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A Twenty-Year Tradition

Each spring for the last twenty years, the Denver Art Museum has invited an entire elementary school community, to include students, staff, and parents, to participate in a morning of artful experiences based on the DAM’s visual skills tours for children.  This program emphasizes the DAM’s commitment to school and family programs and is a positive step in developing long-lasting relationships with the schools selected for the event.

This exhibit was inspired by the research of Gabriela Zoller, Acting Head of Research Resources for the AKAG. She was cataloging Edgar Degas’painting, “Mademoiselle Fiocre in the Ballet La Source” (1866-1868) for the gallery’s art collection data base. Utilizing outside information (the web-based ERR project’s Jeu de Paume database), she made an exciting discovery about the provenance of the work, and its relationship to Nazi art looting during WWII. Gabriela decided to read Robert M. Edsel’s book, “The Monuments Men” as a follow up, and “for fun”.

Small Museums of various kinds, found throughout the United States, house many treasurers. The NDSC recognizes the importance of these museums and their docents.  

 

Do you remember the first time you had a transformative art experience? Mine was during museum tours and painting walks along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., with my high school art class taught by Walter Bartman. Seeing monumental American landscapes in the Smithsonian, I was amazed and humbled while still inspired to try harder in my own painting.

For Asian Art Museum Commissioner David Lei, his lifelong passion for Asian art followed an encounter in a museum with a teacher of another sort—docent and longtime Asian Art Museum supporter Helen Desai. In David’s words: “I always liked the view of the Japanese Tea Garden from the galleries, but the objects did not speak to me. Although I am Chinese with educated parents, they seldom talked to me about Asian art. This all changed in 1968 when I took a docent tour from a very nice blonde lady and was blown away by the symbolic meanings and the connectivity of the objects to my life. Ever since, it has been a wonderful journey of curiosity and learning. Years later when I became active with the Asian, I recognized the docent to be Helen Desai.”

Sarah Thornton
2008, 256 pp
W.W. Norton & Company


There have been many books and some movies that are of interest to docents.  For more reviews take a look at “Movie and Book Reviews” under the “Resources” section. If you have any that you would like to add to our collection, please send them to us.


Thornton, a free lance journalist with a background in sociology, spent hundreds of hours of "participant observation" and over 250 in-depth interviews with high-profile persons with the power to shape art history.  Seven Days in the Art World was named one of the best art books of 2008 by the Sunday Times and the New York Times. Thornton also has written for many publications including The Economist, Artforum and The New Yorker.

Timothy Egan
2012, paperback 384 pp
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


There have been many books and some movies that are of interest to docents.  For more reviews take a look at “Movie and Book Reviews” under the “Resources” section. If you have any that you would like to add to our collection, please send them to us.


Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis is a vivid recounting of an American original by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Timothy Egan. Egan is an American author and journalist. For The Worst Hard Time, a 2006 book about people who lived through The Great Depression's Dust Bowl, he won the National Book Award for Nonfiction[3][4] and the Washington State Book Award in history/biography.  In 2001, The New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for a series to which Egan contributed, "How Race is Lived in America".   He currently lives in Seattle and contributes opinion columns as the paper's Pacific Northwest correspondent.