The Lives of Things (2015-2016)

Medieval art in museums is usually displayed in a way that neither incites curiosity nor provides context. Museum visitors frequently see only fragments of the original church decoration, fragments that do not capture the rich history, aesthetics and story of the objects displayed. Although labels provide brief descriptions and identify the time period and medium used, these short passages of text cannot sufficiently engage either the viewer or the object.

The theme of this Bass Connections project has been to ask, How can museum displays inform the public about the background and fascinating history of ancient and medieval art? What can we do to help museum visitors interact with and better understand objects from the distant past?

Building on courses taught in 2013 (Museum Inside-Out, Olson and Bruzelius) and 2014 (3D Design and Programming in Art and Medicine, Tepper and Olson), the Lives of Things project is part of a long-term initiative to engage museum visitors with displaced and fragmented works of art.


Fall 2015 – Spring 2016

This Team in the News

Graduate Fellowship Winners Describe Their Research

Caroline Bruzelius Honored with Leadership Award

See earlier related team, The Lives of Things (2014-2015).

The Franklin Humanities Institute provided additional support for this project.

Faculty/Staff Team Members

Caroline Bruzelius, Trinity - Art, Art History & Visual Studies*
Mark Olson, Trinity - Art, Art History & Visual Studies*
Guillermo Sapiro, Pratt School - Electrical & Computer Engineering*
Mariano Tepper, Pratt School - Electrical & Computer Engineering

Graduate Team Members

Alexandra Dodson, Art, Art History and Visual Studies
Sinan Goknur, Art, Art History and Visual Studies
Jordan Hashemi, Pratt - Electrical and Computer Engineering
Amanda Lazarus, Art, Art History and Visual Studies
Christopher Tralie, Pratt - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Community Team Members

Multiple Contributors, Nasher Museum of Art

* denotes team leader


Completed, Archived