Art and Nature in the Middle Ages

December 4, 2016 to March 19, 2017
| Chilton II Gallery
Aquamanile (water jug): unicorn, Lower Saxony, Germany, late 13th/early 14th century, bronze, Musée national du Moyen Âge – Thermes de Cluny, Cl. 2136 © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY Photo: Gérard BlotThe Seigniorial Life: Chivalry (Gallantry), southern Netherlands, c. 1520, wool and silk tapestry, Musée national du Moyen Âge – Thermes de Cluny, Cl.2179 © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY Photo: Franck RauxFour-lobed reliquary: Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata, Limoges, France, c. 1228–1230, champlevé enamel, Musée national du Moyen Âge – Thermes de Cluny, OA81 © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY Photo: Jean-Gilles BerizziWhite roses decoration, from the Franciscan Church in Colmar (?), Alsace, France, c. 1330 Ornamental stained glass, Musée national du Moyen Âge – Thermes de Cluny, Cl.13747k © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY Photo: Gérard Blot

Spanning the 12th to early 16th centuries, Art and Nature in the Middle Ages explores the diverse modes of expression and variety of representations of nature in European medieval art, whether plant or animal, sacred or profane, real or imagined, highlighting the continuities and changes. The exhibition, featuring work from the Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris, and on view exclusively at the DMA in the United States, presents more than 100 extraordinary objects, rarely before shown in the United States, that reflect the wide range of styles, techniques, and iconography that flourished during this period. The featured works of art—which include an astonishing array of media, from stained glass windows to illuminated manuscripts—emphasize the fundamental bond between humans and nature, and nature’s constant presence in the immediate environment and spiritual life of men and women in the Middle Ages. 

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$16 with discounts for seniors, students, and military. DMA Members and children 11 and under are free.

Programs

Exhibition Talk: “What are the filthy apes doing there?”: Animals, Nature, and the Medieval Artistic Imagination

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Dr. C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will discuss the contexts that shaped art production and consumption in the Middle Ages. Using objects from Art and Nature in the Middle Ages as a point of departure, Mann will consider varied perspectives on the role of visual art in this period, particularly in relation to religious experience.

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Teen Homeschool Workshop: Stained Glass

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The most beautiful stained glass windows find their home in medieval cathedrals, transporting everyone who saw them to another world. In the exhibition Art and Nature in the Middle Ages, learn more about the technique and symbolism behind stained glass, and make a window of your own in the Tech Lab. Ages 13-19; no prior experience necessary, and all materials provided.

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Intermediate Calligraphy Workshop with Lyndsay Wright

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Inspired by the manuscript pages in the Art and Nature in the Middle Ages exhibition, our intermediate workshop in calligraphy will teach you lowercase lettering in the medieval style and have you taking home greeting card sets you design! Don't worry if you don't feel "intermediate" now, by the end of the workshop you'll be feeling confident in a new style!

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Gallery Talks

Wednesdays, 12:15 p.m.

Grab a bite of insight and join DMA staff, artists, and local scholars to explore the Museum's collection and exhibitions during weekly lunchtime gallery talks.

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Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art

Third Fridays, 6:00 p.m.–midnight

Embrace the weird and obscure! Join us on Friday, October 20 for our tribute to the cult classics of art, movies, and music. Learn about the art of horror movie special effects makeup, sing along during Late Night Karaoke, and stay late for a quote-along screening of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

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Late Night Film: Ladyhawke

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Set in medieval France, Ladyhawke tells the story of two cursed lovers who can only meet in human form at dawn and dusk and the young thief who helps them set things right.

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Late Night Film: The Sword in the Stone

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Disney's animated classic The Sword in the Stone recounts the Arthurian legend of a young boy pulling a sword from a stone to earn the claim to England's throne. The boy in question, a humble squire named Wart, is guided to his destiny by a friendly wizard who sees his potential.

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Beginner's Calligraphy Workshop with Lyndsay Wright

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Inspired by the manuscript pages in the Art and Nature in the Middle Ages exhibition, our beginner’s workshop in medieval calligraphy will teach you about the tools of calligraphy and basic techniques, as well as cover lowercase lettering.

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Teen Tour: Medieval Europe

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Explore the history of art on a tour just for teens! Join us as we uncover the story of the DMA's collection through discussion in the galleries and art making in the Tech Lab. No prior art history knowledge required—we'll get you up to speed!

Image: Scene of chivalry from the Seigniorial Life tapestry cycle (detail), southern Netherlands, c. 1500-20, wool and silk, Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris,  Cl. 2179, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY, Photo: Franck Raux

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Teen Workshop: Calligraphy

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Medieval scribes were masters of book illumination and calligraphy, turning ordinary words and symbols into illustrated feasts for the eyes. Explore medieval manuscripts in Art and Nature in the Middle Ages and learn how to add extra flair to your own handwriting. Ages 13-19. No experience is necessary, and all materials are provided.

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Art Babies: Once Upon a Time

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Art Babies is for children 0-24 months old and their caregivers and requires advance registration. Click on the event for additional information.

For the January-March classes, we'll step into the world of fairy tales and magic as we enjoy songs and stories in the Art and Nature in the Middle Ages exhibition, followed by sensory playtime.

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Family Workshop: Fantastic Beasts

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Family Workshop is for children ages 6-12 and requires advance registration. Click on the event for additional information.

Which beast is best: real, imaginary, or a bit of both? In the February workshop, we'll discover dragons, unicorns, and more in the exhibition Art and Nature in the Middle Ages, and then make medieval masterpieces in the Art Studio.

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