Museum Spotlight: Dallas Museum of Art
Jun 17, 2016 | Jill Bernstein
As the anchoring institution of the nation’s largest Arts District, and located in downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), established in 1903, is among the ten largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its overarching program is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing the full range of world cultures. A catalyst for community creativity, the Museum welcomes approximately 700,000 visitors annually, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with art from around the world. The DMA offers a diverse array of programming, including a monthly Late Night, when the Museum is open until midnight, and a range of lectures, concerts, literary readings, and dramatic and dance presentations.
The growing collection includes one of America’s top ten collections of French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism and the most important holdings of modern and contemporary art of any encyclopedic museum in the U.S. The DMA also includes strong holdings in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, and South Asia; and in European and American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. The rapid growth of the DMA’s encyclopedic collection has resulted in a dramatic expansion of its existing conservation programs and facilities, with the addition of a new state-of-the-art Paintings Conservation Studio and the appointment of the Museum’s first Chief Conservator in spring 2012. Alongside this robust schedule of collection and special exhibitions, the Museum offers thousands of education and public programs each year, most of which are included in free general admission. The DMA is one of the leading museums in the country providing accessible programming to visitors with special needs, offering new opportunities for them to connect with art and the Museum in a meaningful way.
In February, the DMA welcomed Nicole R. Myers as its Lillian and James H. Clark Curator of Painting and Sculpture. Myers oversees all aspects of the DMA’s modern European collection, including paintings and sculpture from 1800 to 1945, and works closely with Olivier Meslay, the Museum’s Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs. The European art collection encompasses a distinguished group of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper dating from the 15th century to 1945, with particular strengths in the 18th through 20th centuries. Highlights of the collection of over 1,600 works include masterpieces by Nicolas Mignard, Canaletto, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Gustave Courbet, Max Liebermann, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and Piet Mondrian. As part of her responsibilities, Myers will organize special exhibitions, conduct original research on the Museum’s collection for scholarly publication, research Nazi-era provenance of artworks, oversee permanent gallery installations, and recommend new works of art for acquisition. Prior to her arrival at the DMA, Myers worked at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, for five years. Holding a Ph.D. in art history, Myers has extensive knowledge of European art from 1700 to 1945, with a specialty in 19th-century French painting. The subject of her doctoral thesis was the French master Gustave Courbet, leader of the Realist movement in the mid-1800s.