The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) announced today that it has established a department dedicated to works on paper and created a new curatorial position after it received a gift of more than eighty works of art from the estate of DMA trustee and former curator William B. Jordan and his husband Robert Dean Brownlee. Jordan served as the adjunct curator of European art at the institution from 1977–1982.
The donation includes fifty-eight works on paper as well as antiquities, twentieth-century furniture, nineteenth-century oil paintings, ceramics, sculpture, and silver. In addition, Jordan and Brownlee provided funds to set up an endowment in support of the newly formed department’s ongoing operations and programming, and philanthropists and longtime museum supporters Allen and Kelli Questrom have pledged $3 million to endow the new curatorial role, which will be held by Julien Domercq, the DMA’s assistant curator of European art, while the museum searches for a new candidate for the position.
The news comes on the heels of the museum’s expansion of its departments of Latin American Art and Medieval and Islamic Art as part of a major effort to diversify its representation of history and culture. The DMA hired its first curator of Latin American art, Mark A. Castro, in August, and established a fund for the acquisition of Latin American artworks earlier this year. In July of 2018, it appointed Heather Ecker as its inaugural curator of Islamic and Medieval art, another new endowed position at the museum.
“The DMA’s holdings of over 5,600 works on paper are currently featured throughout our encyclopedic collection,” said DMA director Agustín Arteaga. “While these works have always been integral to enriching the study of art across the museum, they have yet to receive the benefit of ongoing, dedicated study or exhibition. We are tremendously grateful to the William B. Jordan and Robert Dean Brownlee Estate and Allen and Kelli Questrom for their vision and generosity in enabling the DMA to expand our exhibitions, programming, and scholarship in works on paper, an aspect of the museum’s collection that is incredibly rich and wide-ranging.”