DMA Insight

Timeline of Margaret and Eugene McDermott's relationship with the Dallas Museum of Art

  • 1949—Margaret Milam becomes the publicist for the Dallas Museum of Art.

  • 1952—Margaret Milam and Eugene McDermott marry.

  • 1960—The McDermotts make their first major gift to the DMA, Aristide Maillol’s Flora (1911).

  • 1960—The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund is established.

  • 1954–61 & 1965–68—Eugene serves as a Museum trustee.

  • 1961–63 & 1974–78—Margaret serves as president and then chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.

  • 1963—The McDermotts purchase of Maurice Prendergast’s Merry-Go-Round (1902–06) marks the beginning of their personal art collection.

  • 1967—The McDermotts befriend Georgia O’Keeffe while traveling in New Mexico. They purchase Open Clamshell and Closed Clamshell (both 1926) directly from the artist.

  • 1969-76 Eugene and Margaret McDermott or their foundation donate The Clark and Frances Stillman Collection of Congo Sculpture, a selection of ancient Mesoamerican objects, The Gustave and Franyo Schindler Collection of African Sculpture, and the John and Nora Wise Collection of Ancient American Art.

  • 1972—Eugene and Margaret McDermott and Algur and Elizabeth Meadows are named as the Museum’s first Lifetime Trustees.

  • 1974—The Eugene McDermott Internship Program becomes one of the first paid internship programs for young museum professionals in the United States.

  • 1975—Margaret purchases Claude Monet’s Poplars, Pink Effect (1891). This is the first of six works added to their collection after Eugene’s death in 1973.

  • 1978—To encourage the construction of a new building, Margaret pledges to give the McDermott Collection of Impressionist and Modern Art, as well as one million dollars, to the DMA.

  • 1980s—Purchases made possible through The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund or the Eugene McDermott Foundation include:

    • Funerary figure (tau tau), Indonesia, 19th century or earlier, 1980.2.McD

    • Ceremonial cloth (tampan), Indonesia, probably mid 19th century, 1983.77

    • Lokapala (Heavenly Guardian), China, early 8th century CE., 1987.360.1.McD, 1987.360.2.McD

  • 1990s Purchases made possible through The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund or the Eugene McDermott Foundation include:

  • 1993—Margaret purchases Gustave Caillebotte’s The Path in the Garden (1886), the final addition to the McDermotts’ private collection.

  • 2000s—Purchases made possible through The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund or the Eugene McDermott Foundation include:

    • Henri Matisse, Still Life: Bouquet and Compotier, 1924, 2002.19.McD

    • Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye), c. 1910–38, 2004.16.McD

    • Marsden Hartley, Mountains, no. 19, 1930, 2008.24.McD

  • 2010s Purchases made possible through The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund or the Eugene McDermott Foundation include:

    • Paul Signac, Comblat-le-Château, the Meadow (Le Pré), Opus 161, June–July 1887, 2010.14.McD

    • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Four Wooden Sculptures (recto)/Ice Skater (verso), 1912 (recto)/1929–30 (verso), 2010.16.A-B

    • Wittgenstein Vitrine, Carl Otto Czeschka (designer), 1908, 2013.31.A-E.McD

  • 2018—The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Collection of Impressionist and Modern is bequeathed to the DMA. The McDermott Art Fund continues to bring exceptional works into the Museum.

Excerpt from

DMA Label text, An Enduring Legacy: The McDermott Collection __of Impressionist and Modern Art, 2018.