July 15, 2014
Topic: Arts & Culture
The exhibit "Ancient/Modern, The Design of Everyday Things" through Sept. 7 at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology examines objects that inhabitants of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East used that sometimes resembled, and other times differed, from those used by contemporary Americans.
"Materials we find in our own homes may not be so odd to the ancient Roman or Greek or Egyptian. Likewise, items found in ancient Roman households are quite similar to those we can buy at Meijer or Target," says Sebastian Encina, museum collections manager.
"Ancient/Modern" shows a connection between people past and present by showcasing Kelsey collection artifacts beside their modern equivalents. The exhibit celebrates the idea that people in a society express themselves through cutlery, cookware and kitchen gadgets, clothes, children's toys and money they use. Objects include earthenware plates and bowls from the ancient Roman village of Karanis in Egypt; bronze and silver necklaces and figure rings; and handfuls of copper coins.
But sometimes, appearances can be deceptive. Figurines from the Greek and Persian city of Seleucia in Iraq that resemble toy dolls may in fact be religious objects. A Greek kylix — a ceramic cup used for drinking wine — has little in common with a modern wineglass.
The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and closed Mondays. The exhibit, for visitors of all ages, is in the Meader Gallery at the Kelsey Museum, 434 S. State St. across from Angell Hall. Admission is free; donations are appreciated. For more information, call 734-764-9304.