Reading Objects 2011
Responses to the Museum's Collection
Table of contents
Responses to works in the permanent collection of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.
Reading Objects 2011 is part of an ongoing, interdisciplinary series featuring works from the permanent collection of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz. The artworks are accompanied by texts or other responses prepared by SUNY New Paltz faculty, staff, and students.
Exhibitions such as Reading Objects 2011 are one of a number of ways that the Dorsky Museum is able to periodically display selections from its permanent collection of over five thousand objects. Like many museums, the Dorsky has many fine examples of artworks from diverse cultures and time periods that never see the light of day. It is these works—the ones that are housed in the dark recesses of museum storage—that this Reading Objects exhibition highlights.
Each staff member at the museum was asked to review the collection database and choose five objects that they felt would be good candidates for the exhibition, keeping in mind the work's potential for diverse narrative interpretations. Staff were also asked to consider works that had rarely or never before been on public display before. Thirty-seven selections were then pulled from storage for the staff to review, and this provided lively and spirited discussions as each staff member defended his or her selections. In the end, twenty-seven works made the final cut.
Wayne Lempka is Art Collections Manager at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.