Flayed man, MCA, Paris

Richard Barnes, United States, born 1953
Flayed man, MCA, Paris, 2005
Digital C Print
48 x 60 inches

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(Un)Natural History: The Museum Unveiled

September 12 through December 6, 2009

Richard Barnes's series of photographs Animal Logic examines the role the museum plays in our understanding of ourselves through the acts of collecting, preservation, and display. Images from this large body of work include photographs of the collections from the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Comparative Anatomy in Paris, the Canadian Museum of Natural History, and the San Francisco Academy of Science. (Un)Natural History focuses primarily on the natural history museum and by extension collecting institutions in general, providing a kind of behind-the-scenes look at museum practice and display.

This exhibition will coincide with the UM LSA Theme Semester Meaningful Objects: Museums and the Academy. UMMA’s presentation is projected to serve as part of a three-venue project highlighting different aspects of Barnes’s work in partnership with the UM Institute for the Humanities—who have selected Richard Barnes as the Paula and Edwin Sidman Fellow in the Arts for 2009—and the Cranbrook Institute of Science (in partnership with Cranbrook Art Museum) in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.