Unearthing the Sonnenschein exhibit ‘possesses works akin to those in great museums across the globe’

Curator Samantha Niese ’15 says visitors will appreciate the variety of prints, drawings, photography, paintings, and artifacts in the Sonnenschein Gallery collections, some dating from the early 16th to 20th centuries. Her exhibit opens October 10.

“Derived from cultures on four different continents, the collections boast an anthropologically captivating display,” Niese writes in the exhibit’s curatorial statement. “From an African chieftain’s staff, to a solid gold pre-Columbian figure, to prints by Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein, the collections possess works akin to those in great museums around the globe.”

Niese has spent months reorganizing and cataloging the collection in hopes of making it a more accessible academic resource for students and faculty.

She said she looks forward to displaying a very large painting after Raphael’s La Perla, which possibly dates back to the 18th Century. Additionally, “I’m really excited to be able to ‘unearth’ some of our hidden Pre-Columbian works that have, as of recent, been locked away in the College’s safe. These included some gold and turquoise figures and objects which will feature prominently in the exhibit. The collection’s oldest object, a Neolithic Stoneware Stem Bowl from Thailand c. 3,000 B.C.-200 A.D., will also be on display.” 

The exhibit in the Durand Art Institute opens Thursday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Monday, November 4. It runs in conjunction with another exhibit in the Albright Gallery that Niese curated called Signs of Love & Family.

Niese writes in the curatorial statement: “Examined through five seemingly distinct artworks representing the Family at periods ranging from the early sixteenth to the late twentieth century, a system of signification uncovers not only the mysteries of these works, but unravels how fundamental shifts in the meaning and perception of the Family expand and transform current visual culture.”