Accession Number

February 16, 2017 - August 20, 2017

Between 1960 and 1962, 396 works of art came into the museum. As with all objects that enter the collection, ancient Egyptian amulets, Chinese Qing dynasty vases, and William Morris Hunt’s majestic painting of Niagara Falls were catalogued with an accession number, a code that records both the year and order of acquisition. Using this coding system as a display strategy, Accession Number poses several questions: What did the museum prioritize, why, and what did it overlook? Why was the art given? Which works of art do we value today? And finally, how do we infer meaning from this or any archive? Explore this question in an accompanying installation that invites the public to curate their own digital display.

Close Look
Thursday, Mar 2
4 pm

Walk through the exhibition with WCMA Director Christina Olsen and Art History Graduate Student Kerry Bickford MA ’17.

Season Celebration
Thursday, Mar 16
5 pm

Raise a glass to celebrate our spring exhibitions: Lex and Love, Robert Rauschenberg: Autobiography, and Accession Number.

TOP FROM LEFT: Egyptian, Amulet of Deity with Headdress, no date, faience. Gift of Horace Mayer. William Morris Hunt, Niagara Falls, 1878, oil on canvas. Gift of the estate of J. Malcolm Forbes. Egyptian, Head, 22nd to 26th Dynasties (ca. 945-545 BC), painted wood. Museum Purchase.