An exhibition curated by Olivia Rataezyk ’24, the Blick-Harris Study Collection Curatorial Intern, Fall 2021.
March 25 – May 13, 2022
This exhibition examines a selection of objects featuring wings as part of their iconography. These objects, from the Blick-Harris Study Collection, are organized by material, allowing visitors to engage with the breadth of wing imagery and its varied functions. Generally, the materials used are connected to the purpose of the object; for example, heavy metal objects, such as the silver censer, have ceremonial purposes during services, while lighter materials are generally intended for daily personal use.
By exhibiting this collection, I aim to educate visitors about the long tradition of wings in Christian art, and how these meanings vary – or stay the same – based on things such as context and time period. I also want the audience to pay attention to meanings dependent on context; for example, if meaning changes depending on where a symbol is found. This exhibition is intended to prompt deeper thoughts on objects with which the audience will have a wide range of familiarity, from daily interactions with Christianity to a complete lack of awareness. Additionally, I aim to spark appreciation for the material beauty of these objects. Many of the pieces in this collection were used daily when first created, and as a result have blurred the lines between high art and craft. However, a combination of age (Bone Fragment With Angel dates from Byzantium, for example) and recontextualizing these pieces in a gallery setting sets them up to be appreciated and thought about as art pieces.
I would like to thank professors Blick, Taronas, Hostetler, and Courtois de Viscose for serving as my curatorial committee and advising my work this semester.
Olivia Rataezyk ’24 is a biology major and art history minor from Seattle, Washington.