DMA expands this season’s Arts & Letters live with Chelsea Clinton

For more than two decades, the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live program has brought in many authors, activists and artists to talk about their work in a seminar-like session. This season’s lineup was just expanded, however, to add two more writers: Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, will discuss her latest A Piece of the World on April 3. But even more exciting is the “get” of Chelsea Clinton, who will appear on April 23 to discuss her book It’s Your World

Tickets are currently on sale for DMA members ($40) and will open to the general public on Wednesday. VIP tickets are available for the evening event with Chelsea Clinton and include reserved front-section seating, a paperback copy of It’s Your World and a “fast track” pass for the booksigning following the event; VIP tickets are $55 with discounts for students and DMA members. Order online at or call 214-922-1818.


—  Arnold Wayne Jones

David Sedaris returns for Arts & Letters Live

David-SedarisIn tomorrow’s Dallas Voice, I have an interview with Patricia Cornwell, lesbian author of the Kay Scarpetta mystery novels, who is closing out the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live Series next week. And at the same time comes word of the spring A&L series, and the return — for an eighth time — of gay humorist David Sedaris.

Sedaris will appear at the Winspear Opera House on April 28, reading new and unpublished material as part of the museum’s 26th anniversary of live readings. Pre-sale tickets are now available to members of the DMA, KERA and the ATTPAC Circle. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Nov. 14, starting at $35. You can buy them here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

BREAKING: DMA appoints out scholar Agustin Arteaga as new director

Versión 2Agustin Arteaga, currently the director of the acclaimed Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL) is Mexico City, is the new Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, the museum just announced. He replaces Max Anderson, who stepped down suddenly last fall.

“He brings an international perspective to the DMA,” says Catherine Marcus Rose, president of the museum’s board of trustees. He brings more than 30 years of experience to the role.

Arteaga will be relocating to Dallas with his husband, Carlos Gonzalez-Jamie, in September.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay art at the DMA

Art Issue Cover 11/28In this week’s Art Issue, I did a story on Mark Leonard, the (gay) conservationist at the Dallas Museum of Art tasked with restoring and preserving important items in the collection. But a few weeks ago, during Gay History Month in October, Taylor Jeromos — an intern with the DMA and its Arts & Letters Live program — did a blog post on the museum’s website honoring out artists of the past whose work can be found in the collection. It’s a really interesting mini-history. Enjoy it — link to it here — and the other stories in our Art Issue (about fashion design [also a subject of art at the Crow Collection right now], pop art and abstract art among them).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DMA begins sale of David Sedaris tickets

SedarisYou know how arts organizations are always encouraging you to become a season subscriber for all the great benefits? Well, here’s a prime example of why it really does pay to do that.

Starting right now, the Dallas Museum of Art has on sale tickets to hear David Sedaris talk pretty via its Arts & Letters Live series at the Winspear Opera House on Nov. 11. Tickets don’t go on sale to the general public until Aug. 12. Now, you may think, “That’s only two weeks; the Winspear holds 2,300 people. I can wait.” But you’d probably be wrong. Or at least disadvantaged.

I know from experience how quickly Sedaris’ readings sell, and how hard tickets can be to come by. You really will benefit getting them early, and you can join for as little as $100 (which comes with free parking at the museum and is 80 percent tax deductible). Click the link or call 214-922-1247 to join and get the code. Tickets start at $25.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

It’s Dress Up Your Pet Day!

197228_1954942355179_1284918_nIf Halloween is “Gay Christmas,” then today, Jan. 14 — Dress Up Your Pet Day, officially — must be like “Gay Parent Christmas:” A day when gay “parents” (of animals, natch) can smack a frock on Fido and make him as faboo as his master.

Here in the office, we have our own fashion plate staffer, Joey (pictured here inside my camera bag), who struts around the office every week in new couture duds, from sweaters to parkas.

But I really got a kick out of these pix from the Dallas Museum of Art, where pets got dressed up like works of art. Click here for some fun, and click here (at DFW Style Daily) for some more pix of four-legged fashionistas.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

FIRST LOOK: DMA’s new conservation studio


Mark Leonard, formerly of the Getty in L.A., outside the Paintings Conservation Studio at the Founders Room inside the DMA. It officially opens to the public Nov. 22.

Almost since I moved to Dallas and began working Downtown, an upper-floor space of the Dallas Museum of Art was 1717 Restaurant. Back in the day, it was one of the trendiest places in Dallas for lunch (it wasn’t opened for dinner), but all things end. It went through a number of iterations and changes, and for the last 18 months or so has largely been an event space for cocktail parties, but not a true restaurant. And now even that is gone.

And what’s in its place is even better.

What was 1717 is now an exhibit and social space, but most importantly, an atelier where the DMA’s head of conservation, Mark Leonard, gets to give the public an idea of what he and his fellow art restorers do.

The entrance is The Conservation Gallery, a rotating exhibit of artwork that has often been confined to the storage space at the DMA. These rarely seen works all have one thing in common: They have been restored, or are in need of restoration. And that gives the viewing public a chance to see a kind of before-and-after.

Not only that, most of the pieces will be exhibited so that both the fronts and back of the paintings are visible, offering a glimpse into the creative process — how the artist started on one idea, flipped the canvas over, and started on a whole new one.


The restoration room.

But the most exciting part of all is the Paintings Conservation Studio. Designed by Samuel Anderson, it adds skylights permitting natural light to flood the studio, where Leonard and his team bring new life to Old Masters. The space is equipped with a first-of-its-kind x-ray that allows conservationists to see below the top level of oil paint to the art below. And while the general public won’t be allowed to enter the studio (there’s not a lot of room, except to make mischief), I got a first-look at it and the entire space, and it’s very impressive.

The Conservation Gallery and Founders Room will open to the public on Friday. Like the rest of the general exhibits at the DMA, admission is free.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Two x Two raises $5 million

Two x Two for AIDS and Art, the fundraiser held Saturday that benefits both AmfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art,  raised $5 million this weekend. One piece at the auction, by artist Luc Tuymans, netted $700,000. Approximately 500 people attended the black-tie event, at which Grammy winner Gladys Knight performed.

The DMA’s Jeffrey Grove and AmfAR CEO Kevin Frost spoke, introducing Tuymans, who received the 2013 Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight for AIDS.

Celebrities including designer Diane von Furstenberg and actors Gilles Marini and Jesse Metcalfe were in attendance. You can see a slide show of the event after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Jim Hodges’ artistic process

In Friday’s issue, I reviewed the Jim Hodges exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art (one of the best in recent years). I was especially impressed by his untitled piece, a tapestry composed entirely of denim.

Below is a video, made by the DMA, showing the background of the piece’s creation. It’s pretty awesome.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jeffrey Grove appointed to new executive position at DMA

DMA GroveJeffrey Grove, the gay senior curator of contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art (whom we profiled here), has just been appointed to a new position within the museum.

Grove will now serve as senior curator of special projects and research, a newly created position, Maxwell L. Anderson, the DMA’s director, announced. Grove was most recently responsible for spearheading the Cindy Sherman exhibition, which is on display through June 9 (and well worth a visit). His upcoming projects for the DMA include a show featuring the work of Jim Hodges (opening in October) and a retrospective of one of the art world’s most influential women, Isa Genzken (opening in the fall of 2014).

A nationwide search is now under way to find a new curator of contemporary art to replace Grove.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones