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Major Themes

Celebrating Ten Years of Teaching with Art

Kendra D. Weisbin, ed.
Ellen D. Alvord, ed.
Aaron F. Miller, ed.
Paperback, 72 p.


Students in the galleries, November 2019
Photo Credit: 

Laura Shea

This exhibition catalogue documents Major Themes---an innovative, two-year exhibition that brought thought-provoking dialogues from the Museum’s teaching classroom into its public galleries.

Drawn from wide-ranging course materials and discussions, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue presents five thematic sections. Optics of Art celebrates the fascinating insights gained through a rich array of scientific and mathematical approaches to analyzing artistic creation; The Non-Human illuminates the myriad ways we interpret, represent, and interact with animals, monsters, and machines, and includes works as disparate as a surrealist painting and a parlor dome with taxidermied birds; Afterlives of Objects considers the biographies of objects—where they come from, the journeys they take, and how they end up at museums; The Precarious Body looks at representations of the human body in art, and how they both reveal and conceal who we are; and Conflict & Commemoration brings together objects and works of art that reflect experiences of war. 

The catalogue features entries on dozens of works from the exhibition, showcasing the perspectives of faculty, students, and curators, which complement the diverse objects selected for this exhibition. The catalogue also highlights works throughout the permanent collection galleries with special perspectives from on teaching with art.