Michener Museum Exhibit Explores Questions, ‘Do You See What I See? And If Not, Why Not?’

people looking at a green wall
Image via SeventyFour at iStock.
The Michener Museum is trying to gauge the influence of cultural and historical backgrounds on reactions to art.

Art has always been subjective. Some viewers of a painting see the struggles of humankind captured on a canvas; others may see something resembling scrambled eggs on a breakfast plate. The Michener Art Museum, however, is seeking to understand those dichotomies in a newly opened exhibit.

The initiative, titled “(re)Frame: Community Perspectives,” runs until March 5, 2023.

It is a museum-wide invitation to understand different viewpoints on art, based on culturally specific interpretations.

Applying this new lens to the Michener’s collection, visitors will explore artworks’ social and environmental contexts beyond academic Euro-American art history.

“Each person’s personal experience, cultural background, and professional and scholarly interests influence how they understand a work of art and we want to embrace these varied interpretations,” says Laura Turner Igoe, Michener’s Chief Curator. “There are many ways to look at an artwork.”

Eight guest curators have selected works from the Michener’s permanent collection to reveal new stories about identity and the area’s environment.

Some of the Historical and contemporary art selected has never before been on view.

Several stations throughout the Museum’s galleries invite visitors to share their own interpretations of what they’re seeing now. These feedback points also provide attendees with the chance to suggest what they would like to see at the museum in the future.

More information is at the Michener Art Museum.