Major exhibits, Late Nights make DMA more popular than ever
The Dallas Museum of Art this fiscal year reached historical highs in attendance, thanks to several major exhibitions and other popular Museum-hosted programs, such as Late Nights and the annual free summer concert, which this year featured multi-Grammy Award–winning artist Erykah Badu.
Final attendance figures for fiscal year 2007 were 641,000, a 92 percent increase since fiscal year 2002. Much of this year’s success is attributed to exhibitions, such as Van Gogh’s Sheaves of Wheat and Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art, which each had approximately 130,000 visitors to the DMA. Van Gogh’s Sheaves of Wheat presented the largest collection of van Gogh’s works displayed in the Southwest in 40 years. The exhibition focused on themes of agriculture and labor from Van Gogh’s Sheaves of Wheat painting, which is part of the DMA’s permanent Wendy and Emery Reves Collection. Works by late 19th-century artists such as Paul Gauguin, Jean-François Millet and Camille Pissarro were also featured.
Adding a local element to the DMA’s stellar exhibition lineup this year was the Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art exhibition, a collection of over 300 works from the modern and contemporary holdings of the Hoffman, Rachofsky and Rose families, who together gifted their private collections and future acquisitions to the Museum in 2005. The exhibit was the first opportunity for the public to view these once-private collections in a comprehensive manner.
Also hugely successful in 2007 were the exhibitions From the Ashes of Vesuvius and Matisse: Painter as Sculptor. Nearly 60,000 visitors attended the From the Ashes of Vesuvius exhibit, which featured a collection of 72 archaeological objects recovered from the excavation site at the ancient Roman city of Stabiae—a city ruined after the historic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Matisse: Painter as Sculptor, the first exhibition partnership between the DMA and the Nasher Sculpture Center, explored Matisse’s use of several media over the course of his life. A total of 76,045 visitors attended the exhibition at the DMA and Nasher Sculpture Center.
“It’s great to see that the Museum is drawing such record crowds to its exhibitions and programming,” said Judy Conner, Director of Marketing and Communications at the DMA. “We have been fortunate to bring so many great works of art to Dallas this year and hope to continue the trend in years to come.”
Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art Presented by Starbucks Coffee is now in its fifth year. In 2007, the series welcomed over 70,000 visitors of all ages to the Museum. The highlight of the series, the annual Starbucks Late Night Summer Concert on the DMA’s downtown plaza has become one of the most anticipated cultural events in Dallas each year. This year’s concert, featuring Dallas native Erykah Badu, broke Museum records by attracting over 36,000 visitors to the Museum in just six hours, and shut down the streets of the Dallas Arts District.
Regular programming such as Jazz in the Atrium on Thursday nights, Art and Yoga, Comic Book Club and Gallery Talks also added to the DMA’s appeal this year. In fact, Museum surveys show that over half of all visitors to the Museum participate in some type of programming, thereby deepening their connection to and appreciation of the art.
The Museum’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Opportunity for continued growth exists next year with the arrival of J. M. W. Turner—a once-in-a-lifetime presentation of paintings by Britain’s most treasured artist that visits only three U.S. venues—on view in Dallas Feb. 10 through May 18. Additionally, the Dallas Museum of Art is the first venue for Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs—on view Oct. 3, 2008 through May 17, 2009—when the internationally acclaimed exhibition returns to the United States for a three-city encore U.S. tour. The Dallas engagement marks the first time that treasures from King Tut’s tomb will be seen in the Southwest. To date, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs has broken attendance records at all four museums on its previous two-year tour.
“We are working diligently to ensure that the Museum remains an integral part of the arts culture in Dallas,” Conner said. “Developing quality programs that interest people of all ages and backgrounds is one of our primary goals at the DMA.”
About the Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art, established in 1903, has an encyclopedic collection of more than 23,000 works, spanning 5,000 years of history and representing all media, with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art.
The Dallas Museum of Art is the anchor of the Dallas Arts District and serves as the cultural magnet for the city with diverse programming ranging from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings, dramatic and dance presentations, and a full spectrum of programs designed to engage people of all ages with the power and excitement of art.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
The Museum is located just south of Woodall Rodgers Freeway with driveways on both Harwood and St. Paul providing access to the underground parking garage.
The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday at 11 a.m. Closing hour is 5 p.m. each day except Thursday, when the Museum stays open until 9 p.m. for Thursday Night Live, and the third Friday of every month, when the Museum stays open until midnight for Late Nights, a dynamic monthly venue for the visual, performing and literary arts. The Museum is closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
General admission to the Museum is $10 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and $5 for students with current school identification. Museum members and children under 12 are free. Admission is free to all on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the first Tuesday of the month. For more information, visit DallasMuseumofArt.org or call 214-922-1200.