Lions and tigers and…griffins? Oh my! The National Building Museum is home to 320,000 objects related to the built environment. Many of these artifacts in the permanent collection have never been displayed. Animals, Collected is a chance to explore some of the Museum’s most unusual treasures– through the lens of the animal kingdom.
The exhibition showcases a selection of architectural objects depicting animals—both real and mythological—as decorative elements. As ornament on municipal buildings and monuments, churches and warehouses, animals have appeared on structures and statues across time, geography, and function.
Imagined as a cabinet of curiosities, Animals, Collected presents two- and three-dimensional materials that encourage closer inspection of the buildings we see every day. Why are animals meaningful to the structure, its location, or the people who use it? Organized by animal habitat, surprising object groupings zoom in on different phases of, and approaches to the process of design and construction.