A Paw Footed Egyptian Chair

Walking through the Egyptian Galleries at the Brooklyn Museum, past the stone sculptures and mumified cats, I was struck by the paw feet on this Egyptian chair. Not only is it remarkable that a wooden chair survived this long ago (made as early as 1400 B.C.), but, a fan of American furniture, I was swept in to look further into Egyptian art by these paw feet. To some degree, civilizations have copied each other since the beginning of time. In this case, the lines not only from ancient Greece to the 1820s and early 1900s, but from ancient Egypt into Ancient Greece and on to Chippendale became clear.

As a person who spends the bulk of his time in the American Galleries, looking at the pieces and damaged goods on display made me wonder what portions of our stuff will make it into a gallery 2000 years in the future? The paw foot from an empire sofa? An IKEA wine glass? I suppose I won’t be around to find out.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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