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Our Favorite Things

In 2014 we asked ten students to tell us in 100 words or less about their favorite object on display, and why they chose it. In 2016 we repeated the project and gave it the title "Our Favorite Things," and in addition to students we asked Kelsey Museum staff and affiliates to chime in. The response was so positive that we've decided to continue to ask the Kelsey community to tell us about their "Favorite Things."

We invite you to explore some of "Our Favorite Things" chosen by some of our favorite people. Rack cards available in the galleries and at the museum entrances will help you find the objects, and special labels next to the objects themselves explain in the contributors' own words their personal connection to the piece. Each installment of "Our Favorite Things" will also be archived here on the Kelsey website.

We hope you enjoy learning more about the Kelsey's collections, and we invite you to share your favorite objects with us.

Our Favorite Things 2018

Broken eggshell inscribed in gibberish

Eggshell
Parthian Period (248 BC–AD 226)
Seleucia, Iraq
U-M Excavations, 1927–1932
KM 19050

"Overflowing with its enchanting aura, I was allured by the vessel of a creature who once inhabited a tiny shell. The compact words were precisely engraved on the thin, ivory-pigmented layers that compose the shell. Behind the recovery of its delicate existence, there is an enigmatic tale beyond the broken fragments. This eggshell was intended to shatter hexes. While some people may express their unfathomable emotions in a journal instead of 'bottling it up,' inhabitants in Iraq demonstrated eliminating their evil omens in a distinctive way. In the end, I wondered, what was the nature of the curse that they sought to put to rest?"

Thuy Nhi Jenny Truong, First-Year Student, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Our Favorite Things 2017

Funerary relief from Palmyra

White limestone, originally painted
Late Parthian Period (AD 43–226)
Palmyra, Syria
Kelsey Museum Associates purchase, 1980
KM 1980.1.1

"My favorite object at the Kelsey would have to be the funeral relief from Palmyra (AD 43–326) for so many reasons.  First of all, it resembles in a striking way my Syrian grand aunt and pulls me back to a country where my family still lives. (The dimple in the relief’s left chin even mimics my grand-aunt’s distinctive birthmark.) As a funeral relief it also carries a somberness that matches the current lost hellish time in what my family always called 'The Old Country.'"

Alexander Zwinak, IPCAA Graduate Program Coordinator