In the halls of Jesuit College Preparatory School, students walk daily with Dalí.
The Jesuit Dallas Museum features a collection of more than 500 works from five continents and 25 countries, including those by Salvador Dalí, R.C. Gorman, Georges Braque Diego Rivera and Robert Rauschenberg. Paintings, sculptures and ceramics fill the hallways, courtyards, classrooms and library.
“The museum is unique in the region and, perhaps, in the entire center of the country,” says Dallas Morning News art critic Richard Brettell, who is the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair at the University of Texas at Dallas. “At Jesuit, students can be exposed to important works of art by a wide range of artists and to works from the traditions of Native Americans. This is not true for the much richer schools in Dallas like St. Mark’s or Hockaday or analogous ones like Ursuline or Cistercian.”
The museum was incorporated in 1986 as a nonprofit institution. It shares the campus with the school but is separately chartered and has its own board of trustees.
Jesuit alumnus Frank Ribelin’s 1988 gift of largely contemporary art first established the collection. He believed that art should play a role in education and provide an escape from day-to-day pressures, Brettell says.
Museum Director Elizabeth Hunt Blanc says some of the more significant pieces on display are those by John Nieto, “Man with the Gold Tooth” by David Bates and “Navajo Code Talker” by R.C. Gorman, who has been called “the Picasso of American Indian art.” She is working on obtaining accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.
Blanc and 25 docents conduct tours and work with teachers to design hands-on projects for students. Art from the collection supplements lessons from English, Spanish and theology to math and science.
A group of 5-year-olds from the Learning Tree School recently toured the exhibit.
The museum partners with the Perot Museum of Science and Nature by lending pieces.
The museum currently features three works by the Andrew Bark Scholarship recipient, Evan Hargrave, Class of 2018. The Andrew Bark 1998 Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a rising senior who excels in the visual arts at Jesuit.
The museum is also hosting a show by Jesuit alumnus David Collins in conjunction with the Valley House Gallery. The Collins exhibit continues through May 25.
To schedule a free tour, email Blanc at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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