Dorothy Kosinski has the kind of job most art buffs dream about. She’s the Curator of European Art for the Dallas Museum of Art, but don’t let her lofty title fool you.

There’s plenty of plain old work to be done in bringing varied rare pieces of art to the Big ‘D’. Of course, there’s a lot of fun to be had as well, but Kosinski’s position has required many international commutes and diligent documentation in regards to exhibit essays.

Presently, the Lakewood resident is keeping busy with “Degas to Picasso: Painters, Sculptors and the Camera.” The exhibition is running at the DMA until May 7, and features over 400 pieces by 14 different impressionists and symbolist artists. In addition to Edgar Degas and Pablo Picasso, such noted figures as Edvard Munch, Paul Gaugin and Auguste Rodin are featured.

“Aside from San Francisco, where it premiered, this is the only chance most Americans will have to see it before it heads off to Spain,” says Kosinski. “It’s gotten a lot of national and international attention — a very ambitious project with lots of art. A kind of big, broad synthetic view of an important artistic period.”

The DMA curator is no doubt proud of bringing such an event to the city. Likewise, she’s pleased that her cross-Atlantic journeys have been reduced somewhat. Now, her short commute from Lakewood to downtown is much to her liking.

“It’s going on the three years that I’ve lived here,” she says. “Although I’ve been with the museum for five years, I was commuting from Basel, Switzerland. So, when we finally came to the city, my family and I scrutinized every area. We chose Lakewood because it’s a real neighborhood. It’s beautiful. It has topography, trees, it’s near a lake, and it has a great elementary school.

“Plus, it’s just 12 minutes from the museum.”

Kosinski’s arrival in Dallas comes after a working in a variety of international settings and serving as an author, scholar, teacher and exhibition organizer for over 20 years.

Having been trained extensively in art history, her chance to come to Dallas came about when she was working as an independent curator overseas. Considering her experience with international museums, the DMA was interested by the works Kosinski would be able to bring to us.

“My field of specialty is 19th and 20th century art,” she says. “That explain why I’ve undertaken this show as well as a few others that have come through town.”

Originally from Connecticut, Kosinski became interested in European art though her architect brother and his wife, both of whom resided in Europe.

She says her 12 year-old daughter, Eleanor, and husband, Thomas Krahenbuhl (who hails from Switzerland), share her appreciation for the art and museum circuit.

“We went to Connecticut for the holidays and decided to take a day trip into New York City. We were in the Museum of Modern Art and my daughter’s cousin, who’s a senior in high school, was walking around somewhat perplexed. And my daughter was recognizing items from previous shows. I’m not so sure that she won’t go through a period of resentment of being inundated with art, but she certainly has an ‘art’ background.”

Kosinski’s own background has not only helped her land her job at the DMA, but has enabled her to bring a bounty of works to a city that might otherwise have not seen them.

“I think Dallas is an interesting community,” she says. “It has a lot of energy right now on many different levels. The museum and the whole Arts district is on the threshold of a new future.

“It was very much a family decision to come here and it built around the potential that the city has.”


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