Animals in Antiquity

Small figurine of a person an a horseLocated in: McKenna Gallery

A collaborative exhibition by the CU Art Museum and the CU Museum of Natural History

The desire to assign symbolic meanings to animals that share our world links human cultures across time. Whether rendered figuratively or abstractly, depictions of animals remind us not only of themselves but also of the qualities and traits we assign to them. They can illustrate human traits—the coyote as trickster, the cat aloof—and teach children behaviors and ideals from fables. Humans have worshipped animals, hunted and consumed them for food, and altered the natural environments of animals, all in the name of humanity.

This exhibition is a celebration of animals in art and animals as artifacts. The objects are from across the Earth and span the last 4,000 years of human history. We invite you to ponder what these objects represented and how the makers used them in their daily lives.    

This exhibition is generously supported by the Department of Classics, CU Boulder Student Arts and Cultural Enrichment fees, and CU Art Museum members.