Eucharistic Chalice

SACRED | Fluids

Gallery 279

Many world religions endow fluids with transformative powers. One fluid, it is often believed, can turn into another, such as water into wine, wine into blood, or blood into milk. But fluids can also fundamentally transform the believer: nourishing, cleansing, blessing, refreshing, exorcizing, or redeeming. Metaphors of flowing, of fluidity, are sometimes even used to describe the experience of the sacred itself.

This installation is intended to spur discussion of the sacred role of fluids by juxtaposing powerful and moving artworks from ancient Mediterranean, Greco-Roman, and Judeo-Christian traditions.

— Eike Schmidt, James Ford Bell curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, with thanks to Aaron Cotton, Katherine Goertz, Nor Hall, and Bekah Marzahn