How do culture, medium, and time period influence the depiction of a subject? Focusing on new purchases and gifts that reinterpret works from the collection, the exhibition Crossing Boundaries/Making Connections and its companion brochure cluster works across time and geography into nine groups and examines contextual influences that impact artistic representation of recurrent themes.
An investigation of motifs that appear across cultures reveals certain human universals expressed in cultural particularity. For example, containers used for basic shared human activities, like food preparation and storage, appear very different in diverse cultures. A miniature silver traveling paint kit, and a 15th-century book of hours, painstakingly illustrated and measuring only three inches high blur the line between the luxurious and the practical.
Arranging objects into thematic groups brings new insight and suggests alternate ways of interpreting a variety of subjects including the natural world, perceptions of war, and hybrid creatures.
Curated by Sadie Shillieto ('09), Art Museum Advisory Board Fellow