A sixteenth-century frieze, a Native American hide painting, and contemporary photographs of ancient geological sites are works of art in the Benton Museum of Art’s collection that might not appear to have much in common. But they all demonstrate how art can convey—and even create—knowledge. Works of art do more than represent artists’ perceptions of the cultural moments in which they live; they also transmit meaningful lessons across time to contemporary audiences.
The works featured in this exhibition reflect the insights of a number of artists through myths, true stories, apocrypha, personal narratives, and subtle conversations—all of which are ways of knowing. The information in these works may be current, outdated, and even futuristic, but it is always present.
Gathered from the permanent collection of the Benton Museum of Art, the exhibition includes work that spans multiple cultures, materials, techniques, and time periods. Artists include Hans Burgkmair the Elder, Sister Mary Corita, Michel Curry, Merion Estes, Genevieve Gaignard, Jack Goldstein, Wenceslaus Hollar, Silver Horn, Tom Knechtel, Constance Mallinson, Patrick Nagatani, Grayson Perry, Kiki Smith, Fred Tomaselli, and more.