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Special Exhibitions

Cosmogonic Tattoos: Window Installation and Exhibition by Jim Cogswell

Detail of Apulian Krater (340 BC), 2015. Ink on mylar, 12” x 18”
University of Michigan Museum of Art: April 22–December 3, 2017

Kelsey Museum (exterior):  June 2–December 17,  2017

Kelsey Museum (interior special exhibition): June 2–September 10, 2017

In celebration of the University’s Bicentennial in 2017, artist and professor Jim Cogswell has been invited by the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and the University of Michigan Museum of Art to create a set of public window installations in response to the objects in their collections.  Titled Cosmogonic Tattoos, his project uses adhesive vinyl images applied in saturated colors to windows in the two buildings, highlighting the role of these museums in the life of our campus community. Through close examination of objects separated from us by deep chronological and cultural divides, imaginatively transformed within our campus context, this project celebrates the power of architecture, ornament, and material objects to shape knowledge, historical memory, and cultural identity.

Guest curator: Jim Cogswell

Jackier Prize 2017 Display Case

The Eleanor & Lawrence Jackier Collection and Essay Prize

Over the past 30 years, Eleanor and Lawrence (class of ’64) Jackier have acquired an impressive collection of archaeological artifacts representing the ethnically diverse populations of ancient Israel/Palestine. Spanning a period of 2,500 years, from the Bronze Age to late antiquity, the Jackier Collection includes items large and small, made from ceramic, metal, and glass, which together exemplify almost every aspect of life in the ancient world—commerce, war, beauty, politics, agriculture, domestic life, death, and religion.

In 2014, the Jackiers loaned 30 objects for use in Prof. Yaron Eliav’s undergraduate course, “The Land of Israel/Palestine through the Ages,” offered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies. With the aid of a Transforming Learning for the Third Century grant from the U-M Office of the Provost, a suite of teaching tools was developed to enable students to carry out first-hand research on these objects. Following a very successful essay competition at the end of the Winter 2014 semester, the Jackiers agreed to endow the Jackier Prize competition in perpetuity and to open it up to all interested undergraduates at the University of Michigan.

This year, 42 students entered the competition, each writing essays comparing one object either from the Jackier Collection or from the Kelsey Museum Collections with one object either on display in the Museum’s galleries. The top five essays were chosen for the current exhibition, which the students produced together with Scott Meier, Kelsey Museum Exhibition Designer.