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Dallas Museum of Art re-opens European Galleries after total reinstallation
Claude Monet, The Water Lily Pond, 1903, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

DALLAS, TX.- The Dallas Museum of Art’s Second Floor European art galleries re-opened to the public on August 17 after closing earlier this summer for a total reinstallation. Visitors can look forward to a fresh interpretation of the Museum’s European collection, featuring works from the collection rarely previously shown that have been restored for exhibition, a new presentation of Old Master paintings and sculpture, and Impressionist and Modern masterworks gifted by Margaret and Eugene McDermott to benefit the DMA.

The final bequest of 32 nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artworks to the Museum following Mrs. McDermott’s death last May prompted the reinstallation of the European art collection to integrate the McDermotts’ magnificent gift. 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, amongst many others, are being seamlessly presented alongside the DMA’s holdings, offering a significantly strengthened and more complete representation of Impressionist and Modern art within the collection.

“The McDermotts’ generous bequest was of such a transformative magnitude that we knew we would have to reimagine the entire presentation of European art in our galleries,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA. “With this new installation we provide visitors a stronger and more in-depth narrative of European art history and add richer context to visitor favorites from our collection.”

The integration of the McDermott bequest into the European art galleries is accompanied by a new publication, An Enduring Legacy: The McDermott Collection of Impressionist and Modern Art, a 136-page fully illustrated catalogue ($35) edited by Dr. Nicole R. Myers, the Barbara Thomas Lemmon Senior Curator of European Art, with contributions by 15 additional curators and scholars, and published by the DMA. The catalogue provides new perspectives on the works in the McDermott Collection in addition to highlighting the couple’s lifelong dedication to building the DMA’s global holdings through unrivaled acts of giving.

The reinstallation, which includes artwork from the European, Medieval, and Decorative Arts departments, was overseen by Myers, The new installation shows the great depth of the Museum’s European holdings, especially in French painting from the second half of the 19th century, and features recent gifts and loans from distinguished private collections. The re-envisioned galleries announce a new direction for the European art department under Myers’s leadership.

“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. “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.”

Other highlights of the reinstallation include:

· A new presentation of the Old Master collection announced by The Descent from the Cross by the German master painter Derick Baegert, the inaugural acquisition of the Marguerite and Robert Hoffman Fund for pre-1700 European Art. With the hiring of Julien Domercq, the Lillian and James H. Clark Assistant Curator of European Art, and Dr. Heather Ecker, the Marguerite S. Hoffman & Thomas W. Lentz Curator of Islamic & Medieval Art, the Museum has for the first time in its history curators dedicated to the acquisition and exhibition of works by Old Master artists from the Medieval through Baroque periods, now spotlighted in the rehung galleries.

· Selections from J.E.R. “Bob” Chilton’s recent gift of 14 marine paintings are being displayed in a newly strengthened presentation of 19th-century Romantic and British paintings.

· Works from the collection rarely shown before were restored expressly for the new installation of the European art collection: Domenico Di Michelino’s St. Francis of Assisi, a gold ground panel painting from the 15th century; Saint Jerome in the Wilderness by the Flemish painter Herri met de Bles; Constructed Head No. 2, a sculpture by Russian avant-garde artist Naum Gabo made with one of the earliest forms of plastic; and a terracotta bust by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse.

· Several new acquisitions are on view, including an Impressionist still life by Paul Gauguin that is one of only two paintings the artist created using a small tambourine as a support, and a Zig-Zag Chair by the 20th-century Dutch designer Gerrit Rietveld.

· Works from the important Michael L. Rosenberg collection of 18th-century French painting and decorative arts are being presented in a newly dedicated gallery. The collection has been on long-term loan to the Museum from the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation and is fully digitized and available to view on the DMA’s online collection database.

· Three-dimensional works were freshly integrated into the galleries. In collaboration with Sarah Schleuning, the Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, decorative art objects have been newly installed throughout the Second Floor. Additionally, the display of European sculpture across the collection now allows visitors to observe works in the round. The 20th century galleries include for the first time a Yaure mask from the DMA collection of African art alongside works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Ernst Kirchner, and Amedeo Modigliani who drew inspiration from non-Western objects.

· A new focus exhibition opened in the gallery for works on paper. Violence and Defiance features prints by a generation of rebel-artists known as the Expressionists who reacted to the atrocities of World War I through work defined by boldly simplified line work, distorted forms, and clashing colors. The exhibition includes selections from Dr. Alessandra Comini’s recent bequest of 39 German and Austrian prints and drawings alongside complementary works from the DMA’s holdings.

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