Maurice Brazil Prendergast
Vincent van Gogh
Bassin de Deauville
Charles Marion Russell
"DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present" is an exhibition celebrating the history of North Texas's bold and distinctive art scene looking back over 50 years. It is composed of mainly ephemeral works-allery invitations, posters, publications, photography, video-as well as a select group of art objects. "Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy" is a reunion of masterworks exhibited in the Hotel Suite of the presidential couple; it features works by Thomas Eakins, Franz Kline, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh, among others.
Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present
curated by Gabriel Ritter and Leigh Arnold
Dallas Museum of Art Announces Exhibition Celebrating the Past Fifty Years of Contemporary Art in Dallas
Exhibition is Part of a Two-Year Research and Publication Project Documenting the Contemporary Art Landscape in Dallas and Surrounding Areas of the Past Fifty Years
The Dallas Museum of Art today announced DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present, an exhibition celebrating the history of North Texas’s bold and distinctive art scene. Looking back over fifty years, DallasSITES examines the moments, people, and organizations that helped shape the area’s incredibly vital relationship with contemporary art. So often relegated to the art world’s “third coast,” North Texans created opportunities from this peripheral status by working in ways that can be described as uniquely Texan, while capturing and maintaining the attention of the national and international art communities.
Using materials culled from several local private archives, as well as major public records, DallasSITES recovers many of these now-forgotten moments that are intrinsic to the DNA of the North Texas art scene. Some of this history is better known thanks to the longevity of certain efforts, like 500X Gallery, which started in 1978, or Valley House Gallery, which took over the reins of the Betty McLean Gallery in 1954. However, much of it remains obscured by time and the area’s constant desire to look toward the future without first reflecting on its past. Through gifts of private papers, records, and archives, the research accumulated in preparation for the exhibition and publication will help establish the DMA as the primary archive and center for the research of contemporary art of North Texas.
“The contemporary art scene in North Texas has always been active and edgy,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “It is the DMA’s pleasure, and also its responsibility, to present the city’s fifty-year engagement with the art of our time both in our galleries and on our website.”
DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present, on view May 26 through September 15, 2013, will be composed of mainly ephemeral works—gallery invitations, posters, publications, photography, video—as well as a select group of art objects. The majority of the art will be from the DMA’s archives, with loans from the Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C., the Dallas City Municipal Archives, the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library, and several local private collections. Organized geographically, the exhibition will focus on seven major areas of Dallas, including Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs, Deep Ellum, Oak Cliff, the Dallas Arts District and downtown Dallas, and surrounding university communities such as Arlington and Denton. Within each of these geographic areas, the history of the galleries, artist collectives, individuals, collectors, artists, and institutions—including the South Dallas Cultural Center, the Arts District, Good/Bad Collective, Toxic Shock, and others—will be presented through the ephemeral objects produced by these neighborhoods over the past fifty years along with research compiled for the DallasSITES project.
In addition, the DMA will host a month-long experimental project space from July 19 through August 18, 2013, in its contemporary art galleries titled DallasSITES: Available Space. Viewed as a companion to the historical exhibition, Available Space aims at foregrounding the current state of contemporary art in North Texas by tapping select artists, curators, collectives, and art educators from the community to program unique and innovative projects in the DMA’s contemporary art galleries. This aspect of the exhibition will be multifaceted, with galleries dedicated to video, performance, education, and artist-led workshops. Programming for the space will be dynamic and will change over the course of the month, allowing visitors new ways to engage with the space each time they visit. In this way, Available Space is intended to bring the DallasSITES exhibition up to the present day, providing a platform for local artists to contribute to the living history of this vibrant community.
“We are very excited to be engaging the local arts community in such a dynamic way,” stated Gabriel Ritter, The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art. “The space will offer a level of immediacy and experimentation that is rare within encyclopedic museums today.”
A scholarly electronic publication will accompany DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present and will be the first DMA project to utilize the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI), a program begun by the Getty Foundation to bring scholarly research and publication into the digital age. The DallasSITES publication will use software developed by the Art Institute of Chicago and the IMA Lab for the OSCI program. The publication will follow the geographic organization of the DallasSITES exhibition, providing broader and more detailed narrative of the development of the contemporary art scene within each enclave. Content for the publication, in conjunction with the exhibition, includes histories of major nonprofit and for-profit institutions, artist collectives, and key individuals such as artists, collectors, administrators, critics, and educators, along with documentation of moments that have contributed to the history of Dallas’s contemporary art scene.
The exhibition is curated by Gabriel Ritter, The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, and Leigh Arnold, DMA Research Project Coordinator. The DallasSITES publication will be available on the DMA’s website in conjunction with the exhibition opening. The exhibition, publication, and research project is funded by the University of Texas at Dallas’s Texas Fund for Curatorial Research grant.
About the Texas Fund for Curatorial Research
The Texas Fund for Curatorial Research, administered by Richard Brettell, The Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair, Art and Aesthetics, at the UT Dallas–based Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums [CISM], was established to promote, support, and sustain advanced curatorial scholarship in North Texas. The fund, which was created by a gift from Nancy B. Hamon and matching research funds from the State of Texas, promotes museum-related scholarship at the highest level by supporting specific projects of locally based curators and art historians (often in conjunction with national and international colleagues). It offers a framework for collaboration among regional museums, universities, and other cultural institutions, and between all those institutions and the larger professional world.
An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy
Dallas Museum of Art to Present Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, a Reunion of Masterworks Exhibited in the Hotel Suite of the Presidential Couple
Hotel Texas Features Works by Thomas Eakins, Franz Kline, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh, Among Others
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Dallas Museum of Art will bring together the works of art installed in the president’s suite at the Hotel Texas during his fateful trip to Texas in 1963. The original installation, orchestrated by a small group of Fort Worth art collectors, was created especially for the president and first lady in celebration of their overnight visit to the city and included paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Thomas Eakins, Lyonel Feininger, Franz Kline, and Marsden Hartley, and sculptures by Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore, among others.
On view from May 26 through September 15, 2013, Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy reunites the paintings, sculptures, and works on paper for the first time in their original gathering, highlighting the diverse and thoughtful installation of artworks brought together for the presidential couple. The exhibition is presented in association with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, where it will be on view October 12, 2013, through January 12, 2014. Hotel Texas will also reveal for the first time the complete story of the presidential Suite 850 installation, which was overshadowed by the president’s tragic death, and examine the significance of art both to the Kennedys and to the Dallas–Fort Worth communities. Additionally, it will bring to light related materials, most of which have remained in private collections since 1963, including photographs, videos, and other archival materials, ranging from images of the suite prior to the couple’s arrival to documentation relating to the president’s assassination.
“This exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity to rediscover the Kennedys’ time in Texas, prior to the untimely death of the president, and to enhance our understanding of how the president and first lady were perceived at that point in history,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “The organization of an art exhibition for the couple was a testament to their appreciation for the arts. It also underscored the cultural advocacy of the leaders of Fort Worth and Dallas.”
“It was important for the Amon Carter to be a part of this project because of the museum’s close ties to the original art exhibition assembled for President and Mrs. Kennedy,” said Andrew J. Walker, Director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. “In light of our community’s passion for the arts, including the museum’s board president Ruth Carter Stevenson, the couple enjoyed a first-class art experience during their stay in Fort Worth. We hope our visitors will use this opportunity not only to appreciate these masterpieces but to reflect on the Kennedys’ lasting legacy on the arts.”
“In reuniting these works of art and unveiling this story, we hope to inspire some historical reflection about the Kennedys’ impact on the arts and the significance of providing them a space complete with such a wide-ranging group of masterworks,” said Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Dallas Museum of Art and curator of the exhibition. “Our presentation includes new scholarship surrounding the original installation and helps further celebrate the Kennedys’ impact on American culture.”
Five days prior to the presidential couple’s arrival in Fort Worth, descriptions of the presidential suite at the Texas Hotel were released to the public. Unhappy with the couple’s accommodations, Owen Day, the art critic for the Fort Worth Press, proposed the idea of the installation to prominent art collector and leader of the Fort Worth Art Association Samuel Benton Cantey III. With the support of Ruth Carter Johnson (later, Ruth Carter Stevenson), board president for the Amon Carter Museum of American Art; collector Ted Weiner; and Mitchell Wilder, the Amon Carter Director, Cantey conceived a three-part exhibition that would unfold in the parlor, master bedroom, and second bedroom of Suite 850. Drawing on local private and public art collections, each room of the suite was outfitted with works of art that befitted the tastes and interests of President Kennedy and the first lady:
* The Parlor featured the work of impressionist painter Claude Monet, alongside works of modern sculpture and painting, including a bronze sculpture, Angry Owl, by Picasso, 1951–53; an oil painting of Manhattan by American expressionist Lyonel Feininger, 1940; an oil on paper study by Franz Kline, 1954; and a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, 1939–40.
* The Master Bedroom, which was designated as Jacqueline Kennedy’s bedroom, was adorned with impressionist masterworks, per her well-known affinity for the genre. The room included Summer Day in the Park, 1918–23, by Maurice Brazil Prendergast; van Gogh’s Road with Peasant Shouldering a Spade, 1887; John Marin’s watercolor Sea and Rocks, 1919; and Bassin de Deauville, an oil on canvas by Raoul Dufy.
* The Second Bedroom, the president’s room, featured late 19th-century and early 20th-century American art, including Thomas Eakins’ Swimming, 1884–85; Marsden Hartley’s Sombrero with Gloves, 1936; and Charles Marion Russell’s Lost in a Snowstorm, 1888; among others.
Listening Hard — Remembering JFK on Record, on view in the C3 Theater throughout the run of the exhibition, is an audio and video installation produced by Alan Govenar in collaboration with Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Visitors will be able to listen to songs released in the days and months following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that memorialize him, including blues, corridos, calypso, gospel, country. In the video, an iconic portrait of President Kennedy slowly dissolves into images of the record labels or album jackets of those songs. Govenar will give a talk on his project during the July Late Night on Friday, July 19.
Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art, in association with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. In addition, the Sixth Floor Museum will provide films and documentation of the president’s trip to Texas in 1963. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, published in association with Yale University Press. It begins with an introductory essay by Olivier Meslay titled “Art Is Not a Form of Propaganda, It Is a Form of Truth,” and includes contributions from Scott Grant Barker, retired Fort Worth Star-Telegram journalist; David Lubin, Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University and author of the much-lauded Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images; and Alexander Nemerov, Professor of Art and Art History at Stanford University. The exhibition in Dallas is presented by Citi Private Bank. Air transportation is provided by American Airlines.
Image: Bwana Art Magazine 4, no. 1 (1983), cover image designed by Dennis Scharnberg. Paul Rogers Harris papers, 1959–2001, Dallas Museum of Art Archives.
Jill Bernstein 214-922-1802 JBernstein@DMA.org
Dallas Museum of Art
1717 North Harwood Dallas TX 75201
Tuesday and Wednesday: 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Thursday*: 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Friday**, Saturday, and Sunday: 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
*On Thursday, July 4, 2013, the Museum will be open 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
The general admission includes viewing the Museum’s collection galleries and most exhibitions.
2013 Special Exhibition Admission: $16 or less every day
Seniors (65+) $14
Military personnel (with a current ID): $14
Students (with a current school ID): $12
Children 11 and under free