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Cranbrook Art Museum Launches Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science
Richard Barnes, "Man with Wolves," 2007. Archival digital print. Collection of Richard Barnes, courtesy Howard House Gallery, Seattle, Washington.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI.- Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Institute of Science mark the start of a pioneering collaboration entitled Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science Art at Cranbrook with the opening of Animal Logic: Photography and Installation by Richard Barnes at the Institute of Science on Oct. 4.

The Artology collaborative focuses on creating visual and experiential examples of the ways in which art and science frequently parallel or complement each other. Artology exhibits and related lectures, films and field trips will simultaneously immerse museum visitors in the arts and the sciences. While Cranbrook Art Museum is closed to the public for construction, art exhibitions at the Institute will be paired with related topical scientific artifacts, objects and specimens from the Institute’s collection to illustrate the Artology concept. A Cranbrook-designed Artology logo visually designates related events and activities.

Animal Logic: Photography and Installation by Richard Barnes, the first Artology exhibition, presents a survey of the work of acclaimed New York and San Francisco-based photographer Richard Barnes. This exhibition showcases work from Barnes’ most recent major photographic series, most notably Animal Logic, Barnes’ engaging and, at times, surreal images of dioramas and artifacts from natural history museums.

At the center of the exhibition will be the acclaimed project Folded Murmur, in which Barnes collaborated with video artist Alex Schweder and composer Charles Norman Mason to create an integrated photographic, projected-video, and composed sound installation based on their study of starling migration in Rome . The Folded Murmer project allows visitors to enter a space that surrounds them with the sounds and experiences of a starling migration.

As a Cranbrook-exclusive component of the exhibition, Barnes incorporates new photographs taken during his exploration of the Institute’s collection of over 150,000 objects distributed across nine fields of study. Objects from the Institute’s anthropology, ornithology and paleontology collections will be integrated into the Animal Logic experience. Bones and other life science objects will reflect the subjects of many of the photographs. Taxidermy specimens echo diorama subjects featured in Barnes’ work and also explain and illustrate the process taxidermists use to create these interpretations of the natural world.

Birds’ nests and taxidermy specimens from the Institute’s extensive collection add depth to the Folded Murmer installation and offer texture to Refuge, a series of photographs of birds’ nests which incorporate the cast offs of humans.

As a reflection upon Barnes’ work, the Institute of Science also re-install four of its historic dioramas, removed during construction in the late 1990’s, for the duration of Animal Logic.

The Artology experience includes Art “interventions” in the Institute’s Mineral Gallery, a free film series, three special lectures and a Members’ only field trip.

Art “interventions” in the Institute’s Mineral Gallery highlight objects from the Art Museum’s collection which reflect materials found in the mineral collections. A silver tea caddy and candy box, porcelain and ceramic vessels, and gold and silver jewelry are displayed among the materials from which they were formed to highlight the association of science and art.


Cranbrook Art Museum | Cranbrook Institute of Science | Artology | Animal Logic | Richard Barnes |


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