Tags for: Creation, Birth, and Rebirth
  • Gallery Rotation
Detail of a painted, wood sculpture with an infant suckling the mother's breast. The mother is wearing a robe and a gold crown.

Virgin Nursing the Christ Child, c. 1370. France, Île de France. Painted limestone; overall: 111 x 38.5 cm (43 11/16 x 15 3/16 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1984.157

Creation, Birth, and Rebirth

Saturday, August 17, 2024–Sunday, July 27, 2025
Location:  115 Manuscripts & Textiles
Free; no ticket required

About The Exhibition

The exhibition explores some of the fundamental moments in the sacred narratives of the medieval world: the creation of the universe, the birth of its gods and its humans, and visions of the end of life conceived as a new beginning. The exhibition asks a series of questions: how was the creation of the world imagined in different religions? How were the creators of that world visualized in several religious cultures? How were ideas about conception, incarnation, and birth depicted in the objects created by these cultures? How did they perceive the difference between birth and creation, and the connections between death and rebirth? What parallels were drawn between miraculous and everyday births? How did religious teachings on reincarnation and resurrection manifest in medieval material culture? What, more broadly, was the role of images in making sense of the universe? 

The objects in the exhibition span from the 800s to the 1500s, drawn from several collections in the Cleveland Museum of Art, including medieval art, Chinese art, Indian and Southeast Asian art, art of the Americas, and prints and drawings, offering possibilities of forging connections across cultures and geographies.  

The exhibition is a culmination of several years of collaboration between the medieval art program at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art, made possible by the support of the Mellon Foundation.