TRAVEL HERE: DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART PRESENTS “THE BODY BEAUTIFUL IN ANCIENT GREECE
While admiring the Kimball’s exhibit of Bernini’s sculptures in clay, I mentioned the ongoing rivalry between the Fort Worth museum and Dallas’s own DMA. As if to prove my point, on the final weekend of the Kimball exhibition which I called Bodies by Bernini, the Dallas Museum of Art opened The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece. If the Kimball was going to show us masterpieces from the 1600’s, then the DMA would go back to the second millennium before Christ. If the Kimball had clay models, count on the DMA to have marble statues.
I’m teasing, of course, but only a little bit. If I had to judge which exhibit was best, I’d be hard-pressed to choose.
Slate Blue Walls Add WOW
In the category of displaying objects, however, I’d have to give it up for the DMA. The dramatic effect of the creamy white marble against a backdrop dark slate blue walls is jaw dropping. Plaster copies of Michelangelo’s David would look good in these display spaces, so you can imagine how marvelous the treasures of the British Museum are. Much of the Bernini collection had to be viewed through glass cases, but in the DMA you’ll be breathing the same air as Aphrodite and Herakles. It’s exhilarating!
The Privileges of Membership
When it comes to the DMA, which I lovingly consider my museum, membership does have its privileges. For instance, as a partner at the sponsor level, I was invited to a discussion between the DMA’s director and the director of the British Museum. It’s one thing to wander through the wonderful pieces and enjoy their remarkable beauty, but you gain a whole new perspective when the British Museum’s director laments that the pieces don’t look as good at home, because the DMA has done such a spectacular job of displaying them. If I hadn’t had a chance to eavesdrop on the chat between the museum directors, I wouldn’t have considered the exhibit in relation to the questions of ownership the nation of Greece is raising about the irreplaceable treasures. Nor would I be reminded to celebrate the fact that due to the wonders of modern technology, I can now view these pieces in my own home town, rather than having to fly to England or settle for pictures in a book.
I always say that my museum membership is one of the best entertainment values in Dallas. Heck, the parking privileges alone justify the expense, but that’s only the beginning. My first tour of the new exhibit was led by the man who curated the show for the British Museum. On my own, I would have passed by a pair of small statues in one of the first display cases without even noticing them. Even if I had been with a docent who explained their significance, I wouldn’t have been as impacted as I was, listening to the man who had combed the entire collection of the British Museum for the exact pieces to best illustrate what we needed to know about Ancient Greek artifacts. His enthusiasm, charm and delightful accent were infectious. I, too, wanted an elegant walking stick and I’m telling you, bespoke suits are still the best.
The Body Beautiful will be in Dallas until the first week of October. I insist that you get down there and see it. While you’re at the museum, check by the Partners desk. Sure, you can get into the museum for free, but you’ll miss a lot. Being a Friend in the museum’s “frequent flyer” program is fun, but for the really good stuff you need to pony up for a partnership.
If you want to see Chagall go before the 26th of this month. I finally made it by yesterday. It was interesting, but he’s still not one of my favorites. Cindy Sherman will be here until June ninth. I’ll tell you about her exhibit next week.