Saturday, February 12, 2011

Museum Field Trip

The Dallas Museum of Art had a free preview today of its Stickley furniture exhibit.  Beautiful furniture in the Craftsman style - the American response to England's William Morris and his followers.

Stickley's furniture has a solid, honest-wood feel to it, expressing the nature of the oak planks or crafted metal used to build it, and the designs - like those of closely related Mission style - suggest the medieval but also Art Nouveau.  Sometimes, for my taste, it can all get a little too plank-ish and heavy, especially a room full of the style.  I loved the sideboards and serving tables, but my favorite piece was a stair's newel post with a built in electric light.  Here's the sketch:
Next door was an interesting display of drawings showing Frank Lloyd Wright architectural designs of about the same period.

Pretty completely unrelated, but equally interesting, is an exhibit of African masks.  Some wonderful things.  My visit was enriched by happening across a performance in the north hall - African dancers wearing masks and terrific "clackers" - 6" high ankle bracelets made of polished wood... that looked like clustered mussel shells made out of polished mahogany and they made a lovely wooden, musical, percussive sound.

On the way out of the building I waved to the FLW windows at far south end of the museum, which now light the restaurant.

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