The Dallas Museum of Art Presents a New Way for Visitors to Experience the Museum's Collections

Claude Monet. The Seine at Lavacourt, 1880. Oil on canvas

This summer, the Dallas Museum of Art rolls out the red carpet to present the Summer Spotlight tour, inviting visitors to experience the romance, drama, action, and mystery of great works of art as they view them through a cinematic lens. Beginning in June and running through August, the Museum will highlight 30 of its masterworks, both old favorites in the collections and new acquisitions, to encourage viewers to look at great art in an exciting and different way.

In addition, Summer Spotlight will offer a multitude of special family-friendly programming, including the launch of the Late Night Friday Summer Block Party and special film screenings. Also premiering this summer is the DMA’s Wi-Fi enabled tours enhanced with video clips, audio excerpts, images, and more. Visitors can use their own Wi-Fi enabled phone or media player to access this material or borrow one at the Visitor Services Desk. The Museum will also provide its guests with a special gallery map to the “DMA Stars” featured in the program.

“We are excited about Summer Spotlight and the opportunities it offers for our visitors to connect with great works of art in a new way and to participate in a vast array of programs focused on art and the movies,” said Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Summer Spotlight masterworks, encompassing all time periods and cultures and a broad range of media, are separated into four popular movie genres – Love and Romance, Action and Adventure, Drama, and Horror, Mystery and Suspense – and can be found on Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the Museum. With help from the Dallas Film Society, these works are spotlighted and feature special labels whose text encourages the visitor to think about the relationship of the artwork to the cinema.

For example, to illustrate Action and Adventure, the DMA places its favorite superhero, Vishnu as Varaha, “center stage” in the Asian Art gallery. Like Superman, the 10th-century Indian god Vishnu takes on a special form in times of great need. In the sculpture, he becomes a boar called Varaha, who saves the beautiful earth goddess Prithvi. While looking at the work, the DMA suggests visitors make their own “Movie Connection” and think of other movies with superheroes, such as Superman and The Neverending Story.

Love and Romance are easy to see in the works by 18th-century American portraitist John Singleton Copley titled Woodbury Langdon and Sarah Sherburne Langdon. Sarah Sherburne was 16 years old when she married Woodbury Langdon in 1765 and these portraits capture the young couple as they wanted to be remembered: powerful, stylish, and affluent. Here, visitors can make a “Movie Connection” by remembering such popular films as When Harry Met Sally and Love Story.

And for Horror, there’s Hitchcock. The DMA’s painting of Lighthouse Hill by Edward Hopper is known to have inspired several of the eerie scenes in the horror master’s films. Hopper created sketches for this painting during the summer of 1927 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, emphasizing the overwhelming stillness of the scene. Make a “Movie Connection” to a scary place and check out Vertigo and Psycho.

Take in some drama at the DMA with a classic, The Icebergs by Frederic Edwin Church. This larger- than-life oil painting is one of the DMA’s and Church’s finest works and easily brings back memories of the dramatic story of the Titanic. Make a “Movie Connection” and try to recall another favorite film where Mother Nature was the villain, such as The Perfect Storm.

Additional DMA favorites featured in the Summer Spotlight experience are Apollo and Diana Attacking the Children of Niobe by Jacques-Louis David, Portrait and a Dream and Cathedral by Jackson Pollock, Thomas Sully’s Cinderella by the Kitchen Fire, jaraik figures from Indonesia, the rain god Tlaloc from Mexico, and Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye) by sculptor Olowe of Ise of Nigeria.

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 8:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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