A gallery with paintings on the wall, a pedestal with two irregularly shaped sculptures, and in the background a wolf sculpture


Fall 2022
Dusty Loo Family Gallery, 401

Museums hold collections of objects identified by researchers as important to keep, protect, and share. As Western art museums reckon with their colonialist pasts, the ways museums collect and display objects must be reexamined. This gallery’s theme of displacement extends across place and time, highlighting geographic dislocation, extinction, immigration, resource extraction, and objects moved from their original cultural contexts.

Displacement invites visitors to consider acts of positioning, placement, and relocation as they relate to objects, peoples, and meanings. Displacement can harm. It has caused loss through forced migration, conquest, and plunder. People have also transformed such experiences to evoke new and emergent forms of agency, forging cultural acts of recovery, repair, and inspiration. Through an exploration of the social and migratory lives of objects, discover how a museum can be both a site of displacement and empowerment, where historical record meets lived experience.

This exhibition is organized by a team of Spencer Museum staff from multiple departments including student staff, with contributions from community advisors. The project is generously supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Selected images