother’s recipe, not even Alice Hoffman’s grandmother’s recipe. There’s no way this soup could be more magical than my mother’s. Even if it’s from the writer of Practical Magic.

This recipe called for very few ingredients, and three of them were garlic, onion, and leeks. Nothing compliments potatoes better than onions and garlic! Also, any recipe that calls for wine is a friend of mine.

First you chop the trifecta of the onion family. It’s important to spend a sold 5 minutes admiring and photographing the geometric shape and bright green color of the leeks.

In a heavy saucepan, melt an entire stick of butter, the onion, lots of garlic, and leeks and cook until soft and starting to caramelize.

While you stir for about 10-15 minutes, open the wine early and pour yourself a glass (especially in a cute DMA wine glass!).

Then chop up the potatoes and toss them in as well. The recipe said to sauté for 7 minutes, but I wanted them to get some brown crispy spots on them before adding in the liquid (caramelization equals flavor!), so I actually let them cook for about 20 minutes before adding chicken stock, wine, salt, and lots of pepper. I poured a second glass of wine here.

The recipe does not tell you how long to cook the soup once you add the liquid. The last step is literally “Hope for the best.” I cooked it for about 20 more minutes until potatoes were cooked through and the starches in the potatoes naturally thickened the soup.

I garnished with some homegrown chives and more pepper (and maybe another splash or two of wine). I liked the soup just fine, but it needed more than just potatoes and onions.

Things I Learned: Next time I’ll add a lot more veggies: corn, peas, carrots, and even chicken or bacon. This soup was very creamy, even without any actual milk, cream, or cheese, which my mom uses heavily in her recipe. And this is why, for me, my mom’s recipe will always be better than Alice Hoffman’s grandmother’s.

 

Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services:

I decided to make the Kentucky Pizza because I am always on the lookout for a new pizza crust recipe and I was curious what zucchini and squash would add, texture-wise, to a pizza.

When I have made pizza dough before, the recipes usually call for you to let the dough rest for two hours, giving the yeast time to do its job. This recipe calls for a 24 hour resting period. So I made the dough on a Saturday in preparation for a Sunday pizza dinner.

This recipe also mentioned using a pizza stone – and while I normally make my pizzas on a sheet pan I thought I would treat myself to a pizza stone and a pizza sheet (used to transfer your pizza to and from the hot stone).

After preparing all my ingredients – shredding the smoked mozzarella and cooking the vegetables – I assembled my pizza on the pizza sheet.

I used plenty of corn meal and flour on the pizza sheet to make sure it wouldn’t stick and could slide right off on to the hot stone…but apparently I did not use enough. As I ended up with this:

Needless to say, my Sunday pizza dinner ended up being this:

Things I learned: When you are trying out a new kitchen tool, like a pizza stone, you maybe should do a few test runs before trying a recipe that will be featured on a blog.

 

Jessie Frazier, Manager of Adult Programming:

I’ve always found it kind of magical when a recipe makes strange ingredients tasty, so the editor’s own contribution to the cookbook, Disgustingly Good Cookies, caught my eye.

The recipe begins with chickpeas, drained, dried, and chopped in a food processor until they form a fluffy and surprisingly dough-like consistency. I added peanut butter, honey, vanilla, banana, and baking powder to the mix and finished it off with dark chocolate chips. I’m ashamed to say I was not brave enough to try the raw dough.

After scooping gobs of dough onto a cookie sheet and pressing them with a fork, I topped each cookie with a pinch of sea salt and put them into a 350 degree oven for about 13 minutes.

The flavor is nutty, oaty, just sweet enough, and thankfully not reminiscent of chickpeas. The texture is more akin to no-bake energy bites than crispy, ooey gooey cookies. These are not the indulgent cookies that I would eat while binge-watching Netflix. They are the ones I would put in my gym bag for a boost of energy before spin class, if I went to spin class.

Things I Learned: I still want to eat real cookies. But I’m glad to add this trick to my repertoire.

 

Katie Cooke, Manager of Adult Programming:

I was drawn to Francesca Lia Block’s Apple “Betty” recipe at first because I would be able to eat baked apples and call it work. And second, because of the beautiful, but sad poem that went along with it. The early stanzas call for white tapers, a crystal, and a plastic horse. I hope everyone will be okay with my substitutions of white tea candles and a tuxedo cat.

This recipe is about as simple as it gets, all I needed was flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, butter, and 4 apples. I’m always happy with a recipe that calls for things that I already have in my pantry.

You combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, easy enough. And then I went to work peeling the 4 gala apples. The recipe called for sweet or tart apples. I honestly do not know what the best apple is for baking, but gala apples are usually pretty sweet, so I chose them! After peeling the apples I cut them into quarters and pared them. To be honest, I think I may have cut them a little thinner than I should, but they were all uniform and isn’t that what really matters in the end? I’m going to tell myself, yes.

After all that cutting you throw the apples in the buttered pie pan. You melt the “cube of butter”, that is all it said in the recipe, so I used my best judgment. You melt it and mix that into the dry ingredients and then scoop it evenly onto the apples. I covered the pie pan with foil and baked it for 15 minutes then removed the foil and baked it for half an hour. It smelled amazing while it baked, 10 out of 10 for smell alone.

The first reaction I had was that the topping was good, but that was probably due to the clumps of warm, brown sugar. I wanted there to be cinnamon or nutmeg, some other flavor to really bring out the apple’s sweetness. But, for a recipe that I could make pretty much any day, at a moment’s notice, AND have Blue Bell ice cream, I was a happy camper.

Things I learned: Warm, baked apples should still count as a serving of fruit, even when there’s ice cream involved. Also, it’s great when a recipe is simple, but expect the taste to be on the simple side.

 

Please join us on Friday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. to hear Natalie Eve Garrett discuss The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes.


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