Life Cycles: Death

Life Cycles: Death Exhibition August 27-December 14, 2019

A life cycle is a series of cultural, religious, community and personal events that represent the total experience from birth through death, and for some, the afterlife. Through the lens of anthropology, archaeology and art history, we can learn much about the visual record of life cycle events. An analysis of artifacts produced within a culture sheds light on shared traditions and the individual practices associated with specific groups.

Death is the final stage in life and is the only life cycle event that is inevitable. Material culture pertaining to death is more commonly created and preserved than other life cycle events. Items used in the final passage of a person’s life tell so much about the individual who is mourned, celebrated and commemorated. Life Cycles: Death looks at objects from many world cultures through the organized structure of Ritual and Iconography, Grieving and Mourning, and Representation.

The majority of featured works come from the Miami University Art Museum collection. Additional objects are on loan from Miami University’s Special Collections and Archives at King Library, and the Western Dress Collection in the Department of Art. Other loans are generously provided by the Butler County Historical Society.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Saturday Noon-5 p.m.

Related Programming

NOTE: Gallery hours are extended during any program held after 5 p.m.

Exhibition Talk

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead): Reality & Myth

Imix Hernandez De la Rosa, Spanish Instructor Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Tue, Oct 15, 6 p.m. (Reception to follow)

Cultural groups from around the world view death as a natural part of the human condition. Family members, loved-ones, and friends who have passed away are memorialized with annual celebrations. Professor De la Rosa will discuss the elements of the altar de muertos and her interpretation as an individual of Mexican heritage. Co-sponsored with Unidos Student Organization.

Exhibition Talk

William Niven’s Mexico (1890-1910): Photograph as Document and Memorial

Robert S. Wicks, Ph.D., Director

Wed, Oct 23, 1:15 p.m.

William Niven (1850-1927) was a mineralogist, mining engineer and pioneer archaeologist as well as an accomplished glass plate photographer. His unique images document his explorations as well as everyday life in western Mexico during a time of political upheaval.

Exhibition Film

Film: The Seventh Seal (1958) Director Ingmar Bergman

Jason Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions

Thu, Nov 21, 7 p.m. (1 hr 36 mins)

The Curator of Exhibitions will provide a brief introduction highlighting the work of Ingmar Berman. This classic film is a compelling tale of a Swedish knight and the woes suffered by his country in the grips of Black Death. The knight is determined to complete one redemptive act before he dies.

All Programs are FREE & OPEN TO ALL and held at the Art Museum (unless noted otherwise).