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Painted wood sculpture of a frontal facing full figure jolly man in robes

Brought to Life: Painted Wood Sculpture from Europe, 1300–1700

September 16, 2022–August 6, 2023

This exhibition investigates the materials, techniques and reception of painted wood sculpture in Europe between the 13th and the 18th centuries. Polychrome (multicolored) wood sculptures are today recognized as art objects, but at the time they were made, viewers interacted with the sculptures as if they were alive. Most of the works on view here represent sacred figures from Christianity, and their lifelike appearance was central to their function as objects of prayer and devotion. Whether located in a church or a home, the sculptures were part of a multisensory experience.

Red ropes hanging from a gallery ceiling with large knotted blue rope laying on the gallery floor

Red Hook at Bedford Terrace

On view March 11, 2022

During the 1980s, Sheila Pepe worked at SCMA in multiple roles, beginning as a gallery guard before working as a preparator’s assistant and a curatorial and administrative intern. In 2008, she returned to SCMA, to make Red Hook at Bedford Terrace. For Pepe, Red Hook at Bedford Terrace is a celebration of intersections and connectivity, of places, people, and their labor.

A split screen shows a man cooking shirtless in the kitchen, and a closeup of a hanging American flag that says "100% cotton made in China"

Chien-Chi Chang: China Town

On View July 19, 2022
Chien-Chi Chang's video "China Town" documents the experiences of undocumented workers in New York City's Chinatown and their family members in Fujian, China. An immigrant himself, the artist believes immigration is propelled by both suffering and hope.
Group of young adults standing facing front and white shirts and blue pants, with some people singing

FX Harsono: NAMA

February 18–October 23, 2022
This installation focuses on the historical erasure and oppression suffered by Indonesia’s ethnic minority Chinese community, who were forced to change their names. The mournful collective performance indicates the artist’s choice of healing and reconciliation over anger or protest when dealing with injustice and trauma.
Photo of the Ancient Gallery Installation

The Ancient World Gallery

Ongoing
In 2019, the display of SCMA’s ancient art collection was reimagined to provide a more global view of the ancient world. Previously, this gallery’s scope had been limited to Egyptian, Greek and Roman art. The gallery now includes ancient objects from China, Japan, Korea, Persia and the Americas. Arranged in thematic groupings, these artworks span several millennia and encompass a wide range of media.
Installation photo of African Art Gallery

Arts of Africa, c. 1825–1960

Ongoing
This installation, guest-curated by Dr. Christa Clarke, features a selection of African art from SCMA’s collection. They are displayed prominently on the third floor and in proximity to works from Europe and the United States, with a shared thematic emphasis on tradition and transformation. This framework highlights the entangled histories of these regions and centers African visual culture within a broader art history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, enriching the stories we tell about art.
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