Menagerie: Animals in Art from the Wellin Museum
September 7, 2024 — June 8, 2025

Elizabeth Shannon, PhD
Collections Curator
Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art
Hamilton College

Menagerie: Animals in Art from the Wellin Museum


September 7, 2024 – June 8, 2025

Curated by Elizabeth Shannon, PhD, Collections Curator

From the ancient world through to the present day, Menagerie explores how humans have utilized animal iconography across all areas of cultural production and encourages a thoughtful and conscious understanding of the presence of animals in our everyday lives. The exhibition presents a large survey of artworks and artifacts drawn from the Wellin’s collection that feature representations of real and imagined creatures, from across eras and cultures. It includes works that engage with animal imagery for symbolic, cultural, ceremonial, and religious purposes; as decorative motifs; and to comment—often satirically—upon human relations and events. The exhibition also takes a holistic and environmental approach to animals and encourages visitors to examine the multitude of ways in which wild and domesticated creatures impact our lives, and vice versa. Moreover, the exhibition draws attention to the scope of the Wellin’s collection. Selections include objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; Mesoamerican and Andean artifacts; sculptures from Medieval, Renaissance, and nineteenth-century Europe; prints, drawings, and textiles from East Asia; Persian illuminated manuscripts; and global modern and contemporary art.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Riza-yi Abbasi, Jacobie Adamie, Laure Albin-Guillot, Heinrich Aldegrever, Niels Yde Andersen, Karel Appel, John James Audubon, Dmitri Baltermants, Antoine-Louis Bayre, Stefano della Bella, Denise Bellon, Thomas Hart Benton, Félix Bracquemond, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, William Brice, Flora Winegar Brigham, Julie Buffalohead, Charles E. Burchfield, René Burri, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Yvan Dalain, Jenny Dalenoord, Salvador Dalí, Honoré Daumier, Dorothy Dehner, Thornton Dial, Préfète Duffaut, Albrecht Dürer, Elliot Erwitt, Horst Faas, Asad Faulwell, Christophe Fratin, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Giorgio Ghisi, Francisco de Goya, Ann Hamilton, Ken Heyman, Henry Horenstein, Walter Iooss, Yun-Fei Ji, Dania Koma, Jacob Myron Koopee, George Luks, Danny Lyon, Édouard Manet, Maria Poveka Martinez, Joel Meyerowitz, Jiha Moon, Eadweard Muybridge, Thomas Nast, William Nicholson, Sénèque Obin, Ohara Koson, Alfonso A. Ossorio, William C. Palmer, Georg Pencz, Patricia Potter, Diego Romero, Ibrahim Said, Charles T. Scowen, Dorothy Shakespear, Calista M. Sherman, Shahzia Sikander, Otto Soglow, Erika Stone, Lida Suchy, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Mose Tolliver, Toyen, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Celia Vasquez Yui, Walter Williams, and Craig Zammiello.




Image Credit:

Detail of Julie Buffalohead. Fly Catcher, 2023. Oil on canvas, 32 × 64 × 3 in. (81.3 × 162.6 × 7.6 cm). Collection of the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. Purchase, William G. Roehrick '34 Art Acquisition and Preservation Fund. © Julie Buffalohead. Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco. Image courtesy of the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. Photo by Rik Sferra.

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