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Friday Photos: Here Comes Election Day

November 2, 2012

Donald Freeman, Election, c. 1933-1934, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Public Works of Art Project

With the election fast approaching, I wanted to share some presidential and election-related works from the collection in the hopes of inspiring you to exercise your civil right to vote.

Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, c. 1850, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation

Rembrandt Peale painted this portrait when he was just seventeen years old, stating that the anticipation of the appointment with George Washington made him so nervous that he “could scarcely mix [his] colors.” The composition seen today is actually a revision of the original painting done nearly thirty years later.

Theodore R. Davis (designer), Oyster plate, designed 1879, Dallas Museum of Art, the Charles R. Masling and John E. Furen Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Rubin, the Arthur A. Everts Co., and Arthur and Marie Berger by exchange

During his term from 1877 to 1881, Rutherford B. Hayes was served oysters on this Thomas R. Davis design. To see what is in the White House currently, check out Google Art’s 360-view here.

Crawford Riddell, Bed, c. 1844, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisition Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation

This Gothic revival style bed was commissioned as part of a suite of bedroom furniture for presidential candidate Henry Clay in anticipation of his term in the White House. Eventually losing to Andrew Jackson, Clay was forced to sell the piece to someone who had a room large enough to house this thirteen foot tall bed.

Fanny B. Shaw, “Prosperity is Just Around the Corner,” 1930-1932, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Fannie B. Shaw’s optimistic quilt was inspired by the prosperity promised by President Herbert Hoover: “Every time you picked up the paper or heard the radio he would talk about good times around the corner. He would make it sound so good. I wondered if I could make a picture of what he said and what he meant. I went to bed one night and couldn’t get it off my mind.” Here’s to optimism then and now!

Viktor Schreckengost (designer), Jazz Bowl, c. 1930-1931, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange

The first “Jazz Bowl” came about when Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned Cowan pottery to create a work that evoked New York. Viktor Schreckengost’s design captures what the artist called “that funny blue light in New York in 1931 when Cab Calloway’s band was playing.”

Robert Rauschenberg, Skyway, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr., and General Acquisitions

Here, Robert Rauschenberg has combined everyday images of President John F. Kennedy, space capsules, an American eagle, construction sites, urban scenes, and diagrams of the earth and moon from outer space to reflect 1960s America. These found images he has incorporated with art-historical references and his own freely applied strokes of paint.

In a similar vein, the DMA will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy by bringing together the works of art installed in the president’s suite at the Hotel Texas during his fateful trip in 1963. Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy will open on May 26, 2013. Keep a look out.

Don’t forget to vote next Tuesday, November 6.

Alex Vargo
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching

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