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Monday, November 12, 2012

Time Travel to Paris Late 1800's

Georges de Feure, Paris-Almanach, 1895, color lithograph, Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Milton F. Gutglass, Photo by John Glembin via www.dallasmuseumofart.org

Last month the Creative Oasis Day Trippers traveled back in time to the bawdy, beautiful, decadent decades of the late 1800's of Paris. A fascinating Dallas Museum of Art gallery talk given by the curator of "Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and his Contemporaries," Dr. Heather McDonald, transported us to a bygone era combining titillating anecdotes with historical context to bring the iconic posters and their stories to life.

photo of Dr. Heather McDonald via www.dallasartnews.com
The exhibit envelopes you in its cozy, darkened rooms and delights combining many celebrated images with lesser-known lithographs of the time. Attending a Gallery Talk or using the audio truly enriches the sumptuous visual experience with fascinating stories of Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as other artists  and celebrities of the late 1800's in and around Paris.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Aristide Bruant in his Cabaret, 1893, color lithograph, Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, Photo by Larry Sanders

Once you woven through the rooms filled with lithographs you'll find yourself in a poster-making studio complete with all of the supplies you need to create your very own poster. The Dallas Museum of Art provides such fun and inspiring hands-on experiences these days that add a wonderful interactive dimension to the museum-going experience.

Wall of posters created by DMA visitors 
I created my "Stella" poster in about five minutes or less. (Hurray for the DMA keeping it Kaizen - lots of creative joy in a small amount of time!)I'm thinking about using it as the base for a collage piece.

Jill's "Stella" Poster
The exhibit, Posters of Paris:  Toulouse – Lautrec and His Contemporaries will run through January 20, 2013. How would it be to share the experience with a friend or relative as a holiday gift? What might you create with your own poster?

I plan on returning at least once myself to spend more time soaking in the visuals and imagining what life was like in the dance halls and cabarets of the day. Speaking of which...a bit of wonderful serendipity (which many of you know I refer to as hee-mee-shee-mees) happened the day of the gallery talk.

That evening I went home to set up my newly purchased Kindle and I downloaded the first book on my wishlist which happened to be  "Sacré Bleu" by Christopher Moore which stars Henri Toulouse – Lautrec in an humorous, historical fiction surrounding the death of Vincent van Gogh. Many of the interesting tidbits shared during the Gallery Talk were referrenced with the first two chapters of the book. I never would have known they were part of the historical tale rather than the fiction had I missed the talk. I'm enjoying the book so much that I'm down to savoring the last few pages and should be finished tonight. So fun to be introduced to a new writer in this sychronistic way. If you're not put off my salty language and a bit of low-brow humor (which I found wickedly funny in the context) I highly recommend this fantastical romp through time and art!

Until next time, all the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,

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