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Past Exhibitions, 2001–2010

2009-2010: Mary Upjohn Meader: Pioneering Adventures over Africa

November 1, 2009–July 6, 2010

Curators: Lauren Talalay and Janet Richards 

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This special exhibition, the first in the Upjohn Exhibit Wing, featured some of the dramatic aerial photographs that Mary Meader took over Egypt in 1937, before modern development had encroached on the pyramids and other ancient monuments.

2006: Building a New Rome: The Imperial Colony of Pisidian Antioch

January 13–February 24, 2006

Curator: Elaine Gazda

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From January 13 to February 24, 2006, at the Duderstadt center on the University of Michigan north campus, the Kelsey Museum mounted an exhibition on the Roman site of Antioch of Pisidia in Asia Minor (Turkey)—a Hellenistic city refounded by Augustus in 25 BC as a Roman colony.

2005: This Fertile Land: Signs + Symbols in the Early Arts of Iran and Iraq

February 4–September 30, 2005 PURCHASE THE CATALOGUE
Curator: Margaret Cool Root  

This Fertile Land presents seals and painted pottery from ancient Iran and Iraq at a period when signs and symbols were deployed in complex programs of meaning. Often the meanings are redolent with associations of nature, landscape, agrarian fertility, and human sexuality. Often they present symbols that slightly later become codified signifiers of divinities and mythologized aspects of the human condition in its larger context: snakes, phallic symbols, shamans, ibexes, suns, and fruits of the earth. 

2004: Digging Up a Story: The House of Claudius Tiberianus

September 10, 2004–May 2, 2005  
Curator: Rob Stephan  

What was life like for a man and his family living almost two thousand years ago? Archaeologists have often focused on what life was generally like in the ancient world, but few have examined this from the perspective of a single household. The exhibition Digging Up a Story: The House of Claudius Tiberianus uses papyri and archaeology to draw the visitor into the life of one family in Roman Egypt.

2003: Archaeologies of Childhood: The First Years of Life in Roman Egypt

November 14, 2003–September 15, 2004 MORE INFORMATION
Curator: Terry Wilfong  

What was childhood like in the ancient world? Everyone was a child once, but experiences of childhood differ widely across time and culture. The exhibition Archaeologies of Childhood: The First Years of Life in Roman Egypt looks at material from Egypt under Roman rule and tries to show what childhood was like in that particular place and time.

2003: Individual and Society in Ancient Egypt

March 7–August 8, 2003 MORE INFORMATION
Curator: Janet Richards  

This exhibition combined items from the Egyptian collection at the Kelsey Museum with a small number of loan objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the University of Pennsylvania Museum, integrating the information they convey with new data from ongoing Michigan excavations at Abydos in southern Egypt. Recent work in the late Old Kingdom cemetery at the site allows us to consider how Egyptian individuals inscribed notions of identity, power, family, and society onto long-lived mortuary landscapes. Looking at their graves over time reveals how individuals could manipulate the representation of identity, as well as how the memory of certain individuals was desecrated or revered throughout Egyptian history.

2002: Cavafy's World: Ancient Passions

February 21–May 5, 2002

Curators: Lauren Talalay and Artemis Leontis

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Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933), the eminent Greek Alexandrian poet, often drew inspiration from the ancient world, particularly the classical and late antique spheres that are so well represented by the Kelsey collections. Cavafy's presence at the Kelsey invites the visitor to contemplate a dialogue between modern poetry and archaeology. 

2001: The Fabric of Everyday Life: Textiles from Karanis, Egypt

The enduring importance of fabric in our everyday lives—for clothing, furnishings, symbolic communication, and commerce—is underscored by the study of historic cloth.

2000-2001: Animals in the Kelsey!

2000-2001                                                          VIEW THE EXHIBITION WEBSITE

Love them, hate them, use them, abuse them: animals are everywhere in our lives. The argument could be made, however, that they were more important to the peoples of ancient Greece and Rome. U-M undergraduates considered this and many other issues as they designed and helped to organize an exhibition.