TRAVEL HERE: DMA EXHIBIT FEATURES DALLAS BEFORE ASSASSINATION AND TV SHOW
All my readers know I love Dallas! No, not the TV show. Not the location of JFK’s assassination. I mean the real place. The one with a world class opera and arboretum. The home of Neiman Marcus and Northpark. My Dallas!
I love my City
My Dallas is the bold and brassy, slightly sassy and ever energetic Dallas captured by George Grosz in 1952. He’d been hired by a young Mr. Harris of A. Harris & Company to capture the spirit of Dallas for the 65th anniversary of the department store which eventually became a part of what we know as Macy’s.
According to the walls of the Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. Grosz had been a big fan of the Dime Novel West when he was a young boy in Germany, but he’d been through a lot and lived in New York when he took the job to paint Dallas. One can’t help but wonder what he expected, but he wrote to a friend that he’d sold out in taking the job.
George Grotz Comes to Dallas
Had he thought he was coming to a city that still had mud streets and shoot-outs at high noon? The walls of the museum didn’t tell me, so I guess Mr. Grosz never explained his disappointment on paper. His disappointment didn’t keep him from filling the order, taking the commission and buying himself a new home. One hopes he got over it.
The product of his work is a series of painting which captured a brilliant moment in time. Dallas had gotten over it’s mud streets and wasn’t yet tarnished with a president’s assassination. The skyline is in it’s infancy and the streets are chockful of modern people pursuing modern ideas, with money earned from old stand-bys like cotton and cattle. The watercolor paintings are so full of life they seem to vibrate on the walls of the museum.
George had a job to do and a patron to please, but he didn’t limit his palette to rosy hues of promise. He saw a segregated society which marginalized the black members of its community and he portrayed it without being preachy. He saw a brand spanking new city which hadn’t been around long enough to wear down the edges. He was fascinated by our love of commerce and our lavish use of neon. You’ve got to see what he painted.
If you live in Dallas and don’t get to the DMA to see Flower or the Prairie, you should be ashamed of yourself. The exhibition will be on view until August 19th. Get down there!
In fact, there are a lot of reasons to abandon your TV this summer in Dallas. The Arboretum has Chihuly which is on view both day and night. (I went a couple of weeks ago during the day and am looking forward to night visit in late June.) The Kimball has The Age of Impressionism which is a spectacular show. It will only be here until June 19. Don’t miss it.
This must be the artiest summer we’ve ever had. Have you seen these treasures yet?