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Art for Two

February 2, 2010

It’s a perfect day for thinking in twos; we’re getting close to that couple-y time of year, and it’s also the 2nd day of February (2/2)!

The DMA collection is full of couples in works of art—some of them are real-life pairs, some are fictional twosomes.  Below are just a few of the many couples here at the Museum.  All of them (or works by them) are currently on view.

Wendy & Emery Reves: A Couple Art-lovers
She was a fashion model. He was a Hungarian journalist and writer.  Together Wendy and Emery Reves befriended celebrities (Winston Churchill and Greta Garbo) and amassed a breath-taking collection of decorative and fine art by artists like Degas, Monet, and van Gogh.  The Reves gave their entire 1,400 piece collection to the Museum in 1985, where it is housed in a beautiful replica of their French villa on the 3rd floor of the Museum.

Shiva & Parvati: A Divine Couple
Hindu god Shiva, and his wife, the goddess Parvati, are shown in this 7th-8th century atwork as a loving couple.  Shiva is the Lord of Life, Death and Rebirth, and in this sculpture he appears as Maheshvara, or great god. Parvati appears as Uma, or the shining one.

India, Stele of Uma-Maheshvara, 7th-8th century

Frances Bagley & Tom Orr: A Couple of Local Artists
Dallas artists and real-life couple Frances Bagley and Tom Orr collaborated to create the stage set for the 2006 Dallas Opera’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s, Nabucco.  They translated several components of the production’s set to create an installation that is on view in the exhibition Performance/Art, through March 21st.  Nabucco tells the Biblical story of the Jews’ exile from their homeland by Nabucco, the Babylonian king.  The image below shows Bagley and Orr’s interpretation of the Hanging Garden, the final scene of the opera.


Scene from the Tales of Ise: An Ill-fated Couple
The couple in these 16th century screens is based on characters from a Japanese collection of fables called “Tales of Ise.”  This scene shows the pair attempting to elope by escaping through a field of grass, as they are pursued by servants of a provincial governor.  The empty, lonely scene foreshadows the tragic fate of the young couple, who will soon be discovered in hiding after the servants set fire to the field.
Tosa Mitsuyoshi, Scene from the ales of Ise, Momoyama Period

Couplet
This last one isn’t an artwork in our collection, but it just might be my favorite on the list.  It’s a student-made video about two chairs visiting the Museum, and it reminds me of the fun of looking at art with someone else.  Hats off to the Booker T. Washington High School Film Club students who created it during a Saturday afternoon here this past October.

Our next Late Night on Friday, February 19th is a perfect time to visit the Museum with a special someone; there will be French themed performances, and a focus on Impressionism and romance.

Happy February!
Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Learning Partnerships with Schools and the Community

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 3, 2010 5:28 pm

    I was wondering if it would be possible to embed the video created by the Booker T. Washington High School Film Club students in the post itself. It’s such a cute video!

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