Opening the Treasure Box

Opening the Treasure Box

The world comes to Staten Island via people and objects. The Staten Island Museum’s Opening the Treasure Box exhibition will present an array of art works, exploring their stories, collectors, techniques, differences, and similarities.

The Treasure Box gallery displays art objects from five continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, North, and South America. Countries represented include China, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and the United States. The oldest piece is an Egyptian funerary statuette of a striding man, dating from the second millennium BCE. Other works include an ancient Roman marble portrait head, a sculpture of the dancing Hindu god Ganesh, an intricately embroidered dragon robe from Imperial China, an elaborate Kuba Bwoom mask from the Congo, and extraordinary beaded moccasins made by Lakota Sioux women.

Because these objects from far-flung places are gathered here, you can see in one place what people everywhere share: Similar concerns regarding the desire for beauty and expressions of their religions, celebrations, conflicts, and burial practices, among other issues. While there will be a lot to absorb, this selection of objects will delight your eyes and your mind.

The Staten Island Museum was founded in 1881 by a group of civic-minded naturalists. After D. Wallace MacDonald donated his parents’ collection of antiquities in 1912, the museum began collecting more works of art, including ancient Egyptian and Greek objects. Since then, the collection has been enriched by art of different eras from all over the world.