On the occasion of Menagerie: Animals on View, we're taking a closer look at several of the thematic groupings in the exhibition. This week: Birds.
Birds, in all of their majesty and fragility, have long been a source of awe and mystery. Throughout art history, their images have played a role in scientific inquiry, taxonomy, and spiritual symbolism, allowing us to meaningfully connect with the vast natural world that exists between the Earth and the sky. The all-knowing, all-seeing owl has represented wisdom and the quest for knowledge, while the crow and the raven have heralded bad omens. However, while many modern and contemporary artists have looked to winged creatures for inspiration, their interpretations are anything but ordinary. The myriad works in Menagerie: Animals on View present birds as allegories for our own earthbound existence.