Happenings on the Hill

Dalí and Vermeer

“Vermeer of Delft is the pinnacle of painting … in the drama of his work, the pictorial problem disappears,” Salvador Dalí once said.

For the first time in art history, Johannes Vermeer and Salvador Dalí stand side by side in “Dalí/Vermeer: A Dialogue.” The exhibition at SMU’s Meadows Museum runs through Jan. 15, 2023. 

In his lifetime, Dalí drew inspiration from the great Renaissance and Baroque painters, especially Dutch artist Vermeer. A longtime admirer, the Spanish artist dedicated at least 20 of his works to the painter of Delft. 

Locomotor Performance Lab research explores the differences between male and female runners.

In this special exhibition, Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter and Dalí’s The Image Disappears showcase Dalí’s tribute to Vermeer. Dalí’s composition shows the same woman disappearing while also in true surrealist fashion, illustrating an illusion to the viewer’s eye. Also on view is Dalí’s Vermeer’s The Love Letter, from Changes in Great Masterpieces. 

“For North Texas audiences, this is a rare opportunity to see a Vermeer in person or for anyone west of the Mississippi,” said museum director Amanda W. Dotseth. “We are deeply indebted to the Rijksmuseum and to the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí for their generous loans. This exhibition proves how palpable Vermeer’s impact was on the famed Spanish Surrealist.”

Distance Matters

New research at SMU’s Locomotor Performance Lab counters the conventional wisdom that men run 10-12% faster than women, regardless of the race’s distance. 

Ph.D. candidate Emily McClelland, working with lab director Peter Weyand, measured gender performance differences using data from sanctioned international athletic competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships.

They found that men have only a relatively small advantage over women in short-distance running.

One Whole Year of Sunday Supper Suggestions, by M.V. Doten. Published in 1927 by Rust Craft Publishing Co.

The 2003-2018 race data showed that the difference between male and female performance time increased with event distance from 8.6% to 11% from shortest to longest sprint events (60 to 400 meters). 

An accomplished athlete and former assistant director of strength and conditioning at Bowling Green State University, McClelland has long been interested in human performance science.

Cooking up history

“Cookbooks offer a way to rethink the history of the last 200 years,” said Christina Jensen, exhibit curator and head of public services at SMU’s DeGolyer Library, where a new exhibit explores more than 200 years of culinary history. 

“The Joy of Cooking – Two Centuries of Cookbooks at the DeGolyer Library,” running through Dec. 22, features 206 books from DeGolyer’s 6,000-cookbook collection, acquired during the research library’s decades of collecting items related to Western Americana, transportation, women’s history, and business history.

A leather-bound handwritten recipe book, written in Spanish by Dona Maria Josefa de La Luz Tapia in 1816, is the oldest cookbook in the exhibit. Recipes include dishes like pivipollo, a Yucatan-style dish featuring seasoned chicken wrapped in corn dough, often prepared for the Day of the Dead.

“Cookbooks are much more than compilations of recipes,” Jensen said. “They offer a timeline of economic, technology, family, and social history.” 

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