So I’ve already discussed adventure #1 on my grand museum tour last weekend with Kristina (Nasher Sculpture Center)… but obviously we couldn’t go to the Arts District without popping in at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA for short)! And while the Nasher was different and cool, the DMA was something totally out of this world. You want to find a gem from some unknown time in history? It’s at the DMA. I had no idea how cavernous and complete it really was until I visited.
And before you complain about not having the money to explore the DMA’s vast collections: it’s FREE. FUH-REE. (Yes, Kristina and I did say, “SERIOUSLY?” to the museum attendant when we were told that fact.)
Quick apology before continuing for the poor picture quality: I didn’t realize the DMA allowed photography (non-flash photography, that is), so I only had my iPhone camera with me.
We started our tour of the museum in the Contemporary Art exhibit. It is a splendidly curated exhibit (and that’s coming from a person who has a tendency to loathe everything that has been created since the Edwardian era) – I particularly loved the view when I entered the exhibit of these two pieces side by side (yes, that’s a Pollock on the right).
Quick note before I continue: I am by no means knowledgable about art. I know what I like and what I don’t like, and I forget the names of the pieces and the artists who created said pieces equally often – no matter how much I love the piece. So please excuse me if I don’t really talk much about technique, form, or other arty things. I’m competent with colors and whether or not I think the piece is “pretty”… and that’s really about it.
So back to the contemporary art.
After trotsing around the exhibit for a few minutes, Kristina and I happened to wander into a digital installation off of the Contemporary Art collection. And I mean “wander into” quite literally: the installation was in a dark room, shot off of the rest of the exhibit. If I hadn’t immediately noticed the piece, I would’ve thought we’d gone off in the wrong direction.
The piece was projected onto the walls and constantly changed as we stood there. It was totally mesmerizing. As I just stared at the numbers and shapes flying across the walls, Kristina did a little dance around the room. I bet the other visitors thought she was part of the piece (yes, there’s photographic evidence of this).
Having had enough of the post-Edwardian-era pieces, we decided to venture into the next collection: Ancient Mediterranean Art. In case you were skeptical, the DMA has a particularly lovely collection of old statues and gold pieces (even mummies!) created in the time of the ancients.
Here’s a[n often-awkward] fun fact about me: I love Greek, Roman, and Egyptian history. And mythology (though that love also randomly includes Nordic mythologies…don’t ask me why).
But yeah so I looooved this exhibit. I had such a fun time walking around the collection with Kristina, guessing (almost always accurately) which deity was being portrayed in each piece (before Kristina had a chance to read the plaque). I did get tripped up a few times translating Greek mythological names into Roman names (like Artemis to Minerva), but – hey – nobody’s perfect.
After perusing through the ancient pieces, Kristina and I walked into the DMA’s collection of European art.
I mean really: doesn’t that painting above just transport you to the most serene dream ever? Slash make you really thirsty for wine? No? Just me? Awkward.
You know how I claimed earlier to loathe nearly everything created in the post-Edwardian era time period? Well, that’s not at all true for the pre-Edwardian era… era. When it comes to European art, I love Renaissance, Medieval, Baroque… you name it. You know what Cogsworth says: if it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it!
I crack myself up.
I probably stared at this Monet for a good 10 minutes. Of all of the impressionist artists, Monet and Renoir are my favorites. And, if there is one thing I love in a landscape, it is water. A close second is having “By Monet” on the plaque. I really, truly loved this piece.
The DMA also has an impressive collection of portraits – unfortunately the light wasn’t right from any of those pictures so I couldn’t upload them to this post buttttt you should go check them out for yourself!
Okay, first off: am I the only one who thinks this stone statue of the Hindu god Shiva kinda sorta [really] looks like Beyoncé hittin’ a pose? Ya?
Don’t judge me.
I found this 16th – 17th century piece in the midst of the Asian Art collection. Not only does the DMA house an impressive Asian Art collection, it also boasts some pretty great Ancient American pieces, African pieces (totally reminded me of my time in Tanzania!), and even some pieces from the Pacific Islands! I was really quite pleasantly surprised to find such a vast collection in Dallas (in Austin, we have the Blanton and the Bob Bullock Museum – but neither is as complete as the DMA) – and for free, no less!
After our [brief] world tour, Kristina and I wandered into the American Art exhibit. Portraits… sculptures… Washington looking like a BAMF… flags… even a bed (commissioned by the Whig Party for Presidential hopeful, Henry Clay, in the nineteenth century). The American Art exhibit was everything for which I had hoped.
It was the perfect last stop in the DMA for this history nerd!
And, in case you were wondering, a 3-hour-long nap was definitely taken after we finished touring the museums. Can’t say we didn’t earn it though!
Have you been to the DMA yet? Which exhibit was your favorite?