The newly reinstalled galleries invite visitors to join exciting fresh conversations among works in the museum’s contemporary collection. The galleries will feature longtime favorites alongside more recent additions and a selection of foundational video artworks. Together, these works demonstrate the wide range of perspectives that animate contemporary art.
Artwork from the Islamic world is as diverse and vibrant as the peoples who produced it. The objects presented in this gallery were created during the 8th through 19th centuries, a period of great cultural and geographic expansion.
This display celebrates the recent conservation of two monumental rubbings from the Buddhist caves of Longmen in central China. They were shown for the first time at the museum’s opening in 1916 and have not been on display for almost a century.
Gold and silver reliquaries, jeweled crosses, liturgical garments, and illuminated manuscripts are among the rare treasures kept in the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Münster, in northwestern Germany.
Due to its remarkable malleability and durability, gold has been widely used in artifacts for the wealthy and for royalty since the fifth millennium BC. In Korean art, this precious mineral was the main material for luxury goods during the Three Kingdoms period (57 BC−668).
Rinpa is a style of Japanese art focused on abstracted natural motifs and allusions to classical literature. Coined in the early 1900s, Rinpa means “Rin School,” after painter Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716), whose work was critical to the later transmission of the tradition.
Moralizing fables involving animal characters traversed the Indo-Iranian world for centuries. At times, they were written down and collected into volumes; when made for a wealthy patron, the manuscripts were illustrated.
Like many Chicago artists in the first years of the 20th century, Gustave Baumann discovered the beauty of rural Brown County in Indiana. While living in Nashville from 1910 to 1916, he produced his first important set of color woodcuts.
The mola is a key component of traditional dress among the Indigenous Guna (formerly Kuna) women of Panamá. Guna women have been sewing mola blouses since the turn of the 20th century, and they have become powerful symbols of their culture and identity.
Bruce Davidson, one of the most highly respected and influential American documentary photographers of the past half century, offered an independent look at America in the age of visual and social homogenization presented by Life and Look magazines. Davidson’s 1959 series Brooklyn Gang—his first major project—was the fruit of several months spent photographing the daily lives of the Jokers, one of the many teenage street gangs worrying New York City officials at the time. Bruce Davidson features 50 photographs from that series, which are part of a recent anonymous gift to the museum of extensive selections from the artist’s archives. Included are several sets of variant images, affording a rare glimpse into Davidson’s working process.