On Wednesday the Collections Committee of the Wright Museum of Art will convene its annual meeting. This committee will discuss the past year’s list of purchases and donations, before ultimately voting on the accession and designation of these objects. Topping the list of 68 objects are two manuscript facsimiles that were proposed for acquisition by Art History Professor David Boffa. Boffa realized the teaching potential of these objects, and how having physical examples of illuminated manuscripts for students to evaluate and even thumb through could significantly contribute to their understanding of the concepts he presents in the classroom. As Boffa puts it, “Facsimiles remind students of the obvious (but overlooked) fact that manuscripts are, first and foremost, physical objects. Top quality facsimiles like the Codex Calixtinus reproduce not just words and images but the feel of the parchment and the effects of aging, use, and even insect damage.”
After the collections committee pre-approved a short proposal, the Wright Museum was put in touch with an international vendor and now owns a copies of Wierner Genesis, and the Codex Calixtinus—the latter of which is so true to the original that wormholes and other insect damages are reproduced appropriately.
Also up for review is artwork that was acquired for exhibition.Two artist included in Conflict Photography graciously donated their photographic prints at the close of that exhibition, and this year’s Parker Faculty Curator, Dr. Rachel Ellet, has guided the museum through the acquisition of 25 new art objects.These objects include political posters, paintings, and a photograph displayed in her class-curated exhibit Africa Today, as well as a portfolio of prints titled Cross Cultural Identities. As part of the permanent collection at the Wright Museum, this artwork is now available for museum staff, faculty, or Beloit College students for exhibition, research, or any other educational purpose.
One noteworthy piece gifted to the Wright is a large rubbing of The Yellow River Diagram, a stone stele held in the Forest of stele in Xi’an.The stone was carved in 1535, and describes the heroic efforts of the government to dredge the Yellow River in an effort to control it. This new addition adds the Wright’s growing collection of maps and images of the Yellow River.
These and all permanent collection objects are available for research assignments or extended viewings in the Wright’s new Exhibition Lab. If interested in acquiring art objects to compliment your curricular goals, contact museum staff.