Visual art news, views & reviews in Dallas, Texas, USA

Home  Index  Calendar  Member art  Join  Ops  Resources  Feedback  Contact us  Reviews  Search

The Contemporary?
Which Contemporary?

Rene Magritte in America at the Dallas Museum for Contempoarary Arts,
December 8, 1960 - January 8, 1961
The popular artist's first exhibition in the United States. Paul Rogers Harris
photo from SMU's Pollock Gallery's one i at a time catalog, 1971.


In Dallas, The Modern probably refers to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, where Dallas' best museums have always been. Several area galleries also use the term, contemporary, in their names..

The Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts (DMCA) was created in 1957 when modern was not yet Post, and the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) was afraid to show contemporary art —  Picasso (because they thought he was a Communist) Pollock, Diebenkorn, Kline, Rauschenberg, Matisse, Vlimiinck, Magritte and others.

After a colorful contemporary and community oriented career, the DMCA collection was absorbed into the DMA in 1963. Meanwhile, we can't forget Dunn and Brown Contemporary, a gallery that's been using the moniker since October of 1999.

The former director of the Arlington Museum of Art (which is an art center in a building that still looks and acts a lot like a department store, not a museum) has lately turned Dallas Visual Art Center (DVAC, which always sounded like a MASH unit bugging out) into the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art. Heck, there's even a Contemporary Arts Center in Abilene...

(Just try pronouncing DCCA), which she wants us to call The Contemporary (morphing the long-time community art center into a museum — vaguely like Houston's Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) — a laudable goal, even though their major competitor, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC), has been using that same title for more than a decade.

Before it was the DCCA, the center was — going back into time — DVAC, D-Art, D'Art, and before Mary Wachoviak Ward convinced them to reorganize into an art center for Dallas, the Artists Coalition of Texas (ACT). Most Dallasites still call the post-modern castle on Swiss Avenue "D-Art."

A newish — they're claiming four years history — art coalition, the Visual Arts Coalition of Dallas, VACD — a confusing anagram of DVAC — desperately needs a fine arts and crafts center in the downtown area officially called the Dallas Arts District (DAD), even though that area is really just an expensive real estate conceit.


DARts Index
Art Calendar

since May 2007 design update