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Pierre Boulez (1925-2016): A personal remembrance

Composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, one of the most influential musical figures of the second half of the twentieth century, passed away on Tuesday, January 5. Since then, multiple news organizations have published lengthy assessments of Boulez and the manner in which he shaped and challenged notions of established concert repertoire as a stalwart advocate of new music and new compositional techniques. This post cannot improve upon the far more eloquent and precise appraisals of Boulez written in The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Los Angeles Times. I would like, instead, to offer the less celebrated work of Boulez—his work with young, aspiring musicians.

Continue reading “Pierre Boulez (1925-2016): A personal remembrance”

Write for the Blog of the Hamon Arts Library!

Submissions to the Hamon blog are accepted year round. We welcome submissions from students, faculty, staff, and those from the broader Dallas community. Examples of submissions include: Continue reading “Write for the Blog of the Hamon Arts Library!”

The travels of The Blood of Jesus

One of the most significant of the Tyler Race Films is The Blood of Jesus, written by and starring Spencer Williams.  As with many of Williams’ films, this is a study of the continuing conflict between good and evil, holiness and godlessness, church and juke joint.  Williams filmed it with a largely amateur cast and with a minimal budget in 1941 for distribution to the 1200 or so movie houses that catered to all-black audiences at that time.   Despite the limitations imposed by its restrictively small budget, “The Blood of Jesus” was a financial success. Continue reading “The travels of The Blood of Jesus”

Reflections on Paper Dolls

Even the most incurious visitor to the Hamon Arts Library cannot have helped but notice the six works posted near the entryway.  These pieces are part of a series entitled “Paper Dolls,” by Colleen Shull (SMU MFA ’11) and Justin Shull (former SMU Division of Art Adjunct Lecturer).  This show, curated by guest curator Shannon Maylath, features pictures from fashion magazines that have been altered, scratched, cut, torn and crumpled…exploded as it were.
The images are recognizable but transformed, altered from their original appearance and context in such a way that the viewer is confronted both with the symbols of fashion and the formal aspects of the images…the colors, the sense of depth, the juxtaposition of the conventions of fashion photography made mysterious by the alterations.   These images are reborn, visible and present in a way the original photographs were not. Continue reading “Reflections on Paper Dolls”

Octavio Medellin: Maya-Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938 on display

Please stop by the second-floor gallery outside of Bywaters Special Collections and view how the portfolio XTOL by Octavio Medellin was researched by the artist in 1938 and later published in 1947 by the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, which preceded the Dallas Museum of Art. Work began in 1938 when Octavio Medellin spent six months studying the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, located on the Yucatán in Mexico, and documented his travels with 181 black and white photographs that he compiled into a scrapbook entitled Maya – Toltec, Temples and Carvings, 1938 [all photographs in the exhibition are reproductions]. Continue reading “Octavio Medellin: Maya-Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938 on display”

Collection Spotlight: Jake and Nancy Hamon Papers

The Jake and Nancy Hamon Papers contain the personal papers of Jake and Nancy Hamon. Jake Hamon was a legendary Dallas independent wildcatter while his wife Nancy was a celebrated hostess and philanthropist. The collection offers insights into Dallas social and cultural history. The bulk of the materials originates from Dallas, Texas. Continue reading “Collection Spotlight: Jake and Nancy Hamon Papers”

Pollock’s Black Paintings: A Conversation

On Wednesday, November 11, art historian and critic, Michael Fried, and Dallas Museum of Art Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Gavin Delahunty, discussed Jackson Pollock’s black paintings, the focus of the exhibition opening at the DMA this coming Friday, November 20. Continue reading “Pollock’s Black Paintings: A Conversation”

Texas Artists digital collection recognized by global library collaborative

The Texas Artists: Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper (“Texas Artists”) digital collection was recently featured the global library collaborative OCLC’s website. Texas Artists is one of Central University Libraries’ (CUL) 48 digital collections, available on the CUL Digital Collections website. CUL Digital Collections contain some 50,000 digitized images of works of art, manuscripts, imprints, and audio-visual materials from CUL’s special collections. OCLC.org, a global library cooperative of academic and public libraries, selected Texas Artists as one of its CONTENTdm Featured Collections for November.

Continue reading “Texas Artists digital collection recognized by global library collaborative”

Great Scott and great voices at SMU

DiDonato, Heggie, and von Stade
Joyce DiDonato, Jake Heggie, and Frederica von Stade on campus at SMU. Image by Pam Pagels.

For the second time in less than five years, the Dallas Opera is producing the world premiere of an opera by composer Jake Heggie with the libretto by Terrence McNally. Great Scott opened Friday, October 30th and will continue its run at the Margo and Bill Winspear Opera House through November 15th. Continue reading “Great Scott and great voices at SMU”

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