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Collection Connections: Jekyll & Hyde

December 11, 2012

What I like most about the story of Jekyll & Hyde is the timeless theme of duality—the two-fold, dichotomous nature of all things. It’s a story in which the good (Dr. Jeykll) and the evil (Mr. Hyde) within one human being are constantly at odds with one another.  Last week at the Winspear, I watched Jekyll and Hyde the Musical and thought about the idea of duality in the visual arts.

Duality refers to a whole that is composed of two opposing or opposite parts. While Jekyll and Hyde references the duality of good and evil, artists in our collection present varying kinds of dualities:

Light and Dark

Big and Small

Male and Female

Organic and Geometric

Natural and Manmade

Reality and Dreams


I challenge you to post a comment with an example of a work of art that presents some kind of duality!

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Artworks shown:

  • Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis
  • Tom Friedman, Untitled (big/small figure), 2004, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund
  • Male and female ancestor figures, Indonesia, North Sumatra, Lake Toba Region, Toba Batak People, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
  • Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark
  • 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
  • René Magritte, Persian Letters, 1958, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of J.B. Adoue, III
2 Comments leave one →
  1. alexvargo permalink
    December 13, 2012 12:16 pm

    Great post, Andrea! Is Pollock’s Portrait and a Dream too obvious?

    • Andrea Severin permalink
      December 13, 2012 12:54 pm

      No, I think that’s a great connection! Thanks, Alex!

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