Closed Summer 2024

The Allen Memorial Art Museum is currently closed for improvements.

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Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
87 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074
440.775.8665

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The Allen's collection is particularly strong in 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, Japanese prints, early modern art, African art, and more.

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New Installation / Class, Colonialism, and (Over)Consumption

August 24, 2023 - May 31, 2025
In East Gallery

New Installation / Class, Colonialism, and (Over)Consumption

August 24, 2023 - May 31, 2025
In East Gallery

Social upheaval in the wake of the Black Death (1346–1352) lent itself to new ways of understanding class and social mobility. By the 1700s, European manners and dining norms had evolved to reflect a class-based system that this installation explores. Despite religious concerns about excess consumption, owning and displaying large quantities of luxury goods was common among the upper classes, especially colonial commodities such as chocolate, tea, and snuff. Those who fashioned themselves as “civilized” maintained their position through their access to expensive and foreign goods that the lower classes only interacted with through servitude.

Organized by Professor Ellen Wurtzel’s class Lords, Peasants, and Pigs on Trial.

Image: Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory (Dresden, German), Meissen Soup Tureen with Cover, c. 1761. Glazed and painted porcelain. R. T. Miller Jr. Fund, 1948.70A-B.

Learn more about the key themes explored in this installation in these annotated bibliographies compiled by students:

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Allen Memorial Art Museum Closed for the Summer

Starting May 27, the Allen Memorial Art Museum will close for the summer in the lead up to the completion of Oberlin College and Conservatory's Sustainable Infrastructure Program (SIP). Learn More