Sheldon opens 'Histories' exhibition today

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The Sheldon Museum of Art permanent collection galleries are showing "Histories," an exhibition that focuses on the complexity of the subject. The exhibition opens with a First Friday reception, 5 to 7 p.m., today.

The term "history" suggests a single, unified explanation and understanding of events and actors on the world stage. And yet in both academic settings and popular culture, history reveals itself to be a complex, multifaceted topic, explored and interpreted in a variety of different ways.

Through artworks from the Sheldon Museum of Art's permanent collection, this exhibition investigates some of the ways history has directed, influenced, or been represented in art, exploring how it has been translated and construed by different people during different periods.

Beginning with the theme of Important People and Major Events — often the traditional starting point for our comprehension of history — the exhibition explores the topic through several diverse premises, including Discovery and Exploration, Revolutions, and Social History.

Organized by Sharon L. Kennedy, curator of cultural and civic engagement, and Brandon K. Ruud, curator of transnational American art, the exhibition presents major figures and events — along with some overlooked moments and people — from the past.

Artists featured include Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Thomas Cole, Alexander Calder, Aaron Douglas, Marsden Hartley, Robert Henri, Dorothea Lange, Martha Rosler and Fritz Scholder. Also on view is a rarely-seen, recently conserved 12-foot long buffalo hide.

- Sarah Baker-Hansen

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