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The Columbus Museum of Art Presents Objects of Wonder From the Ohio State University
M. C. Escher, Encounter, 1958. Lithograph. Collection of the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University ©2008 The M.C. Escher Company-Holland. All Rights Reserved. Call Number: 1977.109.000

COLUMBUS, OH.- Have you ever wondered what kinds of treasures are hidden in your neighbor’s attic? Now imagine that neighbor has more than 300 libraries and collections housing everything from Thomas Moran paintings to unpublished Marilyn Monroe photos, Richard Petty’s sunglasses to John Glenn’s flight manual. These are just a few of the items Columbus Museum of Art curators discovered when they began combing the archives and collections housed at The Ohio State University.

This fall, the Columbus Museum of Art invites you to discover the myriad treasures kept in OSU’s vast collections. Objects of Wonder from The Ohio State University is on view September 26, 2008 – January 11, 2009. From the scientific to the artistic, pigeons to paintings, and cartoons to costumes, each artifact has a story to tell. Experienced together the objects reveal unexpected connections.

Objects of Wonder explores rich and diverse objects. It will bring together artifacts that otherwise live in very separate spheres, inspiring dialogue between entirely different realms of study—geography, literature, visual art, music, and science. What might birds and shells from the Museum of Biological Diversity, historic hats from the Costume Institute, and minimalist sculpture from the Wexner Center for the Arts have in common? Objects of Wonder includes a surprising array of renowned masterpieces that spend their days at OSU, such as a painting of the petrified forest by the famous nineteenth-century artist Thomas Moran held in the Orton Geology Library, and the iconic Farm Security Administration photograph Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange in the Cartoon Research Library.

“This is a wonderfully exciting partnership for the Museum,” said Nannette V. Maciejunes, CMA executive director. “The opportunity to explore the incredible collections entrusted to OSU and then share those treasures with the community, has been a remarkable experience for us. Working with the university on this exhibition has only enhanced our ongoing relationship.”

Visitors to Objects of Wonder can explore obscure objects and vote on their purpose, function, and value. They can also personalize their visit with interactive touch screens that will allow them to select video clips of information and stories about various objects in the exhibition and listen to cell phone tours featuring “voices from OSU” including Dr. E. Gordon Gee, Archie Griffin, and Senator John Glenn, telling their personal stories.

The community is also invited to share their personal collections. The Community Collections space will display photos of collections, from first edition novels to Pez dispensers, owned by OSU Alumni. Submissions for the Community Collections space may be sent to

In conjunction with Objects of Wonder, OSU will present the 2008 Department of Art Faculty Exhibition, guest curated by Joe Houston, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at Columbus Museum of Art. The exhibition will open at the new OSU Urban Arts Space on October 21 and will allow the entire faculty to be presented—for the first time since 1990—in one space, at one time, together again.

“We are delighted to share with the community the work of our talented faculty, past and present. Their pieces in the exhibition will span all areas of visual arts, from photography and painting to sculpture and installation work,” says Karen Bell, former Dean of the College of the Arts and newly named Associate Vice President for Arts Outreach. “Their creative contributions and the Columbus Museum of Art’s brilliant exhibition of OSU’s many treasures will provide Columbus with a rare glimpse into the rich culture and history of Ohio State.”

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