Being and Believing in the Natural World
Human relationships with the natural world are explored across these ancient Mediterranean, Asian, and Indigenous North American objects. Rather than searching for similarities across cultures, this exhibition embraces the layers of meaning that emerge in bringing these different perceptions together. Dating from 2000 BCE to the present day, many of these objects could be presented within multiple contexts. Grouped as they are, they consider how diverse makers interacted with the natural world and suggest points of departure for thinking about our own narratives today.
Across the exhibition labels, different terminology describes the makers and their affiliations. “Artist once known” is used for Indigenous North American art and “unidentified maker(s)” for objects from Asia and the ancient Mediterranean. Specific geographical locations of origin are included when known, as are cultural designations. The information for each object is formatted to reflect current leading practices in the study of ancient, Asian, and Indigenous North American art.
Gina Borromeo (GB), former chief curator and curator of ancient art
Wai Yee Chiong (WC), associate curator of Asian art
Sháńdíín Brown (SB), Henry Luce Curatorial Fellow for Native American Art
RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.