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Six Degrees of Francis Bacon

June 10, 2016

Have you ever played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? This week, the Digital Collections Content team played Six (plus a few more) Degrees of Francis Bacon and sought interesting connections across DMA artworks. On a daily basis, this team extensively tags artworks in the collection with terms related to material, maker, subject matter, and more, so they are pretty adept at finding connections!

Let’s start with a figural painting—a man in stark green surroundings—by 20th century artist Francis Bacon, part of the DMA’s contemporary collection.

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960; oil on canvas; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison, © Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Next is another painting from the contemporary collection. This one is on paper, incorporates non-conventional materials, and is by Dallas artist Stephen Lapthisophon.

Stephen Lapthisophon, Rabbit, 2010; Spray paint, ink, coffee and pigmented bacon fat on paper; Dallas Museum of Art, Mary Margaret Munson Wilcox Fund, © Stephen Lapthisophon

Stephen Lapthisophon, Rabbit, 2010; Spray paint, ink, coffee and pigmented bacon fat on paper; Dallas Museum of Art, Mary Margaret Munson Wilcox Fund, © Stephen Lapthisophon

Our third work of art is a print, Barnyard with Tanks and Pigs, by another Dallas artist and supporter of the arts, Velma Davis Dozier.

Velma Davis Dozier, Barnyard with Tanks and Pigs, n.d.; crayon; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Denni Davis Washburn and Marie Scott Miegel, ©Denni Davis Washburn, William Robert Miegel Jr, and Elizabeth Marie Miegel

Velma Davis Dozier, Barnyard with Tanks and Pigs, n.d.; crayon; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Denni Davis Washburn and Marie Scott Miegel, ©Denni Davis Washburn, William Robert Miegel Jr, and Elizabeth Marie Miegel

This next container from our Pacific Rim collection incorporates the same subject: a pig!

Pig-form container, Borneo: Kayan or Kenyah peoples, 19th century; ironwood; Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Pig-form container, Borneo: Kayan or Kenyah peoples, 19th century; ironwood; Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Pigs also adorn this glass from our decorative arts collection.

Glass with decoration of pigs, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Glass with decoration of pigs, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Another work in our decorative arts collection is this porcelain plate by artist Acee Blue Eagle, which shows a figure in a headdress.

Acee Blue Eagle, Plate with "Bacon Rind" pattern decoration, c. 1955; porcelain and decal; Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund

Acee Blue Eagle, Plate with “Bacon Rind” pattern decoration, c. 1955; porcelain and decal; Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund

Like the central figure on Acee Blue Eagle’s plate, this Maya figure, riding a peccary, wears a headdress.

Lidded bowl with a man riding a peccary, Maya, 250–550 C.E.; ceramic; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association purchase

Lidded bowl with a man riding a peccary, Maya, 250–550 C.E.; ceramic; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association purchase

At a little over two inches long, this ridiculously cute little piggy tape measure is comparable to the size of the peccary.

Tape measure, 19th century; brass and silk; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elizabeth Weaver

Tape measure, 19th century; brass and silk; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elizabeth Weaver

This print depicts the inside of an antique store, full of interesting odds and ends–just the sort of place you might find a collection of sewing accoutrements like the one in which our little piggy tape measure was donated.

Peggy Bacon, The Priceless Find, 1944; lithograph; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Peggy Bacon, The Priceless Find, 1944; lithograph; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Another print—also inscribed near the bottom—is a portrait is of Nicholas Bacon, English government official and father of philosopher Sir Francis Bacon.

Crispijn Van De Passe, Nicholas Bacon, 1620; line engraving; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg

Crispijn Van De Passe, Nicholas Bacon, 1620; line engraving; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg

Which brings us back to the painting by Francis Bacon (not to be confused with the aforementioned philosopher), Walking Man.

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960; oil on canvas; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison, © Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960; oil on canvas; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison, © Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Perhaps you might notice a broader theme running throughout our list? The connections really are endless! Which ones will you make on your next visit?

Andrea Severin Goins
Head of Interpretation

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