December 18, 2021 - July 17, 2022Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery
Throughout the entire history of humankind, people have needed containers for countless different objects. Storing food and water was essential to the longevity and prosperity of early civilizations. They likely used objects found in nature, like hollow gourds, as receptacles. As time progressed, containers were needed for religious ceremonies, cultural practices, personal adornment, and other aspects of daily life. Materials changed, decorations were added, and the container sometimes became more significant than the object placed within it.
Featuring objects from the museum’s permanent collection, Restrained/Unrestrained illustrates the importance of receptacles in societies all over the world throughout time. They come in all different shapes and sizes, are made of many different materials, and serve many purposes. From pitchers to baskets, many of the objects in this exhibition have predictable functions and carry the objects of daily life. However, others are not intended to exclusively contain—like a Roman oil lamp made to hold oil but release a flame, or a contemporary vessel that cannot hold water. This exhibition explores the world of possibilities these objects hold and how their significance cannot be contained.