Life Outside of Campus: Visiting the Dallas Museum of Art

By Rees Sinnott

As I start my senior year at SMU, I am realizing more and more how important it is to venture off campus and experience all that Dallas has to offer. Last week, I decided to do just that.

My friend Charlotte Reardon came along. She’s a senior, too, and agreed that it was important to see some of the city where we’ve spent the past four years.

“I think entering college during the pandemic caused me to miss exploring Dallas early on,” Reardon explains. “I really want to make a point to see the city, especially because I don’t know where I will be next year.”

We decided to start with the Dallas Museum of Art. It’s close, there’s parking and best of all — it’s free! (That said, some specific exhibitions do require you to buy a ticket.)

Located in central downtown, the DMA is an accessible destination to escape dorm life, take a break from school work, and beat the Dallas heat. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday, so there is plenty of time to fit the trip into your busy school schedule.

We absolutely loved exploring the different exhibits; each room transporting us to a different country and time period. The European art section was breathtaking, especially the Mont Saint Michel by Paul Signac. From far away the painting looks so simple and elegant, but as you get closer, you can hone in on the meticulous brush strokes that compose the painting. Every painting was so captivating that I could’ve easily spent my whole day in this section.

The DMA also features an expansive collection of textiles, furniture and jewelry. I grew up watching my mom design jewelry so the jewelry exhibit, particularly the Ancient Greek and Roman pieces, caught my eye in a special way.

The furniture featured throughout the exhibits was so luxurious and memorable. I absolutely fell in love with a Peruvian cabinet featured in the Latin American Art section. Despite being dated around 1680-1700, it has been preserved so well that it practically looked brand new. It is made from mahogany, mother-of-pearl, tortoise shell, ivory and metal which are all materials that were used to symbolize wealth in Peruvian culture.

The DMA was established in Dallas in 1903 and is among the ten largest museums in the United States, which we are so fortunate to have access to right by campus. The collection holds over 24,000 pieces from 3000 BCE today and was cultivated in commemoration of the power of human creation. The DMA is a must-see while living in Dallas and was the perfect way for my friends and I to escape our busy day-to-day school routine. To learn more about the DMA and to plan your day trip visit their website.

Rees Sinnott

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