The inaugural exhibition for the BMA’s new Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center brings together more than 30 works from across the BMA’s collection to explore the universal theme of home.
Visitors will discover paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, textiles, and works on paper from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands, as well as four miniature rooms, plus a variety of interactive features presented in three thematic areas:
Façades & Thresholds: Transitional spaces such as doors, windows, and porches convey the history of a dwelling as well as the identity and values of its makers and occupants. Emile-Antoine Bourdelle’s sinister bronze Medusa Door Knocker (1925) and a colorful early 20th-century Suzani prayer rug from Central Asia show how we mediate the public and private through objects.
Domestic Interiors: Works made for or featuring domestic settings invite visitors to consider how we make home. Paintings like Marguerite Gerard’s Motherhood (c. 1795) and a selection of chairs, vessels, and other objects from an ancient Greek krater to a modern toaster reflect the individual, familial, social, and cultural identities and activities of their owners.
Arrivals & Departures: Objects that show a world of constant transformation and movement include Alfred Stieglitz’s Steerage (1907) photograph of passengers boarding a ship, Susan Harbage Page’s Hiding Place No. 3, Laredo, Texas (2011) large scale photograph of a temporary shelter for someone crossing the U.S./Mexican border, and an ancient Nayarit Model House (c. 200 A.D.) created for the afterlife.
Interactive features include Home Stories videos that reveal an individual’s or family’s experience living with a reproduction of one of four objects for a month. Another group of artworks has soundscapes that immerse visitors in the place where the object was made through authentic audio recordings. The BMA’s Go Mobile smartphone guide has been expanded with 40 new stops with original content for artworks in Imagining Home.
Friendly gallery hosts are stationed in the exhibition during weekends and events to provide information about the objects and experiences upon request. There is also a nook with seating, books, and magazines for visitors who want to relax.
This exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Director of Interpretation and Public Engagement Gamynne Guillotte and Associate Curator of European Painting & Sculpture Oliver Shell.