detail: Eagle Hat by Preston Singletary

The Object Speaks

John & Linda Stewart Gallery, 406

The Object Speaks recognizes the power of functional and artistic objects to carry important cultural ideas from one generation to the next. From ceramic statues to water jars, from oil paintings to tomb tiles, the works in this exhibition engage viewers in new conversations about the meanings of objects. Objects formed from fired clay, carved stone, and sculpted metal have endured for centuries past their moments of creation. These objects will likely outlast contemporary civilization, not simply because they are more durable, but because they have inherent meaning and have been deemed worthy of preservation. The responsibility and necessity of safeguarding objects is passed from one generation to the next, transcending lifetimes, cultures, and empires.

Objects speak to our current circumstances, to the world that came before us, and for their makers, who may no longer be present. Museums speak on behalf of objects to promote different perspectives of cultural and social values. Ultimately, a work of art finds its voice through the viewer’s discovery, contemplation, and connection.

Selected images