Posts Tagged 'Cornelis Saftleven'

30-Minute Dash: Eric Zeidler

Because we offer free general admission, visitors often pop in for a few minutes when they are in the Dallas Arts District. Our Visitor Services team is frequently asked this question: “What would you recommend seeing if you only had thirty minutes to visit the Museum?” We thought it would be fun to pose this tough question to DMA staffers from different departments to see what they consider to be among the highlights. First up is Eric Zeidler, our Publications Manager:

If a visitor had thirty minutes and accepted me as a guide, I would take them to many galleries to highlight multiple works in the collection, starting with the African galleries on Level 3.


My favorite stops include the Fang reliquary guardian figure. It is so riveting and perfectly carved, I can never get my fill of looking at it. Another work to visit is the Songye female power figure with her sheen (she exudes the oil with which she has been anointed down through the years) and that unnerving grin. I can well imagine her exerting a beneficent or malefic power, depending on the inner qualities of those who come into contact with her. Last stop in this gallery would have to be the Djennenke/Soninke figure, with her protuberant eyes and spare, almost angular, elegance.


Continuing our tour on Level 3 in the Arts of Asia gallery includes time to take in the serene Buddha Muchalinda. I love his canopy of naga heads and the fascinating expressiveness of his lips. The Vajrabhairava, with its horns and fangs and union of ecstatic abandon with higher truth, is always a must see, as is the sensuously provocative celestial female with that scorpion on her thigh. And finally we would visit the Vishnu as Varaha, with its diagonal lines and the redoubtable tusks and snout.


We would then dash downstairs to the European galleries on Level 2 to look at a large selection of some of my favorite works, starting with Paul Signac’s neoimpressionist masterpiece Comblat-le-Château, the Meadow (Le Pré), Opus 161. We would then continue on to Paul Sérusier’s Celtic Tale, which partly reminds me of Paul Gauguin but also has symbolist elements reminiscent of Javanese-Dutch artist Jan Toorop, with whom (for me) its imagery has luminous affinities. Next would be Piet Mondrian’s Farm Near Duivendrecht, in the Evening, with its low light, reminds me of Dahl’s Frederiksborg Castle, on view around the corner (it makes me wish that we could acquire some Atkinson Grimshaw canvases), and a quick look at Hans Hofmann’s expressive masterpiece Untitled (Yellow Table on Green).


Going down the other side of the European galleries, I would point out the nice little Still-life with Fruit by Emilie Preyer; Sir Joshua Reynolds’ commanding Portrait of Miss Mary Pelham (she has such a penetrating stare, which for me suggests a certain formidable willfulness); the gorgeous still-life Basket of Flowers by Beert the Elder, with its petals lying strewn on a tabletop; and my beloved College of Animals by Cornelis Saftleven. I think this work, beyond its allegorical subtleties and its charm for all those who love animals, is a beautifully painted canvas, and I love studying its various striking details.


I would also take a quick trip to the Level 4 to see the Dust Bowl and other Texas paintings, which show that beauty can be found amidst stark desolation, and the Navajo eye-dazzler blanket, which is a pleasure to gaze upon. We would end our whirlwind tour with the fascinating little painting by Roberto Montenegro, The Shell, one of my favorite works in the entire collection.

Follow Uncrated to catch the next DMA Dash and more behind-the-scenes scoops. Visit our collection online anytime here.

 Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar, Exhibitions at the DMA.

Dressed to the Nines: Canine Couture and Fashionista Felines

Last year the DMA pets took to the catwalk for Dress Your Pet Up Day, which is held every January 14. We had such a paws-itive response that we couldn’t wait to get our fashion hounds ready for their close ups once again. DMA staff and their furry pals took inspiration from the DMA’s collection and delivered some on trend looks that will get your tails WAGging.

Sabby_Marlo Pascual
DMA Staffer: Mandy Engleman, Director of Creative Services
DMA Pet: Sabrina, Bassador (Basset Hound/Yellow Lab), age 6 1/2
Portrait Inspiration: Marlo Pascual, Untitled, 2009
I’ve always been fascinated with Sabby’s short little legs and big paws, and when I saw the Pascual photo I knew we had to re-create this artistic still life. However, due to her short/long stature, a lounging pose was required!

panda 3
DMA Staffer: Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services
DMA Pet: Parker (he belongs to my parents but I borrowed him when I was home for Christmas), English Springer Spaniel, age 1
Portrait Inspiration: Banquete chair with pandas, Fernando Campana and Humberto Campana, designed 2006
With Parker being a black-and-white Springer, my mind went immediately to the banquete chair with pandas in our collection. Since it was cost prohibitive to buy a lot of stuffed pandas to place around Parker in a chair shape, my mom made a panda bear quilt with fabric we found online, which we then draped over a chair before posing Parker in it.

John_George
DMA Staffer: Amanda Blake, Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences
DMA Pet: George Costanza, West Highland White Terrier, age 8
Portrait Inspiration: John Singleton Copley, Woodbury Langdon, 1767
Dress Your Pet Up Day provided George with the perfect excuse to invite Chloe over for a play date. Even though he is a rough and tumble type of dog, he knows when to bring on the charm and put his best paw forward like Woodbury. (While George has many talents, holding a westie stamped document isn’t one of them. Amanda created a lifelike paw for his shoot).

Chloe_Sarah
DMA Staffer: Kimberly Daniell, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs
DMA Pet: Chloe (she is actually my roommate’s dog. I dog-napped her for the photo shoot), West Highland Terrier, age 9
Portrait Inspiration: John Singleton Copley, Sarah Sherburne Langdon, 1767
Chloe and George have been discussing portrait options since last January to create a team for this year’s Dress Your Pet Up Day. The perfect pair for this westie duo were the Langdons, though George took to his sophisticated background much more easily than Chloe. She hasn’t adjusted to the nouveau riche lifestyle of the Langdons.

Captain Charles_Nandi
DMA Staffer: Fran Baas, Associate Conservator
DMA Pet: Captain Charles, Domestic Shorthair (very handsome Tuxedo with many admirers), age 4
Portrait Inspiration: Nandi, c. 13th century, South India
A cat can be a difficult model. Since I am the objects conservator here at the DMA, I wanted to choose one of the many fabulous sculptures from the collection that are currently on view. The Nandi bull, the bull that serves as mount and gatekeeper for the god Shiva, was an obvious choice by my dear Captain for several reasons: reclining, an “immature” bull, a protector, and adored by many. He didn’t really want to wear the floral garland trim and thought it was something to play with. His usual “reclining” pose went out the door.

Fidel_Georgia O'Keeffe
DMA Staffer: Jessica Fuentes, The Center for Creative Connections Gallery Coordinator
DMA Pet: Fidel, short-haired Chihuahua, age 3
Portrait Inspiration: Georgia O’Keeffe, Grey Blue & Black—Pink Circle, 1929
Georgia O’Keeffe is one of my daughter’s favorite artists and Grey Blue & Black – Pink Circle is my favorite O’Keeffe in the Museum’s collection. My original idea was to attach colored fabric to my dogs’ harnesses and capture them running in circles; however, Nene did not want to participate, so I was left with one Chihuahua who didn’t want to run around solo. So I improvised. I set the camera for a longer exposure setting, stood above Fidel, and twisted the camera as I took my photograph, blurring the colors around him.

Baxter_Pietro Bellotti
DMA Staffer: Laura Hartman, Paintings Conservator
DMA Pet: Baxter, Bulldog, age 7
Portrait Inspiration: Pietro Bellotti, Old Pilgrim, c. 1660s-1670s
Baxter has always looked like an old man, even as a puppy. He captures the feeling of this painting very well, but he would not cooperate and wear a beard.

Sampspn_Piet Mondrian
DMA Staffer: Maegan Hoffmann, Assistant Manager of DMA Partners Program
DMA Pet: Sampson, American Long Hair Kitty-Snuggle-Study-Buddy-Cat, age 6
Portrait Inspiration: Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray, 1921
Sampson adores boxes and loves to hang out inside them. When I saw Mondrian’s piece Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray, I just knew Sampson would love to participate in the work by transforming the flat 2D plane of the work into a 3D box of De Stijl art! Sampson is mostly white and black and gray with pops of color, like the ginger in his fur or the green in his eyes, similar (but not exactly) to Mondrian’s pieces during the De Stijl movement that focused on the use of primary colors and cubist influence. Mondrian believed that “all things are parts of a whole,” and Sampson definitely completes my existence.

animals 2
DMA Staffer: Reagan Duplisea, Associate Registrar, Exhibitions
DMA Pet: Mosey, Florida Brown Dog, age 10
Portrait Inspiration: Cornelis Saftleven, College of Animals, 1655
Mosey was inspired by her four-legged scholar friends in the College of Animals to brush up on her humanities in order to be a well-rounded canine companion. The cat (not pictured despite many attempts) claimed that she knew all that was worth knowing in life and much preferred napping to studying, thank you very much.

danielle 2
DMA Staffer: Danielle Schulz, Teaching Specialist
DMA Pet: Bella (Lab/Collie mix), Ruby (Lab/Retriever/Pointer mix), Kitty (Bombay), ages 2, 3, and 4
Portrait Inspiration: Louise Nevelson, Diminishing Reflections VIII (Left & Right), 1964
I wanted to play upon the animals’ color, as all three are entirely, or almost entirely, black. It therefore seemed fitting to take inspiration from sculptor Louise Nevelson’s monochromatic, abstract wooden forms.

Annie_Figure of a woman
DMA Staffer: Fran Baas, Associate Conservator
DMA Pet: Annie, Domestic Shorthair (lovely gray-white with captivating golden eyes), age 4
Portrait Inspiration: Figure of a woman, Roman Empire, 2nd century A.D.
Again, a cat is a very difficult model. Annie wanted nothing to do with the soft drapery chosen to mimic the exquisitely carved marble drapery depicted in the ancient Roman figure of a woman. Like the noblewoman depicted, Annie typically radiates nobility and grace (until you try to cover her with fabric).

emma
DMA Staffer: Emma Vernon, Manager of the DMA Partners Program
DMA Pet: Semiramis (Mirie), Shih-tzu/Poodle, age 10 months
Portrait Inspiration: William Wetmore Story, Semiramis, designed 1872, carved 1873
I chose Semiramis because she is Mirie’s namesake! I’ve always loved this gorgeous statue and the thrilling story of the ambitious Assyrian queen it represents. Mirie is still very much a puppy, so she may not be as graceful, but she certainly has the moxie!

Visit the DMA’s collection galleries, included in free general admission, to find inspiration for your pet’s high fashion and share your photos: #DressYourPetUp.

Images: Marlo Pascual, Untitled, 2009, digital C-print, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund, © Marlo Pascual; Fernando Campana, Humberto Campana, Banquete chair with pandas, designed 2006, stuffed animals on steel base, Dallas Museum of Art, DMAamfAR Benefit Auction Fund; John Singleton Copley, Woodbury Langdon, 1767, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.; John Singleton Copley, Sarah Sherburne Langdon, 1767, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.; Nandi, South India, c. 13th century, granite, Dallas Museum of Art, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund and gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation; Georgia O’Keeffe, Grey Blue & Black—Pink Circle, 1929, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, © The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Pietro Bellotti, Old Pilgrim, c. 1660s-1670s, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation; Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray, 1921, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. James H. Clark, © 2015 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust, c/o HCR International Washington DC; Cornelis Saftleven, College of Animals, 1655, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation; Louise Nevelson, Diminishing Reflections VIII (Left & Right), 1964, painted wood, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift, © Estate of Louise Nevelson/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Figure of a woman, Roman Empire, 2nd century A.D., marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil H. Green; William Wetmore Story, Semiramis, designed 1872, carved 1873, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Morynne and Robert E. Motley in memory of Robert Earl Motley, Jr., 1942-1998

Amanda Blake is Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences and Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA.

iMuseum: iCame, iSaw, iDid

Next week our September Late Night will be our “iMuseum 2.0” event, where visitors can use technology to explore the DMA and participate in new, interactive programs. You will be able to text a work of art with your questions, listen to the winner of our Be Our Main Stage Act contest, go on a Choose Your Own Adventure tour, have conversations with our curators in the galleries, go on our Twitter Treasure Hunts, and more!

Here are just a few of the new programs we will be offering on September 21:

Text a Work of Art
Do you sometimes wonder what a work of art is thinking or feeling? Well now you can find out when you text a work of art your question and get a response! There will be three works of art answering your questions throughout the night, including Cornelis Saftleven’s College of Animals, so start thinking of your questions.

Cornelis Saftleven, “College of Animals,” 1655, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation

Silent Soundtrack
Visitors will be able to check out a pair of headphones, provided by Austin Silent Disco, se -up with three different music channels. Each channel will have a soundtrack picked by DMA staff for a specific gallery. After you listen to our choices, we invite you to share your own ideas about the music you would choose to accompany a gallery or work of art.

Personal Tours
Check out a docent for a personal thirty-minute tour of two to three works in the DMA’s collection. Choose from themes like Love & Lust, Big & Small, Land & Sea, Work & Play, Secrets & Stories, Gods & Heroes, or Good & Bad. Docents will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

One of the works you will hear about on your personal tour.
Mask, Mexico, state of Veracruz, Rio Pesquero, Gulf Coast Olmec culture c. 900-500 B.C., jadeite, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott and The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Art Trivia
Do you know how many paintings by Gerald Murphy are in the DMA’s collection? If so, participate on your own or bring a group of friends and play as a team, in our Art Trivia contest. There will be several rounds and the winners of each round will win great prizes!

Gerald Murphy, “Razor,” 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Picture This – Part Deux

Over a year ago, the Dallas Museum of Art sent  College of Animals by Cornelis Saftleven (1607-1681) to a conservator for cleaning and minor repair. With the grime removed from the Dutch artist’s enigmatic composition, it was the perfect time to do a bit more. So we replaced the thin, unadorned gilt frame that formerly surrounded the canvas with one more in keeping with the sort preferred by Dutch artists working during Saftleven’s time. Seventeenth-century Netherlandish artists typically favored a waffle or ripple style molding frame. These darkly painted wooden frames that simulated ebony are decorated with several rows carved in a zigzag design, and often have a reverse ogee profile.  A few months ago, the DMA purchased a period Dutch frame that has all of these design elements from a Parisian dealer. Now that Saftleven’s College of Animals is back from the conservator and has an appropriate frame, it is once again on view in the European galleries for everyone to enjoy!

The simple gilt frame that formerly surrounded Cornelis Saftleven’s “College of Animals,” n.d., oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation, 1987.32

Cornelis Saftleven, College of Animals with its period seventeenth-century waffle-style Dutch frame.

Detail of College of Animals’ new frame

Martha MacLeod is the Curatorial Administrative Assistant to the European and American Art departments.

Guiding Us Along

The existing Dallas Museum of Art collections handbook was published in 1997. Considering all of the stellar acquisitions that have taken place in the last fifteen years, we felt the time was right to publish a new one. The process took months of preparation and many meetings to create the new guide, which will be available in the Museum Store early next year.

In a series of conversations, DMA curators and former DMA Director Bonnie Pitman came up with a timeline, and  agonized over the book’s structure (for example, does Romare Bearden’s Soul Three belong in the Contemporary or the Modern section? Should European and American art be combined?). The group also came up with an “A” and a “B” list of objects to be considered for inclusion in each of the sections.

The process for paring these lists down was grueling for all concerned. Sacrifices and compromises were made. As a biased participant, I had my own favorite objects, and anxiously awaited the outcome of each meeting. My beloved College of Animals by Cornelis Saftleven was out of the running early on, owing to urgent conservation needs, but I had the pleasure of seeing this work restored to the European and American section late in the process.

Cornelius Saftleven, "College of Animals," n.d., oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation, 1987.32

I worked on the entries with the curators, interns, and freelance contributors. This catalogue has given me a newfound appreciation for the many works of art I had always admired in passing but never really focused on. Immersing myself in object files or staring at the objects in the galleries, I added many new discoveries to my list of personal favorites.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the process was the ordering and grouping of objects within their sections. We plastered the walls of our “Classroom B” conference room with color printouts of all four hundred-plus objects, taped or pinned in constantly migrating clusters. It was ultimately quite satisfying to see the groupings crystallize; every invidious or inept grouping eventually led us to the final fortuitous solution. This was a creative process, appealing to the artist in me.

Eric Zeidler is the Publications Manager at the Dallas Museum of Art.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,394 other followers

Flickr Photo Stream