TRAVEL HERE: BRIGHTENING AN OTHERWISE DREARY SUNDAY
So I was just about done with my local art museum. Lately, every time we showed up for an exhibition, we’d look at each other and ask, “Really?” I had already tossed the most recent renewal of membership letter into the trash, but a still small voice asked, “Do you know what special exhibitions are coming?” I didn’t, but I assumed they’d be more of the same stuff which had been disenchanting us for a couple of years. I was wrong. Berte Morisot is coming! Berthe’s exhibition won’t be here at least a year, but I couldn’t abandon the museum when they were organizing a fairly incredible exhibition. Besides, some of the smaller productions on exhibit right now seemed of interest. So, I renewed my membership and decided to go to the museum as soon as we could.
All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins…or Not
Arriving at the Dallas Museum of Art on a recent dreary Sunday, I dropped by the information desk to confirm the location of the exhibits I wanted to see. We only had two hours before closing – plenty of time to view my wish list, but not if we wandered aimlessly. What I did not plan on viewing was an installation created in 2016 titled All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins. I mean that’s the same vintage as the cheap wine in the grocery store. Galleries are where you go to see the latest in art. I think museums should focus on more proven vintages that have been laid down for awhile. Obviously, there are plenty with another opinion. All the general public tickets had been sold for the day and only my membership would get us a timed appointment for that particular afternoon.
Taking the bait I bellied up to the membership desk to claim my free, timed viewing ticket. We had half an hour until our slot so we strolled up the concourse. We’d seen Truth: 24 Fames Per Second and didn’t need a repeat showing. We’d also been to the latest installation in the Keir Collection several times since April. We stuck our head in the gift shop and dropped by the small Focus Gallery exhibiting Hopi Visions. Interesting, but not among our favorite genres, so after a few minutes we were back on the concourse.
My husband likes to touch things, so he detoured into the Center for Creative Connections. Tagged C3, this is the area where kids of all ages can make art rather than just look at it. We looked over the shoulder of a few budding artists, handled a few touchable objects and then returned to the concourse. We were still a few minutes away from our designated ticket time, so we checked out the Barrel Vault. This area is ground zero for Contemporary and Modern Art, so we don’t usually spend much time here – you know my vintage issues. However, one of the side galleries had just what I was looking for, Edward Steichen: In Exultation of Flowers.
In Exultation of Flowers
Love a good story? Back in the Twentieth Century an artist started painting a mural commissioned by some wealthy New Yorkers. These members of Art’s Inner Circle knew all the best people and had their artist friend paint these friends of theirs lolly-gagging among flowers. What’s not to love? One wants to imagine them and their friends draped across art deco furnishing sipping cocktails and discussing the pros and cons of the completed murals – especially the one featuring Isadora Duncan in the nude. But that’s not what happened. By the time the murals were complete, the art patrons were in a bit of a financial bind and had to sell the apartment the murals had been painted for. The murals were never installed and it’s been over 100 years since they were displayed together.
Enter the DMA, famous among art people today for their restoration and conservation abilities. The DMA was commissioned to work their magic on Mr. Steichen’s murals and as part of the deal, the DMA would display the finished project. Museum Girl loved this exhibit. In truth, the gallery was a little small for the seven monumental murals, but they were delightful to behold, so all was forgiven.
The Psychedelic Portion of our Afternoon
My watch said it was time to view the pumpkins, so we headed to a nearby gallery. Joining the line outside the large white box containing the installation, we listened to the instructions announced by a docent. We’d have to put our stuff into the cubbies provided. We’d be allowed inside the installation for 45 seconds, during which time we could take pictures, but we could not trade places with one another once the door was closed, because there was a falling hazard. Hubby was whispering derisive comments into my ear, predicting how much we were going to hate this.
He was wrong and he was the first to admit it. The charming time keeper engaged Bill in conversation as we waited our turn and she made all the difference. Bill stepped in, oooh and aaaahed for 45 seconds and then we erupted into the rest of the museum. Later he admitted it was his favorite item of the day. I still prefer the murals, but the installation is worth at least 45 seconds of your life.
On Level Two we found Paris at the Turn of the Century. Featuring a few tidbits from the Posters of Paris exhibition of a few years ago, these small beauties are displayed in a tiny darkened gallery and did not evoke the joie de vivre of the full blown exhibit. On Level Three was Art and Trade Along the Silk Road. I’d forgotten that we’d seen it before. It’s lovely, but we weren’t covering new ground. From there we went on to the Reves Collection which continues to be one of our favorite things at the DMA, no matter how many times we see it.
From the DMA we wandered to East Dallas to try out Smokey Rose. Great ribs, great atmosphere and we can’t wait until the weather is better to try out the patio, but the brisket and mac-and-cheese were less than amazing.