The Museum Is History

Inaugural Exhibition Curated by Gavin Delahunty, the DMA’s Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art

Dallas, TX—May 23, 2014— The Dallas Museum of Art presents The Museum Is History, an exhibition drawn from the Museum’s acclaimed holdings of modern and contemporary art as well as from local collections. On view May 24 through November 16, 2014, the exhibition brings together more than 30 works in various media and is the first project for the DMA’s new Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Gavin Delahunty. Delahunty’s appointment was announced in January of this year and he joined the DMA in May.

“The Dallas Museum of Art is distinguished by its vigorous program of contemporary art acquisitions and exhibitions, which is among the best of any encyclopedic museum in the country. With The Museum Is History, Gavin Delahunty, in his first project at the DMA, has mined works in our collection, and arranged significant loans from local collections, that powerfully underscore our stature,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA.

The works on view in The Museum Is History roughly span the years 1950 to 1990. Beginning with gestural abstraction, the exhibition turns to those artists who wanted to rethink the role of art-making materials and tools and to those who embraced a reductive vocabulary with elegant symmetry. The display concludes with a number of the artists from the 1980s who delved even further into an exploration of the human condition by combining minimal traditions with emotive content.

The exhibition features works from the DMA’s collection that have not been on view in recent years, including David Hammons’ Ivory Spirit, Jenny Holzer’s I Am a Man and Louise Nevelson's Diminishing Reflections VIII (Left & Right), as well as familiar icons such as Morris Louis’s Delta Kappa, Jackson Pollock’s Portrait and a Dream and Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red and Red. These works will be presented alongside a selection of impressive pieces from local private collections by artists including Charlotte Posenenske, Frank Stella, Rosemarie Trockel, Cy Twombly and Gerhard Richter.

Dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and constructing histories, museums collect outstanding works of art and weave various narratives with them through exhibitions,” stated Gavin Delahunty, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “While each work on view in the exhibition is a memory of another time, it accrues new meaning in the present and also offers us glimpses of our future.” 

The Museum Is History is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and curated by Gavin Delahunty, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. The presentation is made possible by TWO X TWO for AIDS and Art, an annual fundraising event that jointly benefits amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research and the Dallas Museum of Art, and by the Contemporary Art Initiative. Air transportation provided by American Airlines.

Images: (Left) Jasper Johns, Device, 1961–62, oil on canvas with wood and metal attachments, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Art Museum League, Margaret J. and George V. Charlton, Mr. and Mrs. James B. Francis, Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Greenlee, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. James H. W. Jacks, Mr. and Mrs. Irvin L. Levy, Mrs. John W. O'Boyle, and Dr. Joanne Stroud in honor of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; Bridget Riley, Rise 2, 1970, acrylic on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark, © 1970 Bridget Riley; David Hammons, Ivory Spirit, 1990, metal, cotton, netting, silk, and pearls, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of two anonymous donors, Ms. Judy Pollock, and the General Acquisitions Fund, © David Hammons

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, the Museum welcomes more than half a million visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy and launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program in the country.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.