Museum Compositions – Anonymous Eyes

Yesterday I posted a drawing and 2 photos from my foray into the Dallas Museum of Art’s ‘Bouquet’ exhibition over the Thanksgiving weekend, 2014.

There were other temporary exhibitions as well. One was a retrospective of Modernist Jewelry created by Art Smith.  I honestly was more interested in the photographs of the models wearing the jewelry, most seeming to be from the 50s and 60s.  The photographers were listed as ‘Unknown Photographer’ in all the photos, though one actually did have a last name written on it. It’s a relatively rare occurrence when something on a museum wall from the last 100 years is attributed to ‘Anonymous’ .  The names of models in old paintings are often lost in time, but that is usually not the case with more contemporary portrait muses.  But these were photos focused on the jewelry, not the photographer or model, and at least the Jewelry designer was known, right?  Still, I felt bad for the photographer and models lost in time.  I did however like the word play that immediately appeared in my head; I was taking photographs of photographs taken by unknown photographers of anonymous models.  

I took a few pics with my regular camera then decided to take one with my cell phone so I could post it if I later wanted to.  When I did that I happened to catch a reflected light in the eye of one of the model photos. That led me on a search for more reflected lights in the eyes.  I spent minutes at a time trying to get the reflection to be just right. It was a fun and exacting effort.  The other people in the gallery definitely were wondering why I was holding up a little old cell phone so long in one position, that was obvious!  

Here are a few of my favorites from my effort.


 Museum Composition - Anonymous Eyes #1

Museum Composition – Anonymous Eyes #1



Museum Composition - Anonymous Eyes #2

Museum Composition – Anonymous Eyes #2



Museum Composition - Anonymous Eyes #3

Museum Composition – Anonymous Eyes #3



Museum Composition - Anonymous Eyes #4

Museum Composition – Anonymous Eyes #4


After I took the pics I wandered around looking at the actual jewelry in the cases and, as you can see from the photos, they were incredible.



Here are more ‘Museum Compositions’ posts

Museum Compositions – June 2013

Museum as Muse – Dallas Museum of Art – July 2013

Bouquets in Dallas – Dallas Museum of Art – November 2014

Anonymous Eyes – Dallas Museum of Art – November 2014





Photographs and writing by Marty Coleman © 2015



Museum Compositions – Bouquets in Dallas


Dallas Museum of Art


Over the Thanksgiving weekend we were down in Dallas visiting our daughter, Caitlin.  We went to see the Dallas Cowboys play on Thursday, had Thanksgiving dinner after that and then spent the rest of the weekend just enjoying ourselves.  On Friday Linda and Caitlin went shopping and I went to one of my favorite museums, the Dallas Museum of Art.  I’ve been there 3 times now I think. It’s a large museum with an extensive permanent collection in all the major areas of art.  It also has rotating exhibitions, usually at least 3-4 at a time.  This time the major show was ‘Bouquets’.  That means it was paintings of flowers.  Not my favorite genre.  It could even be my least favorite genre actually.  

I knew this in advance and was thinking of going to the outdoor Sculpture Museum across the street instead but for some reason I forget now, maybe it was cold or rainy, I opted to go to the Museum anyway. I had my camera with me and figured at least I would be able to work on my ongoing ‘Museum Compositions’ series.  I also knew that the exhibition had at least one Matisse painting in it so it couldn’t be all bad.

One of the good things about the DMA is they allow photography (without flash) everywhere, even special exhibitions.  Most museums allow photography but not in the temporary exhibitions.  Some, like the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, don’t allow any photography at all.  So, I went traipsing around the museum and took some photos.  


I also did a drawing while I was there.  It wasn’t in my sketchbook but rather in a gallery in the Bouquet’ exhibition where they had an actual bouquet of flowers for people to draw. They had paper and pencils and places to sit.  I had a pen with me, the type I use in my sketchbook, so I used that on one of their pieces of paper to capture the scene.  There was a place to put up your art work once you were finished but I didn’t want to let go of mine.  I rolled it up and brought it home thinking I might color it later on.  It got hidden in a bag I brought home and I didn’t find it again until last week right before my road trip to Virginia.

One of my goals for 2015 is to follow through on more of my artwork so I figured I needed to scan the drawing and put it out there before it got forgotten.


Bouquets in Dallas

A drawing of someone drawing flowers in an exhibition of paintings of flowers at the Dallas Museum of Art.


I didn’t capture many shots I liked but here are two I think stood out.

Museum Composition - Bouquet #1

Museum Composition – Bouquet #1

This is one of the favorite ‘Museum Compositions’ images I’ve taken.  The pose this woman unconsciously struck as she looked at the painting was exquisite and I quickly got off 3-4 photos of her standing there.   I later went up to her and asked her if she was a dancer since the pose looks so much like one a dancer would strike. She said she wasn’t and I told her she sure had the posture of one. She took it as a very nice compliment and I was happy about that.

Museum Composition - Bouquet #2

Museum Composition – Bouquet #2

I like the color combinations in this one and I especially like the interaction between the two people. 


Photographs and drawings © 2017 Marty Coleman |

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