One of my goals in 2015 was to visit 12 museums, and to share details about those visits with you. Museums are great places to hide, to socialize, to think, to listen to audiobooks or music and to wander. They are also places to collect inspiration, to ponder, to absorb, to grow and to learn. Hopefully one of my visits will inspire one of yours.
MUSEUM VISIT 11/12: THE DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART
DATE OF VISIT: 9 SEPTEMBER 2015
I was in town on business and had a few hours before catching my flight home to check out the Dallas Museum of Art. I am so glad I did! The museum is located in the Arts District in downtown Dallas. There's a ton of stuff to do within walking distance and on the day I was there, there was a whole row of food trucks lined up.
As soon as I got there, I discovered that there was free admission! I checked my bags for my flight at coat check and headed over to the DMA Cafe. Soup and tea hit the spot. Sitting there, I realized just how huge this museum was. Just like everything in Texas.
I did this museum a little backwards. Usually, I visit the gift shop and snack AFTER I'm done. This time, I did all that beforehand. The gift shop was huge and there were so many really unique and affordable items for sale. It was a treasure.
This museum has a very extensive collection and because the museum itself is so huge, I felt like I was moving from building to building rather than from room to room. Think long hallways, really high ceilings.....space! Everywhere. Just like all of Texas.
I had to take a business call so I stepped outside to their courtyard/garden. It was a beautiful place to walk. It was a hot and sunny day, but you wouldn't have felt that way in this outdoor area.
Next, I went upstairs to see this book of poems and woodcuts by Wassily Kandinsky. I am a big Kandinsky fan. I am very interested in Russian Suprematism and Constructivism, two art movements. Some people (art people) would say he created the first abstract piece. His work just resonates with me. If you are also into Wassily like I am, you can check out this page on Artsy to see more of his work: Wassily Kandinsky on Artsy.
Anyway, it was covered with a cloth to protect the book and its pigmented pages from breaking down. I loved seeing this in person.
I toured the American Art gallery next, and went back and saw the Paintings Conservation Studio. You could actually watch museum staff clean and take care of actual works. It was neat to see all of their tools. What a place to work!
There was an exhibit called Form/Unformed which showed items from the 1960s.
A new-to-me-piece that I just loved is below. It's by Miguel Cabrera and is called Santa Gertrudis. I fell in love with this piece because of the lettering he painted overtop of the subjects. This painting was done in 1763, and I had not seen type overlaid like this before. It just blew me away. Really and truly. I use type in almost all of my work and it was meaningful to me to experience seeing this painting in real life.
Granted, that's what's so great about museums. Other people walked right by this painting without a second glance.
Below is Manjushri. This piece came from Tibet and was just stunning. Manjushri is the bodhisattva of wisdom or transcendent wisdom. I had just read about Manjushri in some of my current thanatology studies on Tibetan Buddhism. I was very excited to see he had joined me on my visit to the Dallas Museum of Art.
And the below. It goes without saying. I got to see this in person. It was so, so different than any reproduction I had ever seen.
That's me taking in some art.
THREE THINGS THAT REALLY STRUCK ME:
1. The Size Just like everything in Texas, this museum is reeeaaalllllll big.
2. It's a Great Spot to Go Before The Airport. It's free, you can work, you can shop, you can walk around, you can eat, and they will hold your bags. It's easy to call an Uber and get to the airport from here.
3. The Deaccessioned List This museum shares details about its deaccessions online. I had not ever heard of this before. When a museum gets rid of a piece of art, it is called Deaccessioned Art. You can visit this page to see what the museum no longer has and why. I thought this was really interesting and gave me more insight into another aspect of curation.
1. The museum is free. Special exhibitions cost money.
2. The cafe is huge. I noticed they have live music there regularly.
3. The museum is located in the Arts District. There are a ton of other things to do within a couple blocks of the museum.
The Dallas Museum of Art
Address: 1717 N. Harwood St. Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 922-1200