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The Decorative Arts Collection Spreads the Word
Building consumer interest in decorative
by Shea Szachara (May, 2004)
In 1982 the board of the Society of Decorative Painters (SDP)
formed a separate, not-for-profit corporation, the Decorative Arts
Collection, Inc. The SDP board also served as the board for this
second organization until 1998 when a separate, independent
governing board of trustees was formed – establishing the DAC as
an autonomous entity.
From this point of separation, the governing DAC board has worked
to fulfill the original mission to collect, preserve, and display
historical and contemporary decorative art of the highest quality.
The DAC board also has the task of raising its own operating funds
as well as carrying forward the vision of a museum to house its
collection. It may surprise you to hear that currently more than
1000 items make up this collection with a total value exceeding six
With a volunteer board devoted solely to this combined mission,
tremendous progress has been made in the last several years.
Policies have also been put in place to bring portions of the
collection to different venues around the country. The first
traveling exhibition, The Fathers of American Decorative Painting,
took place in 2003 and garnered tremendous accolades and great press
coverage for the DAC.
This year will bring to the public A Sentimental Collection of
Roses featuring nearly 100 new rose-related works of art that
will be part of the DAC permanent collection. A full-color catalog
including 24 painting lessons will be released in conjunction with
the opening of the exhibition at the 2004 SDP Phoenix Conference May
26-29. This fabulous Roses exhibition will be open for
viewing during show hours by anyone attending the Conference. At the
close of the Conference, the exhibition will be on display in the
DAC Museum in Wichita, KS, where partnership programs with other
community museums bring in daily visitors from near and far. In
August the exhibit will travel to Columbus, OH to be displayed at
the Heart of Ohio Tole (HOOT) show.
In addition, exciting plans are in place for the Roses
exhibition, along with more than 60 other collection pieces, to
travel to Japan during the coming year. These pieces will travel
throughout Japan to more than six major cities including Tokyo and
Osaka. In this way, we are sharing the history of American
decorative painting while spreading its joys around the world.
Other DAC plans.
The DAC also sponsors a juried art show and competition called
the Decorative Arts Collection Awards (DACA). Entries come
from across the globe for judging by experts from the decorative
painting and fine art fields. Purchase prizes sponsored by industry
manufacturers are awarded to the chosen winners, and the winning
entries become a permanent part of the collection. It is one of the
ways, through the donations of these generous corporations, that the
DAC continues to add the finest in contemporary work to its
A multi-level program known as Friends of the DAC offers
the opportunity for individuals to become supporters, too. Ideally
the funds raised through this effort help defray expenses while
strengthening the depth of the art in the collection through major
acquisitions, maintaining the art we already have, and aiding in
development of programs and exhibitions that stimulate public
interest in decorative painting.
The success of the Friends program is vital to the
continued success of the mission of the DAC. The goal to establish a
permanent museum housing the finest collection of decorative art in
the world can be reached with the financial support of everyone who
strongly believes that the art form must be preserved, enjoyed, and
made available now and for future generations to come. It is the
reason that the DAC exists.
You are encouraged to contact DAC Coordinator Jan Vavra with any
questions concerning the Decorative Arts Collection (DAC), the Decorative
Arts Collection Awards (DACA), or the Friends program.
Call 316-269-9300, ext. 103, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit www.decorativepainters.org/main/dac.cfm.
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