Charles Blades, For The Miami Student

The Miami University Art Museum is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year with a special exhibition entitled “35@35,” featuring 35 works from various eras, styles, artists and mediums.

The art museum was founded in 1978, and since then has been home to over 17,000 individual and unique pieces of art. On display now are 35 representative works from the museums always expanding permanent collection.

“This place is really one of the hidden gems of the University,” Robert Wicks, director of the museum, said. “I think everyone can find something in this exhibition which they would enjoy.”

Some of the most engaging and exciting works at the museum are from a wide array for styles and cultures. From a full-sized, mixed media piece of the royal family by Marisol Escobar, to a silk robe from 1850’s era China made of silk and even a 1900-year-old Indian schist statue of Buddha.

One piece that sticks out is the bust of Robert Hamilton Bishop, the first president of Miami, sculpted by Hiram Power, of which there is a replica bronze version that is in the president’s office at all times, but makes a rare appearance at the exhibition.

The art museum, located at 801 South Patterson Avenue, is perhaps one of Miami’s most underappreciated resources. Open to the public for free, one can easily lose track of time wandering the exhibits.

“It’s a rich, culturally diverse collection that is accessible to everyone,” first-year Miami student Mariah Wortham said after visiting the exhibit.

Throughout the years, the museum has been host to a number of exhibits from a wide variety of collectors and works, according to Wicks. In 2001, an exhibit put together by Edna M. Kelly highlighted Native American traditional pottery. Other exhibitions currently being displayed at the museum this year include “Pure Abstraction” which includes prints, photographs, drawings and sculptures, and “Distributing Knowledge: the Printed Image 1500-1800,” which is a student-curated exhibition that takes a look at pre-19th century European prints.

The Miami University Art Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays. Admission is free and open to the public.

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