Arts / Museums

Artist Chris Schanck Crafts a Modern Take on a Lavish Parisian Relic

Inside the Dallas Native's New "Curbed Vanity," on View at the DMA

BY // 03.30.21

Objects found on daily walks from artist Chris Schanck’s home to his Banglatown studio during the COVID-19 lockdown resulted in a breathtaking new work commissioned by the Dallas Museum of Art, Curbed Vanity: A Contemporary Foil. Inspired by an iconic work in the DMA’s permanent collection — the Martelé dressing table and stool fashioned from silver, glass, ivory, and fabric by Gorham Manufacturing— Schanck coated his work with resin and aluminum foil, referencing his father’s work at a Dallas aluminum factory and how his mother wrapped Christmas gifts in foil.

039 Curbed Vanity-A Contemporary Foil by Chris Schanck_Courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art_1 2
Chris Schank’s Curbed Vanity juxtaposed with its antique inspiration, a late-19th century Martelé dressing table, originally presented at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris. 

Schanck, who now resides in Detroit, attended Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High. Brobdingnagian descriptions suit this decorative-arts masterpiece: Baroque, enchanting, Tim Burton-esque … and, given that it was designed as a response to another work of art, thoughtful. The two works eloquently face off in an intimate, scarlet gallery of the museum.

Curbed Vanity: A Contemporary Foil by Chris Schanck, on view through August 29 at the Dallas Museum of Art. Learn more at

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