Bush Center Exhibit Opens in Meadows Museum, Builds Momentum For Library

October 22, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Article and Photos By Elizabeth Lowe

With 43,00 artifacts, 4 million photographs, and 70 million pages in documents, the George W. Bush Presidential Center is sure to be a historical landmark to rival in Dallas.
However, the center will not be up and running until 2013.

So why is the George W. Bush Foundation opening an exhibit on the library’s artifacts in the Meadows Museum this weekend?

Director of the George W. Bush Center Alan Lowe explained: “we really hope visitors will come to the exhibit to learn more about what we’re doing, to get a sneak peek at the artifacts, and to understand that our goal is to be a great resource for this community.”

Lowe also said that throughout the development process, the Bush Center has been identifying ways to better engage the SMU students and faculty.

At the “Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center” exhibit, locals and visitors in the Dallas area can get a preview of what the Presidential Library will look like and what pieces it will house. Representatives from the Bush Foundation say it’s a way for them to raise interest and excitement for the future Center.

The exhibit in Meadows showcases pieces in an intimate space. Featured artifacts include a letter from Bono to President Bush, the pistol retrieved from Saddam Hussein during his capture, the bullhorn used by the President when he visited Ground Zero, an ensemble designed by Oscar de la Renta worn by Mrs. Bush at a White House dinner with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, plus many more.

“At the core we are about preserving and making accessible these materials and then using them to educate. We certainly hope this exhibit is part of that process,” said Lowe.

The exhibit, titled “Breaking New Ground,” also acts as a precursor to the scheduled Nov. 16 groundbreaking. This event has already stirred speculations of a large protest and many media outlets are on-call to cover whatever events may occur.

Taylor Adams of The Daily Campus asked Director Lowe his thoughts on the reaction to the November groundbreaking and possible protests.

“Our focus that day is on the groundbreaking and showing to the community what we are and what we plan on doing,” said Lowe. “We think we have a very positive story to tell here and a very important resource to provide – that’s what the day will be about for us.”

“Breaking New Ground” exhibit will be free and open to the public in the Meadows Museum from October 23, 2010 through February 6, 2011.

Meadows Museum Reinstalls Permanent Collection

October 7, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Caroline Foster

The Meadows Museum is recognizing its 45th anniversary by reinstalling its permanent collection.  For art lovers in Dallas, this is especially exciting because the collection is revamped. It includes a famous El Greco piece that is on loan from Spain.

The idea of reinstalling the permanent collection started when Meadows Museum acquired El Greco’s masterpiece “Pentecost.” This piece was lent by the famous  museum, Museo Nacional de Prado, referred to as the Prado.

When “Pentecost”  arrived in Dallas a new partnership between the Meadows Museum and the Prado Museum officially started. This partnership was initiated years ago when the Meadows Museum frequently lent its Spanish works to the Prado for its exhibits.

So when the time came, the Prado was happy to lend some its more famous works as well. But the relationship between the Prado and Meadows reaches far deeper than just exchanging works, as Leu Jiun Ten, a front desk employee at Meadows, explains.

“We are not just borrowing paintings. This is a whole series of scholarly exchanges,” Ten said.

The Meadows and Prado museums have agreed to a three-year plan. Each museum will participate in publications, symposiums, and two student work-study programs per year.

SMU senior art history minor, Jessica Ottis, is excited for the Meadows relationship with the Prado.

Ottis said, “When I was studying in Europe I visited the Prado because it is one of the best museums in the world. It is great for the SMU campus to start a relationship with such a well known museum.”

The Meadows Associate Director and Curator of Exhibitions, Bridget Marx, knows how important this relationship between the two museums is, and will be in the future.

Marx said, “With this promise we are cultivating future museum leaders here and in Spain.”

The current plan is for this partnership to last for three years, and then the two museums will evaluate and see if they can continue to work together. Marx has no doubt that the relationship will continue beyond three years.

“Even if there is not a formal relationship, there will always be a relationship, and a very close one, between the two institutions,” said Marx.

The arrival of “Pentecost” made Museum directors rethink the Meadows current exhibit. Marx said, “We wanted to take a fresh look at the permanent collection. We pulled everything out of storage in response to El Greco and the relationship with The Prado.”

To change the exhibit more pieces were added that are usually held in storage. Also the works are displayed in a new way; contemporary art is hung next to Spanish masterpieces.

Marx said, “Now an El Greco inspired piece is hung next to an El Greco masterpiece. This allows people to step back and see our collection in a new eye.”

Not only are visitors seeing the works differently, but also new groups of people are visiting the museum. “Now fans of modern art are coming to Meadows,” said Marx.

And Leu Jiun Ten has also noticed the new crowd visiting the museum.

“Three times as many people visited today,” Ten said. In addition to more visitors, more people are also becoming members of the museum. Ten thinks this is due to the Prado and Meadows relationship.

“People want to be a part of a museum that brings in significant pieces of art,” said Ten.

The permanent collection will be left up in its entirety until the December holiday season. When the collection is reinstalled in January some pieces will return to storage. After “Pentecost” returns to Madrid, another Spanish masterpiece will arrive at Meadows, keeping art aficionados continuously enthused.

Sultans and Saints: Spain’s Confluence of Cultures

September 28, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Ariana Garza

Meadows Museum is featuring an exhibition titled Sultans and Saints: Spain’s Confluence of Cultures through January 23, 2011. The exhibition centers on the era of Spain’s convivencia in which Jews, Christians and Muslims coexisted after the Muslim Umayyad conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in 711.

The exhibition features a marble capital taken from the Islamic palace known as the Madinat al-Sahra’. Perched in a nearby case is a “hispano-moresque charger”—a lusterware ceramic—on which the first few lines of John’s Gospel are written. This particular piece of art was made in the 1500s—a time when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had suppressed the Muslims and the Jews. However, this ceramic is an example of Muslim influence in Spain as it is a type of eastern, traditional metallic-glazed pottery that the Muslim artisans introduced to Spain circa the 10th century.

The exhibition features what is referred to as a Catalan liturgical cabinet (1375-1400) constructed from poplar wood to be a Eucharistic container. This piece also contains a “mudejar” ornament on the outer face of each door, a subtle hint of Islamic influence.

The original writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits who later became the Society of Jesus under Pope Paul III, are on display courtesy of the Perkins School of Theology and Bridwell Library. Also on display are translations of a Latin medical book and the six volume “Complutensian Polyglot Bible” of the Counter Reformation. In the same room, the “Nobiliario Perfetamente Copilado” is on display. This is the first Spanish printed secular treatise on heraldry after the 15th century.

In the next room, a large Catholic choir book, “Gradual”, is on display. This hymn book dates back to the 16th century and was used for the celebration of High Mass, a scene from El Greco’s Pentecost altarpiece.

As a parallel exhibit, Meadows Museum is featuring one of the six paintings of El Greco’s Pentecost altarpiece. This piece is on loan from the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. Starting this year and continuing for the next three years, the Prado will lend a piece to Meadows Museum. This is an unprecedented exchange program for Meadows Museum and the El Greco piece will be returned to the Prado in Feburary 2011. Meadows Museum does not know if the exchange will be renewed after the three-year period.

“Hopefully something will continue,” Nicole Atzbach, a Meadows Museum spokeswoman said.

Meadows Museum is open 10-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday with extended hours on Thursday and 12-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Spring Arts Weekend Comes To a Close

March 20, 2010 by · Comments Off 

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Spring Arts Celebration Kicks Off Friday

March 18, 2010 by · Comments Off 

SMU’s first annual Spring Arts Weekend starts March 19 with events for students and parents.

Sing Song, a French film festival and exhibits at the Meadows Museum are just some of the many activities you can participate in Friday through Sunday.

Plus, parents can work out for free all weekend with their student at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

Click here for the full schedule of events.

Campus News Blog: Meadows Museum a Part of Local Art Tour

February 17, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Monica Sharma

Interested in art? On Sat, April 3, SMU’s Meadows Museum, along with seven other local museums, will be a part of the first annual Dallas Art News Museum Express Tour.

The tour will visit the Amon Carter Museum, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Kimball Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, SMU’s own Meadows Museum, the Nasher Sculpture Center and The Women’s Museum.

Registration is currently underway, and since there are only 20 spots on this tour, signing up early is key in getting a chance at this opportunity.

Art lovers will travel from museum to museum using three local mass transits.

The day, which will begin with coffee at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. at The Women’s Museum, is a good way to see all the creativity and treasures the Metroplex has to offer.

If you’re worried about being hungry on this trek through art, Corner Bakery Café will be providing lunch.

A $50 ticket includes transit transportation, a t-shirt, eight admissions to Dallas and Fort Worth museums and a goodie bag.

While only 15 to 25 minutes will be spent at each museum, participants will have the chance to see eight museums full of great art all in one day.

Click here to register for this unique opportunity.

Campus News Blog: New Construction Marks Halfway Point of SMU Second Century Campaign

October 27, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Nate Regan

Just when you thought the scaffolding had come down and the construction trucks had left, signs of SMU’s “Unbridled” Second Century Campaign have popped up again, this time right in the middle of campus.

In September, the school dedicated the new Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall in the Perkins School of Theology near the south end of campus.

Earlier this month, the Meadows Museum unveiled a giant head as part of its new plaza just across Bishop Boulevard.

Now one must wonder what will be behind the next ribbon-cutting ceremony as crews have been tearing up the walkway and part of the road between Airline Parking Garage and Fondren Library.

Of course, all this productivity must be a good sign, as SMU is already more than halfway to its $750 million fundraising goal for the campaign.

And students are reminded of the university’s status as a financial powerhouse each time they are forced to detour around a new construction project.

Meadows Museum Gets a New Face

October 8, 2009 by · Comments Off 

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Arts Beat: Etruscan Art Mind Blowing

April 27, 2009 by · Comments Off 

If there was one thing I learned about art on Thursday night was the different types of Etruscan art. Nancy de Grummond came to speak to a group of SMU students, faculty and other artists at the Meadows Museum. The crowd was filled with mostly artist who could relate and understand the illusion of prophecy.

Grummond explained that this is a very difficult concept to grasp about Etruscans, and she was right. She explained that these objects were produced well before glass and the bronze discs have a convex side that slightly distorts the reflection.

The hour-long lecture had my mind squandering for answers. I tried to keep up with the material and? discoveries of the Etruscan culture, but talking about a person who knows little to nothing about art and Etruscan, my mind was long gone in another planet.

She regained my attention when she began to show pictures of artistic work and how one could decorate with an incised line drawing depicting a scene from mythology. By the looks on everyone else faces, Grummond discovered an accurate reflection of the Etruscan culture and unleashed the domains of this artistic work.

–Posted by Brittany Gilliam

Campus News Blog:Meadows Museum largely ignored by SMU students

April 6, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Lisa Rodriguez

Ask students what exhibit is being featured at the Meadows Museum and most will give you a blank stare. Unless you’re an art history major, you probably don’t know that the museum is currently featuring the largest survey of Etruscan art presented in America to date. And has been for over two months. Furthermore, unless you are required to visit for a class assignment, you’ll probably never see it.

I haven’t—actually, the only time I’ve even visited the museum (to actually look at art, not for a dinner or luncheon), was on a visit as a prospective student. My point, the Meadows museum is one of the biggest selling points for prospective students to SMU, but most students will never visit.

SMU boasts the Meadows museum as one of its treasures. Many students can tell you that the museum has the largest collection of Spanish art outside of Spain itself. They read it in SMU pamphlets and heard it various times at SMU information sessions and at orientation. It’s a great resource and draws a lot of national attention for its exhibitions, but the sad truth is that is goes largely unused by students.

So the next time I have a free afternoon, I think I will go check it out. Few universities can brag about such a great resource right on campus, and it would be a shame for me to ignore a rare cultural experience sitting right under my nose.

From the Temple and the Tomb: Etruscan Treasures from Tuscany will be on display at the Meadows Museum until May 17.

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