Posts Tagged 'Dallas Museum of Art'

School’s in Session

School is back in session in DFW and at the DMA. You may have heard about the establishment of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas last fall and the downtown campus at the DMA. Dr. Kimberly L. Jones, the DMA’s Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas, will lead one of the Institute’s first seminars this fall on Inca art inside the Museum galleries, and ahead of the completion of the construction of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History’s space at the DMA. Check out the progress below on the the new downtown campus in the Museum’s building.

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

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.

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.

Our Portal Into Publishing

View from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group located in the famous Flatiron Bldg

View from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group located in the famous Flatiron Building

The annual DMA Arts & Letters Live planning trip to New York provides the foundation for each season of the DMA’s literary and performing arts series. During more than 30 meetings in five days at the end of July, Carolyn Bess and I learned which authors are generating a lot of buzz for their new books, and who will be on tour during our 25th anniversary season. These meetings provide a portal into the publishing world not yet revealed to the media or to the public. Here begins the dialogue regarding the authors and books publishers want to catapult into public conversation. We share statistics and successes from our recent events as we attempt to woo such “wish list” writers as Donna Tartt, Bill Bryson, and Nick Hornby. Authors often tour to a predetermined number of cities and only for a short time following their book release date, so there can be significant competition when it comes to securing them for Arts & Letters Live. We seek to balance the type of books, speakers, and performances we feature in each season to construct a mix of literary and historical fiction, poetry, memoir, nonfiction, pop culture, and emerging authors.

Though our meeting schedule certainly kept us busy, we managed to squeeze a few excellent cultural outings into our visit. The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed illustrated memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic was excellent and would fit nicely into our Artful Musings category (if only Alison weren’t in such high demand these days!). We enjoyed seeing Gerald Murphy’s Cocktail on view in the glorious new Renzo Piano building of the Whitney Museum of American Art as we look forward to hosting Liza Klaussmann tomorrow night at the DMA for her new fictional account of Sara and Gerald Murphy in Villa America. On a Friday evening visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we joined the Museum Hack tour for what their brochure terms “a highly interactive, subversive, fun, non-traditional museum tour.” Their strategy did not disappoint. During our three-hour tour, we learned obscure and whimsical tidbits about a select number of pieces in the Met’s collection and wandered the galleries after hours, inciting childhood fantasies of spending the night in the Met like Claudia in E. L. Konigsburg’s iconic novel, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

One of the things that impressed me most during these meetings was the number of times publishers commented on the excellent reputation of the Dallas Museum of Art and Arts & Letters Live. After working on events with publicists all year via phone and e-mail, it is gratifying to meet with them in person and to hear how much they appreciate the quality of events that we host at the DMA. The professional relationships built and fostered during this New York trip are a key component to Arts & Letters Live’s success.

Michelle Witcher is the Program Manager, Arts & Letters Live, at the DMA.

Chasing Waterfalls

This month, the Dallas Museum of Art debuts a new acquisition in the American galleries that highlights the work of Henrietta Shore (1880–1963), an artist who made a significant contribution in the development of American modernism. While she and her work were held in high regard, by the 1940s both had fallen into obscurity. Fortunately, the artist is now undergoing rediscovery, as well as a long-overdue reassessment of her impact on American art of the 20th century.

Henrietta Mary Shore, Waterfall, c. 1922, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Boeckman Mayer Family Fund 2015.24.FA

Henrietta Mary Shore, Waterfall, c. 1922, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Boeckman Mayer Family Fund, 2015.24.FA

Waterfall is a remarkable product from one of the most innovative periods of Shore’s long career, when she visually interpreted the natural world into its most essential and abbreviated forms. These “semi-abstractions,” as she called them, were an attempt to convey in a symbolic way the underlying spiritual forces she sensed in nature rather than a literal transcription of the visual phenomena she observed. In Waterfall, pure line and the juxtaposition of positive and negative shapes laid down with the sheer application of pigment are the means the artist employed to render visible the dynamic power of the eternal. Color is the emotional key she wielded to unlock the visual impact of the whole.

Although she was born in Toronto, the key portion of Shore’s artistic training was acquired in the United States, most significantly under Robert Henri in New York. After several years in California, she returned to New York City in 1920 and, forsaking narrative subject matter and the loaded-brush paint application she had learned from Henri, developed the stripped-down modernist approach demonstrated in Waterfall. The inspiration for this bold composition came, most likely, from her explorations of Maine and Canada during the summer of either 1921 or 1922. When her semi-abstractions debuted in a New York gallery in January of 1923, they were widely discussed by critics, who immediately and positively compared them with works by Georgia O’Keeffe then on view at another gallery across town.

On Wednesday, August 19, learn more about the newest addition to the DMA’s American Art Galleries during our lunchtime gallery talk.

Sue Canterbury is The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art at the DMA.

30-Minute Dash: Reagan Duplisea

In our second installment of 30-Minute Dash” DMA Registrar Reagan Duplisea shares her solution to the tough task of only 30 minutes in the DMA.

A DMA highlights tour for me would begin by taking the elevator to the second floor galleries and turn left to be met with a wall of compelling and dramatic emotion and color, which begins with the despair of Ramon Casas’ Tired, the treacherous sea-swept cemetery of Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl, and ends on the idyllic pastoral note of Hans Thoma’s Olive Grove at Lake Garda.

Take the small staircase up to the third floor and take a quick turn through the Northern Decorative Arts gallery. Bask in the glow of the Tiffany windows and Front doors from the Robert R. Blacker House and admire the sturdy yet stunning craftsmanship of the Stickley workshop. Then take a few more steps into the light-infused foyer of the Reves period rooms. Don’t miss the Winston Churchill room, especially his oversized brandy glass and self-portrait in the guise of a portly pig.

As you exit the decorative arts galleries, make a right to marvel at the delicate Japanese ceramics, pause for a contemplative moment in the calming ambiance of the gallery of Japanese screens and take a quick wander amidst the sly smiles of the Oceanic figures. Take the stairs to the fourth floor and veer left on a path that will lead you past the harmonious and fine lines of Charles Biederman’s Work no. 3, 1939, the Viktor Schreckengost Jazz Bowl and Charles Sheeler’s Suspended Power.

This reverse route through the American galleries will ensure that you pass by the majestic Gothic bed before you exit and make a quick beeline for the Ancient Arts of the Americas. The first gallery features objects of jade, in amazing shade variations, and the second will dazzle you with an array of gold. As you leave the final gallery, throw a glance over your right shoulder to catch a glimpse of the charming Yup’ik Mask with seal or sea otter spirit. The Mixtec Crouching frogs outside the galleries will stick their tongues at you, playfully suggesting that you didn’t allot nearly enough time for your visit and goad you into planning another, longer visit soon.

Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar, Exhibitions 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.

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