Florence Griswold Museum opens Animal/Vegetable/Mineral: An Artist’s Guide to the World

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, presents Animal/Vegetable/Mineral: An Artist’s Guide to the World an exhibition on view June 8 through September 23, 2013.

John Brewster, Jr., Boy Holding a Book, c.1810, Florence Griswold Museum William Wheeler, Still Life with Watermelon, 1865, Florence Griswold Museum Sascha Braunig, Strange Maine, 2012, Oil on Canvas, 30 in. x 22 in. Collection of Niva Grill Angel, New York. Image courtesy of the artist and Foxy Production, New York

John Brewster, Jr., Boy Holding a Book, c.1810, Florence Griswold Museum
William Wheeler, Still Life with Watermelon, 1865, Florence Griswold Museum
Sascha Braunig, Strange Maine, 2012, Oil on Canvas, 30 in. x 22 in. Collection of Niva Grill Angel, New York. Image courtesy of the artist and Foxy Production, New York


Animal/Vegetable/Mineral: An Artist’s Guide to the World includes some of the best-known works from the Museum’s permanent collection displayed alongside recent works by contemporary artists. The exhibition takes both its name and organizing principle from a children’s game that presumes the whole of the world can be neatly divided into three categories—the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral

Artists use many tools to understand, document, and describe the world around them. Animal/Vegetable/Mineral explores the unexpected dialogues that can occur among eclectic works of art that use very different tools to ask similar questions about the character of their subjects, the ordering of the natural world, and the material qualities of things. The exhibition takes its inspiration from Renaissance-era cabinets of curiosities in its installation, grouping the 105 works according to the three themes, and highlights the different ways that American artists explored similar ideas as styles changed. With key works from the Museum’s permanent collection hanging alongside lesser-known gems, Animal/Vegetable/Mineral encourages visitors to take a fresh look at familiar art. The addition of work by contemporary artists Sascha Braunig, Allison Maletz, and the team of Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick demonstrates ways artists continue to investigate questions fundamental to art making.

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