Mark Dion

October 1, 2009 – February 14, 2010

  • Mark Dion, American, born 1961, Providence Cabinet, 2001, Hand-built cabinets with mahogany finish, filled with finds from the Providence Dig, The Douglas Tracy Smith and Dorothy Potter Smith Fund

Mark Dion’s Providence Cabinet is filled with artifacts found in an excavation on the shores of the Seekonk River and Narragansett Bay. Despite being modeled on a Renaissance cabinet of curiosities, the items are neither rare nor particularly well preserved. Dion questions the ways that museums collect and exhibit objects, and considers how mundane artifacts may tell us as much about our past as valuables. In an interactive component, visitors were invited to rearrange the same types of everyday objects to consider methods of display.


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