Posts Tagged 'Dallas Museum of Art'



Window Gazing

Art collector and longtime DMA supporter Dorace Fichtenbaum left a generous bequest of 138 objects to the Museum. We installed a selection of these works of art, selected by curators Olivier Meslay and Gavin Delahunty, to celebrate the extraordinary personality of their collector, who died last summer.

As an exhibition designer, I was struck by Ms. Fichtenbaum’s singular vision in her collecting practice, one that was defined by personal preference and spread over multiple genres. Her worldliness comes across in the breadth of the collection, which ranged from Abstract Expressionist prints to carved African figures. This juxtaposed style, once installed all together in her home, reminded me of Alfred Barnes’ manner of collecting for what is now the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Like Dr. Barnes, Dorace Fichtenbaum included in her collection new works by the  contemporary artists of her time, including Yayoi Kusama and Nam June Paik, among others. In my efforts to design a space to do justice to this special gift, I was inspired by the collector’s manner of dense display in her home.

Image 1 copy

My idea for the space was to create intriguing sightlines that invite visitors inside, and also distinguish this gallery within the larger Barrel Vault area of the Museum, which is installed with other works from the permanent collection. To accomplish this, we created a gray foyer-like space to temper the disconnect between the interior installation and the large exterior white gallery. The central sightline when looking into the gallery is a window that provides a key vantage point into the collection installed on the far wall. A framed door on either side of the window asks visitors to engage in the space and treat it as a more intimate interior space, much like you would find in someone’s home.

That space uses color and architectural trim to distinguish it, and to suggest a domestic interior. A classic salon-style hanging of the artworks allows for aesthetic relationships to form easily between the works that are hung on one surface and use the full height of the wall. This type of “hang,” as we call the installation of artworks on a wall, is special in that it includes three-dimensional works mounted on the wall or displayed in museum casework.

To maintain a consistency with these design concepts, no museum labels have been installed in the space; however, there is much contextual information on the collection and on each individual piece in the “label” booklets we provide. The booklets use a diagram of the installation with numbered elements so that visitors can refer to individual objects.

Our skilled team of preparators installed the works based on this detailed diagram.

Image 2 copy

As Olivier Meslay wrote in his article for the DMA Member magazine, Artifacts, “The walls and shelves of Dorace’s home were full of remarkable works that will now grace ours. Dallas is fortunate to have had a collector like her: generous, modest, tasteful, and passionate.”

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

Early Start: Young Learners Gallery

construction
Last week the redesigned Young Learners Gallery re-opened after a month of construction, and we are so proud of the new space. Along with a complete overhaul of the color scheme, furniture, and design elements, the new space incorporates bilingual signage, an art installation, and a variety of activities focused on the theme of Line.

 

Adrian Windmills and Von

Windmills, by El Paso–based artist Adrian Esparza, serves as inspiration for children ages 5–8 and their grown-ups as they explore line through the activities.

Julia in Reading Nook books2

These comfy cozy reading nooks are the perfect place to curl up with a good book about lines. Leah Hanson, resident children’s book guru and Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs, picked out a slew of amazing books for the reading area.

pegs blocks

Visitors to  the Young Learners Gallery can explore line through a variety of activities including building with lines, creating and transforming lines on our pegboard wall, transforming their body into a line in our distortion mirror, and exploring storylines using figures and works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection as inspiration.

YLG banner2016

Stop by the Young Learners Gallery on your next visit to the Dallas Museum of Art!

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

In-House Photography

It has been a few years since the DMA has hosted a photography exhibition, and it has been a real treat to present Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty—the artist’s first retrospective in 20 years and the first since his death. While Penn is well known for his work in fashion and portraiture for magazines like Vogue, the exhibition also features some of his lesser-known, personal work, like his street photographs and a series of nudes.

In celebration of National Photography Month, we sauntered down to the studios of the three DMA staff photographers—Chad Redmon, Ira Schrank, and Jerry Ward—for their take on the exhibition.

Chad Redmon, Assistant Photographer, Digital Media at the DMA

Chad Redmon, Assistant Photographer, Digital Media, at the DMA

Ira Schrank, Digital Collection Photographer at the DMA

Ira Schrank, Digital Collection Photographer at the DMA

Jerry Ward, Collection Photographer at the DMA

Jerry Ward, Collection Photographer at the DMA

On their own work
Chad: The piece that was in the DMA staff art show last year was a pretty good example of my work: I cut a hole and my arm was reaching through, taking a picture. It was a trompe-l’œil, speculative space. I like to play with your expectations of looking at photographs, something that would obviously not actually happen in real time. People have to take a second look at it, even if I’m standing next to them.

Ira: I shoot landscapes mostly. But I’ve also done environmental portraits. I’ll use backdrops to hide the background, or take the environment out, not quite like Penn; I didn’t try to have one specific look. I often use either paper or fabrics to isolate the things I shoot. To a photographer, it enables you to really look at what it is you are looking at, without letting the world cloud it.

Jerry: I’m a commercial photographer; this is my first museum job. My background is in sports, food, and journalism—mostly ads and billboards. I was a Saints team photographer when I was younger. So if it moves, I can capture it.

On their familiarity with Penn:
Chad: I saw an Irving Penn show at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. in 1988, when I was a freshman at art school. I saw that show 20 times. I went over and over again. I even bought the book, which was one of the first coffee table books I ever bought, and I still have it to this day.

Ira: I’m really fine art oriented, but of all the commercial photographers, he is my favorite.

On their favorite work in the show
Chad: Willie Mays, jumping up. It looks like he’s flying like Superman. It’s not an often-seen photograph. It’s one of the few actually manipulated. He took a photo from a long way away of Willie Mays in action, cut him out of whatever background he was on, and stuck him on a field of white. It doesn’t look like anything else in the show.

Ira: I don’t really have a favorite. There is so much different work. He is all over. The early work that he’s done, where he is an editorial photographer, I love those. But those are so different. It’s hard to see how he goes from those pictures—like traveling around the South—to how he got to his studio work. I guess his experience of being an artist in New York got him from point A to point B.

Jerry: The lady with the martini (Woman in Dior Hat with Martini (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), New York, 1952). It’s really high contrast. And it’s cool how the martini works in the glass. And I like food stuff, since I’ve shot food.

On Penn’s most interesting body of work
Chad: I like the portraits of intellectuals crammed in corners, on scaffolding, and what not. It’s really egalitarian the way he took portraits. He would take that mobile studio to North Africa and take pictures of the locals. It looked basically like the set he would shoot fashion people in in New York. It highlights the differences between the people, but it also highlights the similarities between them. It divorces them from the background to such a degree that you have to see the similarities and differences immediately.

Ira: I love the raw backgrounds, which allow the photographic process to show. His portable studio, in a way, cancels out the environment, and he can just engage in his process. And he took the portable studio everywhere, to South America, Africa.

Jerry: I like the food and the American South section. I’m from New Orleans—so, the old barber shop and the people outside. You still see those signs at home. It’s familiar.

On what’s surprising
Chad: I had never seen any of the early street photography. I don’t like it very much. There’s nothing exceptional about them to me, but seeing them doesn’t take the shine off of the rest of his work. It’s good to know that he grew into his aesthetic, as opposed to just arriving fully realized.

Ira: No surprises. But what makes so many of his pictures work so well is that he isolates them. None of the sets are fancy—sometimes it’s torn-up carpet turned upside down. It’s interesting that in our show, when you turn the corner and enter into that newer, color work, it doesn’t quite work in the same way. To me, there is a big difference between what looked like commercial work and his art, which is what we all respond to. Like that work when you walk in [to the exhibition]. What a spectacular photograph.

Jerry: What’s surprising is that Penn would go out and do it his own way. But a lot of [commercial] photographers buckle under to the art director. It’s pretty obvious that Penn was so great that they let him run free. They didn’t tie him up with an art director. The collaboration looked like this: Penn, and-oh yeah-there is an art director, as opposed to, an art director and-oh yeah-there’s a photographer pushing a button. As a commercial guy, that is really cool.

Thanks, Chad, Ira, and Jerry for your insight! Come celebrate National Photography Month with a visit to the DMA this May.

Andrea Severin Goins is Head of Interpretation at the DMA.

Creative Connections: West Meets East

This week the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections installed three prints by Hiroshi Yoshida, a significant figure in the history of Japanese woodblock printmaking. Yoshida was part of an early 20th-century movement that found renewed interest in traditional Japanese art forms and culture. This mindset was exemplified by his practice of the traditional ukiyo-e collaborative system (which relied on a division of labor for each step of the printmaking process), his subject matter, and his dedication to using locally sourced and crafted tools and materials. Hiroshi Yoshida was a prolific artist, but his legacy lives on beyond the art he created. He was also part of a family of printmakers. Beginning with his adoptive parents, the lineage is as follows:

yoshida family tree

Following Hiroshi’s death in 1950, his sons Toshi and Hodaka both began to experiment artistically. Toshi created prints of African wildlife, while Hodaka moved toward abstraction. Both artists are represented in the Museum’s collection, though their work is currently not on view.

Hodaka Yoshida, Ancient People B, 1956, woodcut, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase 1957.17; Toshi Yoshida, Ishiyama Temple, n.d., polychrome woodblock print, Dallas Museum of Art, the Abram C. Joseph and Ruth F. Ring Collection, gift of Miss Ruth F. Ring 1985.87

Hodaka Yoshida, Ancient People B, 1956, woodcut, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1957.17; Toshi Yoshida, Ishiyama Temple, n.d., polychrome woodblock print, Dallas Museum of Art, the Abram C. Joseph and Ruth F. Ring Collection, gift of Miss Ruth F. Ring, 1985.87

In the early 1970s, Daryl Howard, a Texan living and teaching art at an overseas school in Tokyo, accepted an apprenticeship with Hodaka Yoshida. During her time studying with Hodaka, Howard learned traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking techniques and acquired a personal collection of prints and printmaking tools. Howard, who has since returned to Austin, has teamed up with the DMA to assist with educational initiatives related to the Hiroshi Yoshida prints. Howard has loaned a collection of traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking tools— including carving tools, brushes, paper, a baren, and a small printmakers table—to accompany the three prints.

Printmaking Tools

Daryl Howard (left) and a woodprint piece she created.

Daryl Howard (left) and a woodblock print she created

Meet Daryl Howard this May and learn more about the Yoshida family, Japanese woodblock printmaking, and her own art and process.

  • Friday, May 20
    • Late Night Art Bytes: Woodblock Printmaking
      8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m., Tech Lab, C3
      Join artist Daryl Howard for this hands-on art-making experience and create an image in the technique of Japanese woodblock printmaking. Ink a block and pull your own print. Space is limited; sign up 30 minutes prior to workshop to reserve a spot.
      Included in Late Night ticket
    • Late Night Art Bytes: New Technology, Ancient Artform
      9:00–9:45 p.m., C3 Theater
      After 30 years of woodcarving, printmaker Daryl Howard has shifted to a new method to achieve the same end result. Hear her speak about how modern technology has affected the ancient art form of Japanese woodblock printmaking.
      Included in Late Night ticket
  • Saturday, May 21
  • Wednesday, May 25
    • Gallery Talk: West Meets East . . . A One-Year Journey with the Yoshida Family
      12:15 p.m., Meet at Visitors Service Desk
      Hiroshi Yoshida was the most accomplished Shin-Hanga woodblock printmaker of his time. Printmaker Daryl Howard will share a brief history of Japanese woodblock printmaking and the amazing Yoshida family.
      Included in free general admission

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

Family Ties: Making Connections in Pueblo Pottery

In 2014, the DMA acquired a large collection of contemporary southwest Native American ceramics, the gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert I. Kramer. The collection consists of works by over 65 contemporary artists, many of whom have been honored at prestigious art shows such as the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Many of these vessels were created by two artists—a potter and a painter—who worked together on the final design, form, and decoration. Pottery making is an engaging social activity for family members or close friends, and in many of the Pueblos, the legacy of fine pottery can be traced to an individual or a family. Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso and her family were instrumental in furthering the millennia-old tradition of pottery making during a time of cultural and artistic transition due to the newly established railroad in Santa Fe, which brought the tourist trade, manufactured goods, and a market economy to the Pueblos.

Maria Martinez and Julian Martinez, Black-on-black jar with geometric designs, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, The Otis and Velma Davis Dozier Fund, 2014.26.3

Maria Martinez and Julian Martinez, Black-on-black jar with geometric designs, c. 1920, ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, The Otis and Velma Davis Dozier Fund, 2014.26.3

Made in collaboration with her husband, this black-on-black jar with Julian’s expertly painted abstract and geometric designs was a typical form for Maria Martinez, illustrating her artistic departure from traditional forms. While reminiscent of larger ollas, this piece has a more elongated and gently sloping neck and a stouter base, producing a sharper shoulder. Its smaller size also made it more appealing to early 20th-century tourists and collectors, as it could be acquired at a lower price and was easier to transport. The nearly metallic sheen alludes to their son Popovi Da’s later innovation, a gunmetal finish he developed in the 1960s by increasing the firing time of the black-on-black method perfected by Maria and Julian.

Maria Martinez and Santana Martinez, Plate with avanyu design, 1943-1956, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Duncan E. Boeckman, 1987.343.FA

Maria Martinez and Santana Martinez, Plate with avanyu design, 1943-1956, ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Duncan E. Boeckman, 1987.343.FA

If you’ve visited the Native American Gallery on Level 4, you might have seen other exceptional works by the Martinez family. This plate made by Maria and her daughter-in-law Santana highlights the avanyu design created in the early 20th century by Julian Martinez. It was based on depictions occurring on rock art near springs and on ancient vessels. The avanyu is a water deity who, if angered, can cause floods, droughts, landslides, or earthquakes. Representing a thunderstorm and surrounded by clouds, this horned serpent has an undulating body and a tongue reminiscent of a lightning bolt.

Marvin and Frances Martinez, Black-on-black bowl with feather motif, late 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert I. Kramer, 2014.43.63, not currently on view

Marvin and Frances Martinez, Black-on-black bowl with feather motif, late 20th century, ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert I. Kramer, 2014.43.63 (not currently on view)

This small pot from the Kramer collection further demonstrates familial collaborations and traditional forms. It was made by the husband and wife team of Marvin and Frances Martinez. Marvin is the grandson of Adam and Santana Martinez and the great-grandson of Maria and Julian. The bowl exhibits the signature black-on-black style for which Maria and her family are so well known and bears a stylized butterfly design and the familiar feather pattern drawn from ancient Mimbres vessels in the early 20th century.

The DMA has a comparable Mimbres vessel with a radiating feather pattern currently on view:

Mogollon (Mimbres) Culture, Bowl with geometric composition and design of radiating feathers, c. 1000-1150, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elizabeth and Duncan Boeckman, 2011.45

Mogollon (Mimbres) culture, Bowl with geometric composition and design of radiating feathers, c. 1000-1150, ceramic and slip paints, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elizabeth and Duncan Boeckman, 2011.45

Across the gallery from the Mimbres bowl is another example of the radiating feather motif, a plate made by Maria and her son Popovi Da in the 1960s:

Maria Martinez and Popovi Da, Plate with radiating feather design, 1960s, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift, 1987.342.FA

Maria Martinez and Popovi Da, Plate with radiating feather design, 1960s, ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, anonymous gift, 1987.342.FA

Maria began collaborating with her son in 1956. Popovi Da was an artist in his own right, adding many creative innovations to the Martinez family tradition such as a dual-toned black-and-sienna finish and the use of turquoise.

The DMA is fortunate to have the opportunity to make these fun and fascinating connections between families of artists.

 Amanda Kramp is the McDermott Graduate Intern for Ancient American Art at the DMA.

Brothers and Sisters

Today is Brothers and Sisters Day, a day to cherish your siblings per the holiday’s description. I don’t have any siblings to cherish, but I did find some in the archives.

Jerry-Dick-Bywaters_001

In this photo, sculptor William Zorach is demonstrating sculpting to a group of young students at the Museum School in 1945. His models—seated on the table on the left side of the image—are sister and brother Jerry and Dick Bywaters, the children of then Museum director Jerry Bywaters.

Another set of siblings in the archives are Nora (Howell) Wise and Frank Howell. In 1976, the Museum acquired a collection of pre-Columbian art from Nora and her husband, John Wise; papers from John and Nora came to the Museum after Nora’s death. The papers include this postcard from Nora’s brother Frank, a solider in WWI, telling her that he was coming home.

My dear sister, “All is well that ends well.” Though the end has not quite come yet, nevertheless we’re well on our way from war, etc, back to the dear old U.S. Will be at a sea-port in a few days. Best love to all, Frank

My dear sister,
“All is well that ends well.” Though the end has not quite come yet, nevertheless we’re well on our way from war, etc, back to the dear old U.S. Will be at a sea-port in a few days.
Best love to all, Frank

 

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Black Tie Optional, Style Mandatory

Folly at the Art Ball, our new annual fundraiser hosted by the DMA Junior Associates to benefit the Dallas Museum of Art, will launch this weekend as the After Party of the Museum’s annual gala. And we’re giving a special offer to our Uncrated readers to join in on the fun (see below). The attire “black tie optional” might sound intimidating, but it’s really about what makes you feel your best!

Inspired by fashion bloggers and chic instagrammers, we asked a few DMA Juniors to give us a sneak peek at their ensembles for the best night of the year:

Abigail Baber Rust, DMA Member since 2008
Abigail Baber Rust, DMA Member since 2008
Jennifer Anthony, DMA Member since 2015
Jennifer Anthony, DMA Members since 2015
Julia Anthony, DMA Member since 2015
Julia Anthony, DMA Member since 2015
Vodi Cook, DMA Member since 2015 wearing Custom Couture designed by fellow DMA supporter MacKenzie Brittingham
Vodi Cook, DMA Member since 2015 wearing Custom Couture designed by fellow DMA supporter, MacKenzie Brittingham.

When trying to decide what to wear, remember to ask yourself, “Would I look great driving away in a Jaguar in this outfit?” The evening includes a chance to win a brand-new 2017 Jaguar F-Pace Prestige. No matter what, make sure you are ready to dance to the tunes of DJ Lucy Wrubel and the Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra!

Since you are loyal Uncrated readers, we’d love to treat you to 25% off entry tickets to Folly at the Art Ball. Use the discount code UNCRATEDSTYLE when you purchase yours before Saturday, April 23, at noon! Tickets will be sold at the door for an increased price of $250.

Rebekah Boyer is the Assistant Manager of DMA Member Groups at the DMA.


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