Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne

A Revealing Exhibition Celebrating the European Works on Paper Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art and in North Texas Collections Featuring Rarely Seen Works of Art

Dallas, TX, June 26, 2014—From quick sketches to watercolors and finished masterpieces, works by artists such as Eugène Delacroix, Jacques-Louis David, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Egon Schiele, Piet Mondrian and Pablo Picasso are brought together in Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne (June 29 through October 26, 2014). Organized by the Dallas Museum of Art, the exhibition features more than 120 works on paper—many of which have never been exhibited publicly—by 70 artists. Drawn in part from the DMA’s collection, but with significant loans from private collections in North Texas, Mind’s Eye, offers new insights into the working methods and practices of these artists, providing an intimate view of their approach to art making while also presenting the drawings and watercolors as finished works of art in their own right.

“One of the goals of the Dallas Museum of Art is to encourage collecting within the community. There is no better example of how to do this than to highlight the Museum’s graphic holdings together with those that have been assembled in private homes throughout our area,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA. “Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne presents a rich and fascinating array of works in various media by artists from the Austro-Hungarian, Belgian, British, Dutch, French, German, Spanish and Swiss schools, spanning nearly 150 years—from the French Revolution to the dawn of modernism.”

The collecting and appreciation of drawings were for centuries activities associated with the privileged, the educated, or artists themselves, and the skills derived from these actions ultimately formed the basis of modern art history. Through museums, a wider audience has come to enjoy and value these most intimate of artists’ expressions. Collecting in this area has gone on throughout the DMA’s 111-year history, yet Mind’s Eye is the first exhibition to consider what has been achieved, while also serving as a tribute to the generations of collectors who have brought these drawings to Texas.

The works on view in Mind’s Eye focus on European art from the French Revolution in the late 18th century to the birth of modernism in the early 20th century. The Museum’s European works on paper collection, which has a strong holding of French art from the 19th and early 20th centuries, with an emphasis on impressionist and post-impressionist works, is complemented by loans from private collections that broaden the scope of the exhibition. Because of the different kinds of works on view, the varied roles that drawing plays for artists—as a learning exercise, as a form of note taking, as a tool for planning and development of larger works, and as an end in itself—are showcased, and the artistic process of the various artists revealed.

Mind’s Eye is about the pleasures of collecting, but it is also about the rich history and diversity found in drawings created by artists throughout art history,” said Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art. “The exhibition highlights many recognizable names along with lesser-known artists, examining overlooked works and reexamining those produced by famous artists to reveal the full effect of their contributions from a fresh, modern perspective.” Meslay is co-curator of the exhibition with Dr. William B. Jordan, formerly Director of the Meadows Museum and Deputy Director of the Kimbell Art Museum. Both are lifelong students of drawings. “This works on paper exhibition brings to light a part of the collection that is not often highlighted, despite its quality,” added Jordan.

In the exhibition, visitors will be able to learn about the care and conservation of works on paper, and how to properly frame a drawing through a video demonstration, as well as view a display of various materials represented in the works on view with examples of the different kinds of lines produced by these tools. The educational displays were created by DMA Chief Conservator Mark Leonard. In the late summer, visitors will be able to explore the exhibition with a smartphone tour featuring commentary by the exhibition co-curators, Olivier Meslay and William B. Jordan. DMA Friends will be able to earn the Mind’s Eye Special Exhibition Badge while the show is on view. For more information on the DMA Friends program, visit DMA.org/friends.

Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne requires a special exhibition ticket of $8 for adults; DMA Partners and children 11 and under are free. Programming, including lectures, gallery talks and a celebration of the exhibition during the Museum’s September 19 Late Night, will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition. For dates, prices, and details, visit DMA.org. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a 240-page full-color publication, edited by Olivier Meslay and William B. Jordan, with contributions by Esther Bell, Richard R. Brettell, Alessandra Comini, Dakin Hart, William B. Jordan, Felix Krämer, Laurence Lhinares, Heather MacDonald, Olivier Meslay, Jed Morse, Steven Nash, Sylvie Patry, Louis-Antoine Prat, Richard Rand, George T. M. Shackelford, Richard Shiff, Kevin W. Tucker and Charles Wylie. The catalogue is distributed by Yale University Press.

Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and co-curated by Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art, and William B. Jordan. Air transportation provided by American Airlines.

Images: (Left to right) Ernest Biéler, L’épine-vinette, 1910, watercolor over pencil and india ink on paper mounted on cardboard, Nona and Richard Barrett Collection, Dallas; Vincent van Gogh, Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, 1888, reed pen and ink with graphite on laid paper, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection; Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples on a Sideboard, c. 1900–06, watercolor over pencil on white paper, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, the Museum welcomes more than half a million visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy and launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program in the country.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.