Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Upcoming Exhibitions

Crossroads of Culture Object Spotlight #3

The third installment of our Object Spotlight series exploring the Mediterranean, Northeast Africa, and the Middle East from 400 to 1800, this mini-exhibition will feature objects selected by Kelsey Museum staff.

Expected opening: June 2024

Ancient Abstractions: Roman Visual Trends beyond the Natural

Curated by Nicola Barham

The lifelike naturalistic bodies of Greek and Roman sculpture have been a source of wonder since the Renaissance. Indeed, the Italian Renaissance artist Vasari identified the ancient world as the time “when sculpture rose to its greatest height.” But close likenesses of the natural world are not the only visual products of the ancient past. This exhibition traces alternative visual trends of the ancient Roman world that today would be considered examples of abstraction. It focuses on monuments and motifs that have long been pushed to the margins of our accounts of ancient art. Oversize arrangements of interlocking shapes pulsate in bold block colors from tombs, temples, and homes; stylized animals flicker into view in colorful textiles, only to collapse once more into bright geometric arrangements; and artists adopt experimental shorthands for the depiction of space across media. Anticipating recent interests in color and form, the visual trends of antiquity emerge as much more varied than has long been told.

Expected opening: Fall 2026