Friday Photos: Art about Earth
Happy (almost) Earth Day! To celebrate the upcoming Earth Day on April 22nd, I’m highlighting some works in the DMA’s collection that give a special nod to our home planet.
- Rufino Tamayo’s El Hombre (Man) was commissioned by the Dallas Art Association to celebrate the universality of the human condition. With legs resembling tree trunks rooted strongly in the ground, the figure suggests the inextricable tie between humans and Earth.
- The Yup’ik peoples of Alaska’s western coast and adjacent islands created this mask. They understand their relationship with their maritime environment, particularly its sea creatures, as collaborative and reciprocal. Masked dances at seasonal festivals honor the animals hunted during the previous year.
- Flower consists of hanging, geometric shapes that move and oscillate with the wind. Alexander Calder explicitly stated that this work not only represents the earth, but also “the miles of gas above it, volcanoes upon it, and the moon making circles around it.”
- This figure’s arms are outstretched in the shape of a boat, which peoples of the western islands of Southeast Moluccas related to creation, the founding of family and society, women, and a cosmic womb. She represents the founder-mother, or a kind of “Mother Earth.”
- Often using the Earth as his medium, Robert Smithson transports earth into the gallery with a long pile of sand separated by mirrors, contrasting the organic and the man-made.
How do you increase awareness about and appreciate the Earth in your classroom? (We would love to hear about it!)
Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs
- Rufino Tamayo, El Hombre (Man), 1953, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association commission, Neiman-Marcus Company Exposition Funds
- Mask with seal or sea otter spirit, late 19th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elizabeth H. Penn
- Alexander Calder, Flower, 1949, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Dallas Garden Club in honor of Mrs. Alex Camp
- Altar depicting the first female ancestor (luli), 19th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
- Robert Smithson, Mirrors and Shelly Sand, 1969-1970, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of an anonymous donor; the Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation; an anonymous donor in memory of Vin Prothro and in honor of his cherished grandchildren, Lillian Lee Clark and Annabel Caren Clark; The Eugene McDermott Foundation; Dr. and Mrs. Mark L. Lemmon; American Consolidated Media; Bear/Hunter; and donors to the C. Vincent Prothro Memorial Fund