Memory and Time


The artwork displayed in the upper passage variously refer to memory and the passing of time.

Insofar as memories are subjective and trend to be partial, how faithful are they to what life was really like in another time?

Titus Kaphar
Memory Fails, 2011
Oil on canvas, tar on panel, and gold-painted frame
On loan from Pamela K. and William A. Royall, Jr.


The landscape painting is reminiscent of 19th-century Romanticism, an artistic style named in reference to “romances” (poetry, novellas, and stories) written in Romance (Latin-derived) languages, often set in another time or place. Romanticism emphasized private, individual emotions, experiences, and tates.

The top of the painted canvas has been pulled down and out of the frame to reveal a thickly applied layer of tar that contrasts with the lighter colors of the landscape.


Lisa Demagall
Lace, 2012
Flameworked borosilicate glass, wood, and paint
The design of Lace is based on a patterned lace curtain owned by the artist’s grandmother. This piece relates to how nostalgia can help us remember and preserve quiet, beautiful moments from our past.

The glass technique that Demagall used was first developed in the late 19th century. It is known for being more resistant to thermal shock and stress (which causes cracks to form) than any other common glass.

Jaydan Moore
Dissect/Direct, 2013
Found platters

To make Dissect/Direct, Jaydan Moore cut pieces from a silver-plated tray and rearranged them into a new form. Displayed together they show how Moore brings new life to the materials he works with, creating something new out of something old.


Sonya Clark
Counting Change II, 2010

The video shows the beads of an abacus, or counting frame, moving from the year of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) to the present day. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln to proclaim the freedom of slaves in the 11 Confederate states.

Clark made the abacus in the video and felted her own hair to create the beads. By using her own hair, Clark linked her present-day, individual identity to the communal past of the slaves that were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.


Hilary Wilder
Cabinet #3 and Cabinet #4, 2014
Acrylic and flashe on canvas

Wilder began these [architectural studies] after returning from a trip to Iceland. She felt unable to capture her memories of the trip, so she began creating fantastical architectural plans for spaces that were reminiscent of her experiences in Iceland but never truly existed. In this way, she expressed her nostalgia for a particular place by creating fantasy worlds that incorporate her memories of her time there.

Wilder used a painting technique, called trompe l’oeil, that makes the shapes in her works look three-dimensional even though they are not.