Good reading, good giving: SMU books for 2012

Diego Velazquez: The Early Court Portraits

Calendar Highlights: Oct. 8, 2012

On this day 520 years ago: Happy Columbus Day! Today, we celebrate the journey of Christopher Columbus and his arrival in America on Oct. 12, 1942. Columbus Day became an official federal state holiday in 1937 and is celebrated on the second Monday of October every year.

Author visit: Friends of SMU Libraries will host a lecture and book signing by author Susan Orlean Wednesday, Oct. 10. Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of seven books, including the best-seller The Orchid Thief and her most recent, Rin Tin TinThe Life and the Legend. The event will start with a light buffet at 11:30 a.m. in the Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Building. This event is free and open to the public; please RSVP to Cindy Ruppi if you plan to attend.

Moody Tip-Off: To kick off the 2012-13 basketball season and the re-design of Moody Coliseum as part of the University’s centennial celebration, SMU Athletics will host a “Tip-off at Moody” on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The special event starts with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by a 6:30 p.m. tip-off; the night concludes with dinner and events at 7 p.m. The men’s basketball season begins Sunday, Nov. 11 against Loyola Marymount.

Oldovini’s organ: The Meadows School of the Arts and Larry Palmer, professor of harpsichord and organ, have teamed up to bring a special musical opportunity to the SMU community. Palmer will perform monthly demonstrations on Oldovini’s organ in the Meadows Museum. The organ is the only instrument by Pascoal Caetano Oldovini to be found outside the Iberian Peninsula. The first demonstration takes place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11; it is free, open to the public and a unique musical experience not to be missed.

Gallery Talks: The Meadows Museum hosts a Gallery Talk on Friday, October 12, in conjunction with the Diego Velázquez: The Early Court Portraits exhibition. The event will feature perspectives from guest speakers such as Mark Leonard, chief conservator for the Dallas Museum of Art, on the painting techniques used and other insights. The talk takes place at 12:15 p.m. in the Jack and Nancy Hamon Galleries, Meadows Museum. No reservation is required, and the event is free for SMU faculty, staff and students.

SMU Forum wishes the faculty and students a very happy fall break! See you back on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. 

October 8, 2012|Calendar Highlights|

Velázquez exhibition unites portraits from Prado, Meadows

Philip IV, 1623-27. Oil on canvas. By Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez

Philip IV, 1623-27, oil on canvas, by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

As part of its multifaceted partnership with the Prado, SMU’s Meadows Museum is presenting the most important monographic exhibition devoted to Velázquez in the United States in more than two decades.

Diego Velázquez: The Early Court Portraits, which opened Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, and continues through Jan. 13, 2013, explores the development and impact of Velázquez’s work as the court portraitist for King Philip IV, one of history’s most influential arts patrons and connoisseurs.

The exhibition brings together key paintings from this period, including two early portraits of the King from the Meadows and Prado collections, united for the first time in four centuries. The exhibition is curated by one of the world’s leading Velázquez scholars, Javier Portús, head of the Prado’s Department of Spanish Painting until 1700. In the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue, Portús states that the artist’s first portrait of the king “may well be the work at the Meadows.”

In anticipation of this exhibition, Meadows/Kress/Prado Fellow Iraida Rodríguez-Negrón consulted directly with the Prado’s Gabinete Técnico de Documentación, the section of the museum’s conservation department where technical studies such as radiographs, infrared reflectography and UV light analysis are performed and analyzed. The Prado’s Gabinete Técnico then conducted extensive research on both museums’ Philip IV portraits.

X-rays of the Meadows portrait revealed underlying experimentation with the outline of the King’s neck and shoulders as well as variations in color and composition, suggesting this was Velázquez’s first attempt to paint the King. By contrast, it is clear that the King’s form was fully devised when Velázquez began painting the portrait now in the Prado’s collection.

Through this analysis, an outline beneath the surface of the Prado’s portrait was also discovered that replicates the contours seen in the Meadows painting, now understood to be the direct prototype of this later portrait. Technical materials will be included in the exhibition to shed light on these new findings.

> Read the full story from SMU News

September 19, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 6, 2012

A Taste of Tango: Break out your dancing shoes and join the Meadows Wind Ensemble for “A Night in Buenos Aires: A Celebration of Tango.” The program features numerous tango performances that are sure to dazzle and inspire you – and even includes works by Igor Stravinsky and John Phillip Sousa! The performance begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 in Caruth Auditorium. Admission is $7 for students, faculty and staff. For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Back to the Boulevard: The Mustangs’ first home game of the season is at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. We are up against Stephen F. Austin and hope to see everyone in white supporting our team. Pony up!


Jammin’ in the Atrium: Starting Sept. 12 you can add zest to your Wednesday lunch hour and join the Meadows World Music Ensemble for a jam session. The sessions start at noon in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center, and feature art and music from various cultures.

Annual archaeology lecture: Jeremy Sabloff, president of the Santa Fe Institute, gives the 2012 Fred Wendorf Distinguished Lecture in Archaeology at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13. Sabloff will discuss the development of Maya hieroglyphic texts and other exciting advancements of study in “Settlement Pattern Studies and the Emergence of the Current Model of Ancient Maya Civilization.” The lecture takes place in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. (Left, Jeremy Sabloff, photo courtesy of the Santa Fe Institute.)

Spanish art influence: This semester the Meadows Museum of Art will host the exhibit: “Diego Velazquez: The Early Court Portraits.” Velazquez was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV and had large influence over the portraiture of the period. In the Meadows Museum from 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, Sep. 13 a free symposium, featuring three guest speakers, will take place. The exhibit will open the following Sunday, Sep. 16, 2012 and run through Jan. 13, 2013.

The Opera Stars of SMU: The opening showcase of the 2012-13 Opera Free For All series begins at 1 p.m Friday, Sept. 14 in the Bob Hope Lobby of the Owen Arts Center. The showcase will feature 60-second arias by Meadows Opera Theatre Ensemble members. Performers will strategically use their allotted time to stand out and make a lasting impression.

Latin Spice: Latin American Heritage Month begins Sept. 15, 2012. President Lyndon Johnson first introduced this month-long celebration of Latin history and culture; Sept. 15 was chosen as the start date because on that day in 1821, five Latin American countries gained independence. During this month we recognize and appreciate the accomplishments of the Latin American community.

September 6, 2012|Calendar Highlights|
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