The Kelsey Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the second installment of our Byzantine and Islamic Gallery (BIG) Object Spotlights. This series provides a window into the objects and themes that will be featured in the new permanent exhibition, scheduled to open in 2026.

BIG Object Spotlight #2 was curated by Christiane Gruber, professor and curator of Islamic art, with assistance from Vrinda Agrawal and Carlo Berardi, graduate students in the Department of the History of Art. The installation features objects relating to the themes of bread, prayer and protection, and personal treasures. The artifacts prompt visitors to reflect on the ways in which bread has served as both a symbol and sustainer of life across various cultures and religions in the medieval Mediterranean; to consider how the spheres of faith and popular practices overlapped in the use and collection of religious texts and objects, especially manuscripts and amulets; and to contemplate the various ways that individuals derived meaning from their personal possessions in centuries past.

This spotlight, located on the second floor of the Kelsey Museum, will be on display through May 2024. Photos of the objects and their accompanying texts can also be viewed on the Kelsey’s website here

Save the Date!

Mark your calendars with these upcoming events related to BIG Object Spotlight #2. More information on these activities will be made available on our website soon. 

  • Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 12–1 PM: Webinar with Christiane Gruber.
  • Friday, March 15, 2024, 12:30–1 PM: Mid-Day Morsel tour with Christiane Gruber.
  • Saturday, March 23, 2024, 12–3 PM: Spring Family Day 2024, “Magical Marvels: Ancient Power and Protection.” This event will highlight and include elements and activities relating to BIG Object Spotlight #2.
BIG Object Spotlight #2 features artifacts pertaining to bread, prayer and protection, and personal treasures.