Welcome, Members of Parliament

Welcome, Members of Parliament. This blog is designed to act as a student forum for anyone enrolled in my classes at a Dallas-area proprietary college, former students, and/or others who find our conversations interesting. The Parliament will be moderated to ensure civility and relevance. The directions we take, the paths we follow, and the concerns we address are all up to you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September and October at Local Museums

In an effort to interest students in the often-impressive exhibits and holdings at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Kimbell Art Museum (and others), I'm making an effort to post information on events and to link this blog to class schedules and course home pages. I hope to do this bi-monthly.

It sometimes amazes me how little time my students spend looking at the real thing--as opposed to digital images projected on a screen. I hope that by alerting you all to current events I can remedy this situation.  Most area museums offer free entry to their permanent collections, and often provide free-entrance days or reduced prices to special exhibits for students. Check home pages to find out when.

Most of the offerings listed below are focused on topics covered in Art History 2. But since most of the Art History 1 students will be moving on, it certainly wouldn't hurt to get a heads-up on some of what we'll be discussing next quarter.

The Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth

Fort Worth is home to three commendable art museums: the Kimbell, the Modern, and the Amon Carter.  A major exhibition of Impressionist paintings from Paris's Orsay Museum is arriving on October 19 at the Kimbell, and will be in place until January 25, 2015: Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from the Musée d'Orsay. It focuses on works by major players in the Impressionist and post-Impressionist movements: Caillebotte, Cézanne, Degas, Monet, Renoir. Since we spend little enough time on portraits in class, this might be a good way to augment your visual repertoire. Alas, it doesn't get here in time for the Formal Analysis assignment, but next quarter's Art History 2 inmates will have a chance to take advantage of it.

The permanent collection at the Kimbell does, however, contain holdings from the Baroque, Rococo, Romantic, Impressionist, and post-Impressionist periods, many of which are currently on exhibit in the new Renzo Piano Pavilion.

The Dallas Museum of Art

Currently on exhibit is a rather wonderful collection called Saturated: Dye-Decorated Cloths from North and West Africa, which might be of interest to fashion folk, and also provide some insight into African influence on modern European art.

As a reward for anyone who actually reads this post, Art History 2 students may select works from Mind's Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne for their formal analysis (elsewhere I've restricted the assignment to paintings rather than drawings or pastels); just make sure any chosen works are in color.  It runs until October 26 in the Chilton Gallery.

Those of you who were intrigued by the Käthe Kollwitz print I showed as an introduction to German Expressionism might want to see Käthe Kollwitz: A Social Activist in the Era of World War I. It's up until November 16 on the second level. Since these are monochrome prints and drawings, though, they won't qualify for the analysis essay. They might, however, acquaint you with a wider sense of her work, and would be of particular interest to drawing students and animators.

Coming soon: If you're not completely fed up with still-life painting, you might want to see Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse, which opens on October 26 and runs through February 8 of 2015.  This promises to provide a panorama of still-life works that can demonstrate the enduring impact of the genre.

And finally, arriving on November 15, a collection of works by Jackson Pollock, called Blind Spots will feature his "Black Pourings," painted between 1951and 1953.  Unlike the more colorful works we study in class, these are all made with black enamel and oil--and the exhibit will contrast the two periods (including earlier works from 1947-1949).  This is an important exhibit because the DMA is the only venue.

Please let me know if you find this new feature helpful, and I'll be happy to keep it up.  Happy museum-going!

Image credit: Edgar Degas's L'Absinthe, 1876, will be featured in the Kimbell Faces of Impressionism show.  Photo via Wikimedia Commons.