The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 24, 2017

Gallery reinstallation project enters exciting new phase with 'Empire of Things'
Benjamin Martin (1704-1782), Octant, mid 1700s. Mahogany, brass fitts, ivory scale, original ivory mounted pencil, wooden box. Photo: Courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art.

LAWRENCE, KS.- In 2010, the Spencer Museum of Art envisioned a bold reinstallation of its permanent collection. Called “Project Redefine,” the transformation represents a dramatic shift from traditionally conceived galleries organized by time period and continent to an innovative new organizational principle based on themes, drawing works from disparate regions and eras into the same physical space and, by extension, into conversation with one another.

The first of these thematic exhibitions – Corpus, a collection of works of art exploring the trajectory of the human life – opened to the public in spring 2012. The Spencer is now putting the final touches on the second of these striking new exhibitions: Empire of Things. The exhibition will be unveiled slowly, with a “soft opening” throughout the early months of 2013. The public has the rare opportunity to watch as the final stages of this installation are completed; progress can be observed from open areas within the Museum’s galleries.

Empire of Things explores the relationships between objects, the people who make them, and the people who collect and display them. The objects assembled for this exhibition showcase the geographic diversity of the Spencer’s impressive collection while revealing patterns of acquisition underlying the history of the modern museum.

This exhibition deals with a wide range of subject matter, including the history of colonial expansion, encounters with “the other,” the complexity of international commerce, and the dialogue between art and science during the modern era, from the 15th through 19th centuries. Objects included range from architectural fragments to blue-and-white ceramics, from paintings depicting coveted objects to the coveted objects themselves: Persian rugs, for example, and Spanish tiles, as well as items made of ivory, coral, and gold.

The opulent beauty of Empire of Things belies the institutional critique at the heart of this exhibition, self-consciously encouraging and inviting meta-museum and meta-collecting commentary. In one section of the installation, curators Kris Ercums and Kate Meyer have arranged objects to evoke the feeling of a domestic space. European furniture sits alongside a Chinese folding screen, which has been placed near an African chair. However, this installation does not constitute a period room. Instead, it represents the aspirations of the collector, expressed through the careful yet idiosyncratic accumulation of treasured objects.

The lives of objects take on particular relevance in Empire of Things. It is an exhibition that asks where things come from, why they look the way they do, what they have meant to their collectors and inheritors, and what, finally, earned them their places within the walls of a museum, the ultimate Empire of Things.

Empire of Things, the second new installation in the Spencer Museum of Art’s ongoing “Project Redefine,” opens gradually through February, 2013 and offers glimpses behind the scenes.

Today's News

December 24, 2012

Exhibition of large paintings by Neo Rauch opens at Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz

Seven hundred years of French painting on view at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia presents the first major exhibition in Australia of artist Anish Kapoor

The Museum of Modern Art explores development of one of Modernism's greatest inventions: Abstraction

Review of the auction year 2012: Koller extends its position as the leading Swiss auction house

Kimbell Art Museum announces first ever loan of 20th century works from the Art Institute of Chicago

Gallery reinstallation project enters exciting new phase with 'Empire of Things'

The San Diego Museum of Art hosts interactive art exhibition from the Centre Pompidou

Charles Ginnever's Rashomon and Amy Kaufman's drawings on view at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva organizes biggest in-depth Edy Ferguson solo exhibition to date

Available now to download: Free PDF of The New Explorers Guide to Dutch Digital Culture

Let it snow! Exhibition of children's book art opens at Bruce Museum in Greenwich

Pearl Lam Galleries presents its first design art exhibition at its Hong Kong Pedder Building gallery space

The American Museum in Britain hosts Superstars 2012

'Places of Memory-Fields of Vision' opens at the Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki

"Beatrice Gibson: The Tiger's Mind, featuring Jesse Ash" at Index-Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation

Builder of California 'Phonehenge' sentenced to jail

Survey comprising works by Lara Favaretto from the past 15 years on view at Sharjah Art Foundation

Mali Islamists destroying more Timbuktu mausoleums

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Carbon dating finds manuscript contains oldest recorded origins of the symbol 'zero'

2.- Alice Walton announces formation of Art Bridges

3.- Met Museum acquires ancient Egyptian gilded coffin

4.- French fashion tycoon and art collector Pierre Berge dies aged 86 in southern France

5.- Van der Weyden, Rubens and Van Dyck: Flemish masters on view in The Hague

6.- New exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum explores rare luxury books of the Middle Ages

7.- Mexican archaeologists find dwelling for Aztec survivors of Spanish conquest

8.- Groundbreaking LGBTQ art show opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei

9.- Egyptian archaeological dig unearths goldsmith's tomb, mummies

10.- Exhibition at Stadel Museum focuses on works by Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful