Stories from Within: Selections from the Permanent Collection

We are lonesome animals. We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story, begging the listener to say and to feel, “Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way I feel it.” You're not as alone as you thought.

—John Steinbeck

Story telling is a universal human impulse. Myths and stories reflect the common human experience. Sharing stories helps us to make sense of our world, to find meaning in chaos, to teach our children.

The works you see here have a narrative element suggesting that there is a story to tell. Curiosity and imagination step forward to fill in what the rest of that story might be.

We were interested in visitors’ interpretations of these works from our collection and in 2009 solicited and posted viewer responses.