Unearthing, an exhibition by artist member Betsy Stirratt, is currently on view at the Tube Factory Art Space in Indianapolis. The exhibition will run through March 19, 2023.
In Unearthing, I explore how natural and cultural objects are presented in collections and museum settings, and how we preserve, classify, and display them. I have visited many natural history, herbaria and medical museums in Europe and the US with the aim of understanding their objectives, collecting impulses, and labelling practices. With similar intent, I visited several regional historical sites and collections, including the Workingmen’s Institute in New Harmony, the Indiana University Paleontology Collection, and Angel Mounds. The resulting photographs and objects demonstrate the sometimes-underestimated importance of local and regional history within the broader museum world.
Additionally, alongside the pieces inspired by museum collections and artifacts in this installation, I am including materials I have collected (e.g., a 19th c. herbarium, Victorian bird taxidermy, amateur butterfly collections) relating to my interest in history, natural history and the ways objects are preserved and presented within a curated setting. These items were gathered because in most cases they were made by an amateur who had some specific interest in the subject that he/she was preserving.
For more information: https://www.tubefactory.org/exhibitions-all/unearthing