Opened September 26 at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), a new exhibit honors a remarkable gift from the estate of eminent researcher William B. Jordan and her husband, Robert Dean Brownlee. Celebrating the creation of the Museum’s works on paper department, Point, line, plane: the William B. Jordan and Robert Dean Brownlee legacy consists of approximately 50 works donated to DMA by Jordan and Brownlee. The exhibition includes drawings, watercolors, prints, photographs, sculpture and decorative arts by some of the most important European and American artists of the past three centuries. Point, Line, Plane is curated by Sue Canterbury, The Pauline Gill Sullivan Curator of American Art and Interim Allen and Kelli Questrom Curator of Works on Paper. The exhibition is visible until January 9, 2022 and is included in free general admission.
“Bill and Robert were kind, intelligent and generous souls invested in creating a lasting impact on the arts in North Texas and in DMA,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, DMA Director Eugene McDermott. “Together, they have built a magnificent personal collection that shows their admiration for the unique intimacy contained in works on paper. We have been honored to be the recipients of their generosity, and we honor their mission by sharing these precious works with our visitors. ”
Jordan and Brownlee were key figures in the Dallas-Fort Worth arts community. While Brownlee focused on architecture and interior design, Jordan was a scholar and connoisseur of Spanish painting. His influence on the artistic institutions of the region is immeasurable. As founding director of the Meadows Museum (1967-1980) and deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum (1981-1990), Jordan raised the quality and profile of both collections. He started his affiliation with the DMA as Assistant Curator for European Art (1977-1982) and has evolved into an invaluable member of the museum’s board.
Both deeply interested in art, the couple has built a collection over decades comprising works by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Rosa Bonheur, Berthe Morisot, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock, Josef Albers, Cy Twombly, Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Rauschenberg, among others. While the collection varied according to the types of objects and historical eras, works on paper were at the heart of the collection. Point, Line Plane presents around 50 works ranging from ancient to contemporary, demonstrating an enduring fascination with artists’ use of expressive line, figure representation and dialogues through media.
“While Bill and Robert have collected several materials, it is evident that they appreciated the drawings in particular for their immediacy as visible revelations of an artist’s initial concept. It’s extraordinarily intimate in that it’s like witnessing the birth of the creative spark no matter how long it’s been since that moment, ”said curator Sue Canterbury.
The DMA Works on Paper Department was established in 2019 through a group of visionary donations to the museum: a gift from the Jordan and Brownlee Estate, which provided significant funds to establish the William B. Jordan and Robert Dean Endowment Brownlee to support the department; the creation of a new endowed curatorial position, Allen and Kelli Questrom Curator of Works on Paper, made possible by an extraordinary bequest of $ 3 million to the Museum by Allen and Kelli Questrom; and Jordan and Brownlee’s donation of nearly 80 works to the museum, including 58 works on paper as well as antiques, 20th-century furniture, 19th-century oil paintings, ceramics, sculpture and art. money.
For more information, visit DMA.org