To Have and To Hold

The John and Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art is pleased to devote an entire floor of its facility to sharing its permanent collection with visitors. Installed here is just a fraction of the nearly 5,500 teaching objects held in stewardship for all Nevadans.

Many of the objects in The Lilley’s collection came from the homes of collectors. This long-term exhibition’s title references the recent domestic histories of these objects. The title also alludes to The Lilley’s special commitment to caring for its collection in perpetuity and in service to the University community.

We have organized this collection exhibition by life experiences common to all humans. These include: time, courtship, family, community, politics, ritual and the ever after. Each object could likely fit within a number of these categories. Many objects are labeled with text written by community members. These texts give more information about the objects while adding a chorus of diverse critical voices to accompany an opaque curatorial perspective that both unifies and limits the exhibition.

To Have and to Hold acknowledges that art doesn’t fit into convenient categories, periods, styles, or worldviews. We all have the capacity to encounter art on multiple terms and in various contexts.