DMA European Galleries Reinstalled and Refreshed

If you weren’t aware, the Dallas Museum of Art‘s Second Floor European art galleries has been closed since early summer for a slight makeover.

After much anticipation, the updated exhibit is finally back open to the public with a fresh perspective and, to be honest, a new appreciation for our museum.

Visitor viewing a Still Life painting by Henri Fentin-Latour.

Nicole R. Myers, the Barbara Thomas Lemmon Senior Curator of European Art, oversaw the reinstallation.

She gave us a quick but very informative tour through the second level spaces, noting highlights from the collection to illustrate the new direction for the European art department.

“We’re excited to be unveiling a dynamic new installation enriched by significant recent acquisitions and a more integrated approach to displaying decorative arts and sculpture,” said Myers.

Guests can look forward to a fresh perception of the Museum’s European collection: view rarely-shown pieces restored for exhibition, check out a new presentation of the Old Master paintings, then stroll through the Impressionist and Modern masterworks gifted by the McDermott’s.

The gift of 32 nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artworks to the Museum following Mrs. McDermott’s death last May prompted the total reinstallation of the European art collection to integrate the Park Cities family’s magnificent contribution.

Strengths of the McDermott Collection, such as works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque, among many others, are now presented alongside the DMA’s holdings.

“Visitors will encounter their favorite works of art in fresh settings and novel dialogues, in addition to finding surprises and new discoveries throughout the European galleries.” – Nicole R. Myers

There are other interesting highlights that came with the reinstallation, so I’ll list a few of my personal favorites:

“Visitors will encounter their favorite works of art in fresh settings and novel dialogues, in addition to finding surprises and new discoveries throughout the European galleries,” Myers said.

And I agree.

My initial thought during the tour was how surprised I was when seeing familiar art in a different setting.

Even though some of the pieces have been on the gallery floor for years, I caught myself doing double-takes. When you place a painting on a different wallpaper or rearrange the display to create an alternative way to view the art, it’s like seeing and visiting the museum for the very first time.

The displays now allow visitors to observe works all around.

The idea was to revamp and rethink how the European collection would be observed for new visitors and reoccurring guests like myself.

Since moving into the city last year, you can catch me at the DMA at least once a week either: passing through to get to Klyde Warren Park for lunch, attending one of DMA’s fun Late Nights, or covering another press preview for the paper.

Whatever the occasion, it’s pretty nice to have a new perspective on the place every now and then.

Other DMA Must-Sees:
Dior: From Paris to the World, which surveys more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s legacy and global influence, has been extended until October 27.
Check out these two focus shows: “Caravaggio: Martha and Mary Magdalene” and “Sheila Hicks: Secret Structures, Looming Presence.”

Imani Lytle

Imani Chet spends most of her time behind the scenes at People Newspapers handling design and marketing tasks, but you can occasionally catch her out and about covering the latest museum openings, musical concerts, and delicious new food menus in the area – and all through her trusty dusty iPhone camera. Catch some of the action on our instagram page: @peoplenewspapers

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