Cocktail shaker and cups. (Photo courtesy of DMA.)

Drinking

Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail

Accompany the Best Bars issue with a visit to the DMA.

The Best Bars issue of D Magazine hits stands this week. When you’ve finished reading, learned why we’re done with the phrase “ice program,” and staked out your next 143 date spots (including where to drink with your dog and where to order tiki drinks garnished with mermaids and umbrellas), may I suggest you supplement with a visit to the Dallas Museum of Art’s Shaken, Stirred, Styled exhibit for a display of retro hardware. They’ve done a beautiful job with an exhibit that’s small but scintillating, and whose pieces include a gorgeous punch bowl with delicate dragon-fly hovering at its base; a set of rooster cocktail cups and shaker; shakers that take on the svelte profiles of skyscrapers; and other accouterments, from the cheeky to the sleek, that span a century’s-worth of cocktail ware from late 19th-century past Art Deco.

Martini glass (photo courtesy of DMA).
Martini glass (photo courtesy of DMA).

In the little gallery tucked under the stairs, the museum has hosted exhibits that recently included a quiet, low-lit show centered on musical instruments in 17th-century Dutch paintings. Never have I seen the space explode with such a dazzling glitter. Light refracts off silver facets—it’s a lighting designer’s dream.

In December, curator Samantha Robinson gave a lunchtime gallery talk in which she discussed exhibition designer Skye Malish-Olson having taken inspiration from period film stills for historically accurate color swatches and design language. The result is tones like the opening room’s frosty minty blue.

For a while now, I’ve made it a habit to wander upstairs to check in on their silver collection in the American wing, including ice cream forks and oyster servers and platters decorated with wildly elaborate crustacean-scapes. The pieces in Shaken, Stirred, Styled are drawn from the large silver holdings that aren’t usually on view. They’ll be preening in all their gilt and crystal glory through Nov. 2017.

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