Family Time: Spotlight on the George Grosz Exhibition


Explore your own ideas of Dallas with your family and discover those of artist George Grosz in the Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas exhibition. Explore the galleries containing Grosz’s amazing watercolor paintings for the Impressions of Dallas series which he painted during his four day visit to Dallas in 1952.

George Grosz, Flower of the Prairie, 1952, University Art Collection, Southern Methodist University, Gift of Leon A. Harris, Jr.

The paintings and photographs included in the exhibition will help you see what Dallas looked like in 1952. Find the videos of people playing, at home, and attending public events in Dallas. Imagine what it would have been like to grow up in Dallas sixty years ago. Think about what you and your family would wear, what kind of vehicle you would have, where you would live, etc. With your family, think about how your life in 2012 is similar and different from the way it might have been in 1952.

Let’s imagine that we are visiting Dallas for the very first time. What do you expect to see during your visit to Big D? When the artist George Grosz came all the way to Dallas from his home in Germany, he expected to see a large prairie with cotton fields, cows, and oil wells! Instead he was surprised to see a growing, busy, and fashionable city with skyscrapers and theaters. He was so impressed by the cowboys and the clothing they wore, that he even bought a ten gallon hat and pointy cowboy boots for himself! What items or clothing do you have that reminds you of Dallas?

George Grosz, Cowboy in Town, 1952, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of A. Harris and Company in memory of Leon A. Harris, Sr.

George Grosz was invited to come to Dallas by the owner of the A. Harris and Company clothing store to create a series of watercolor paintings titled Impressions of Dallas. He created four oil paintings and 17 watercolors from his Dallas experiences. He stayed at the Adolphus Hotel, the only building from that era that still functions as its original purpose. What view of the city do you think he could see and paint from the birds-eye view of his hotel room that differs from the view he would see while standing at a distance from the city?

George Grosz, Dallas Skyline, 1952, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of A. Harris and Company in memory of Leon A. Harris, Sr.

Try these activities!

  • What recognizable logos do you see in George Grosz’s paintings? What are your favorite Dallas symbols and logos?  Can you find some of them on a map of Dallas?
  • Take an art and architecture  stroll of  the Arts District and downtown Dallas with your family! The Business Council for the Arts has a wonderful tour available online and in print version!
  • Create a story about an imaginary city inspired by your visit to the DMA and downtown Dallas!
  • Check out Lilla-a-design for an adorable cityscape activity to try! Although all of the text may not be in English, the photos are worth a thousand words!
  • Draw a city from a bird’s-eye view, a bug’s-eye view, close up, and from a distance.
  • Explore Share & Remember for kid-friendly tips on watercolors.
  • Create a cityscape of the future by drawing the city of your dreams with watercolor pencils. Then go over the pencil lines with a wet brush to blur the colors and give your drawing a futuristic look!
  • Ask your grown-up to download the free iPad app for the exhibit Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas and learn more about the exhibit together!
  • Books to read and share:
    • Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets by Ellen Leventhal, Ellen Rothberg and Bill Megenhardt
    • Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires
    • Follow the Line by Laura Ljungkvist

Have fun!

Posted by: Mary



Filed under Art Projects, In the galleries

2 responses to “Family Time: Spotlight on the George Grosz Exhibition

  1. These are all great ideas! Thanks, Mary!

  2. Great ideas Mary. Funny shares about George Grosz as well. I’m sure he would be tickled if he gets the chance to read this.

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