Originally posted on Dallas Museum of Art Uncrated:
As New Year’s Eve is upon us, we thought it only appropriate to pop, fizz, and clink our way through the collection with some objects created for cocktails. We hope they inspire you to raise a glass and ring in an artful 2015. To get you off to the right start, we’ve got plenty of lively libations in store during our first Late Night of 2015 on January 16. Enjoy the winning cocktail from our Creative Cocktail Contest and then take a tour of more objects perfect for cocktail hour. Cheers and Happy New Year!
Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator at the DMA.
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the DMA
Not a painting was stirring–not the Matisse, nor Monet;
The Copley portraits were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The staff were busy working away at their desks
On visions of Late Night and art class they obsessed.
When out on the Concourse there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the entrance I flew like a flash,
Past paintings and drawings and statues I dashed.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of gifts he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his duties.
Fancy new hats for the Soyer shoppe beauties,
A new shell for Vishnu, a rug for the Reves,
And for Ivy in Flower, three sparkling new leaves.
A scythe and some seeds for the Vincent van Gogh,
A nice plate of dinner for Fox in the Snow.
Two cozy pillows for the old Gothic bed,
For mantle with condors some lovely new thread.
From the top floor to the bottom, he silently worked,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
“No touching the art!” he wisely exclaimed,
“Just use your eyes to explore frame by frame.”*
He checked off each artwork on his large museum chart,
Gave a sigh and a nod, “It’s time to depart.”
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight.
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”
*That Santa–even when he is hard at work, he remembers the Museum rules!
Wishing you and your loved ones a very merry holiday!
Manager of Early Learning Programs
Santa’s mailbox may see a lot of action leading up to December, but our own celebrity here at the Museum gets mail all year long–our family mascot, Arturo!
Amelia Wood, last year’s McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching, wrote a post in February about how magical sending and receiving mail can be, especially in the form of letters to Arturo. As we start wrapping up 2014, I think it’s only fitting to share some of the highlights from the year since then–a “best of” Arturo Letters, if you will.
What strikes me most about these letters is always how open and loving the messages are. Sometimes it’s an assortment of pencil scribbles with the child’s name and age (these are usually parent-written: from Sophie, age three, or Mikey, two years old) included at the bottom. Sometimes the sender chooses to use art instead of words. Sometimes the message takes up the whole page; sometimes it is short and sweet. Often, the child simply wants to tell Arturo “Thank you” or “I love you.”
Many days I’m surprised by the insightful questions that these children ask. How does Arturo write his letters? (Feathers make it difficult to hold a pencil, so he has a human friend that helps him write and draw pictures!) Or how do you explain why Arturo, a male bird, has eggs in his nest? Why, he’s a great babysitter, of course!
The creativity that this simple act of exchanging messages draws out is absolutely magical. Amelia loved “imagining the excitement as children discovered a response from Arturo,” and I’m just as excited to receive their letters in the first place. I’m in for an adventure every time I go to collect the latest crop from that little red and yellow mailbox – there will be some new question, some sharing of an experience in the galleries, or some imaginative drawing that I haven’t encountered yet.
For now, I’ll leave you with one of Arturo’s and my favorite letters yet–a rare, purely parent-written one. Signed only as “Papa Bird,” this touching drawing reminds us of our own families.
So as we head into the holidays, whichever one you may celebrate, don’t forget to give your loved ones a great big bird hug…
…or if they’re too far away to hug in person, a piece of wonderful, magical mail should do nicely.
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching
It’s less than two weeks until Christmas, and the art here at the DMA is quite excited about Santa’s impending visit! Have you ever wondered what the art would wish for? We “interviewed” a few of those we are sure will be on Santa’s Nice List to hear what they are hoping to see in their stockings.
I have tried to be patient, polite, and pleasant all year long as I sit here in my chair, endlessly gazing off into the distance. If it’s not too much trouble, could you bring me a book to read? I’m finally getting a little weary of having nothing to do.
p.s. Shamrock has been a very good dog too and would love a new water bowl.
Hey St. Nick,
How have you been? I’ve been keeping things lively here at the DMA, always flashing my golden smile to any visitor that stops by. I’d love a new toothbrush–electric, if you please–so that I can keep my smile shining.
My Dearest St. Nicholas,
Season’s greetings! I am anxiously awaiting your visit to the DMA this year. It’s been too long since your last visit! I have been keeping a watchful eye on my companions here in the Impressionist gallery all year long, and have tried to be a good example of proper decorum and excellent posture. I do feel, however, that my coat and muff are getting a bit drab. Could you bring me a new coat–something trendy and bright?
Winter (a.k.a Woman with a Muff)
We hope that Santa brings everything on your list too!
Manager of Early Learning Programs
In true holiday spirit, each December the DMA chooses a beneficiary and hosts a charitable drive for that organization. This year, we adopted fifty angels from Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a non-profit organization whose trained volunteers are voices for abused children in court—children that have been removed from their homes because it isn’t safe for them to live there. CASA staff and volunteers get to the know the children, review records, research information and talk to everyone involved in the child’s life. Then, they make recommendations to judges about the best permanent homes for these children, so that they can be safe and thrive. Learn more about Dallas CASA here.
A big thank you to all the DMA “elves” who shopped for these special kiddos!
Andrea Severin Goins