Past Exhibitions / The New Galleries: A Collection Come to Light

August 27, 2015 - May 27, 2016

The New Galleries: A Collection Come to Light was a comprehensive and dynamic reinstallation of the museum’s collection. Eight new galleries were dedicated to specific collection areas highlighting many of the museum’s masterworks while illustrating a history of human creativity. The Ancient World covers a broad geographical and chronological reach, featuring works from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures. Medieval Europe displays important architectural sculpture, devotional objects and stained glass from the Romanesque and Gothic periods. European Art, 1400-1900, illustrates cultural and aesthetic changes from the Renaissance to the dawn of the modern period through a variety of objects, paintings and sculptures.

American Art, 1800-1945
, begins with portraiture from the early Republic, continues with Hudson River School painting and Ash Can School works, and concludes with examples of Regionalism. Modern Affinities features European and American modernist art alongside works by self-taught artists, illustrating connections between them. Two galleries dedicated to non-Western cultures include Art of the Americas, presenting ceramics, metalwork and textiles from Mesoamerica, and African Art, featuring many of the museum’s best masks, figural sculpture and beadwork from the African continent. The galleries include a flexible Incubator, often used for rotating student- and faculty-curated exhibitions. The Incubator was inaugurated with an installation of Ansel Adams photographs curated by two undergraduate interns. Installation photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

Book of Hours

Book of Hours
The Nasher Museum’s Book of Hours (Workshop of Jean Bourdichon, c. 1490) is a fine example of 15th-century French manuscript production. It has 156 pages, including daily prayers for Christian devotion, a calendar of saints’ days and 13 full-page paintings, or miniatures, depicting religious scenes and vignettes associated with then-contemporary life. Now visitors can explore these 13 richly illustrated pages in detail with a new digital program. The Nasher Museum’s Book of Hours is on view in the European room of The New Galleries. Visitors can also explore the book online; it is compatible with smart phones, tablets and desktop/laptop computers.

Medieval Color Comes to Light

Lives of Things

The Nasher Museum installed “Medieval Color Comes to Light,” an interactive light painting application that allowed visitors to project vibrant colors onto 800-year-old limestone sculptures depicting four disciples of Christ. The digital interactive display reveals bright pigments that have been worn away by the centuries. The project team of Duke faculty and students, “Lives of Things,” was led by professor Mark Olson from the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and post-doctoral researcher Mariano Tepper from Computer and Electrical Engineering, in collaboration with professors Caroline Bruzeluus (AAHVS) and Guillermo Sapiro (CEE).



The New Galleries: A Collection Come to Light is made possible by Nasher Annual Fund donors with special support from Anita and John Schwarz.

Nasher Museum exhibitions and programs are generously supported by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the late Mary D.B.T. Semans and James H. Semans, the late Frank E. Hanscom III, The Duke Endowment, the Nancy Hanks Endowment, the Courtney Shives Art Museum Fund, the James Hustead Semans Memorial Fund, the Janine and J. Tomilson Hill Family Fund, the Trent A. Carmichael Fund for Community Education, the Neely Family Fund, the E. T. Rollins, Jr., and Frances P. Rollins Fund for the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the Marilyn M. Arthur Fund, the Sarah Schroth Fund, the George W. and Viola Mitchell Fearnside Endowment Fund, the Gibby and Michael B. Waitzkin Fund, the K. Brantley and Maxine E. Watson Endowment Fund, the Victor and Lenore Behar Endowment Fund, the Margaret Elizabeth Collett Fund, the Nasher Museum of Art General Endowment, the Friends of the Nasher Museum of Art, and the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost, Duke University.