Mix of Cultures in the Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), located in Dallas, TX, provides an intriguing selection of artwork, showcasing diverse cultural influences ranging from the historical to the modern.

In the DMA, everything from paintings and sketches from ancient Greece and Rome to modern works from Africa and France abound, are scattered across the walls of the two-story building.

One of the exhibitions on display at the DMA, titled “African Influences on Modern Art,” examined how elements of African culture were incorporated into the works of many modern artists.

In particular, the exhibit highlighted the works of 20th century European artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. These artists were exposed to African artifacts brought to Europe after colonial expansion.

For example, Picasso’s oil painting, “Bust” (1907-08), paralells a kifwebe mask of the Songye or Luba people of the late 19th and early 20th century.

In another part of the DMA’s gallery, Theodore Rousseau’s “The Charcoal Burner’s Hut (La hutte des charbonniers)” painted in 1850, depicts the rendering of the scenery of the village he resided in.

Rousseau lived in the French village of Barbizon, which is located in the forest of Fontainbleau, in which he produced a lot of his artworks.

According to the excerpt found in the gallery, Rousseau said, “I could hear the voices of the trees…their unexpected movements, their various shapes, even their particular attraction toward light, which had suddenly revealed the language of the forest to me…I wanted to converse with them and be able to tell myself that I had touched on the secret of their greatness through the language of painting.”

The DMA’s gallery highlighted how an artist’s environment can influence the production of art. The artists of the past and the modern came together in a single gallery, bringing a variety of cultures together.