Check out a sampling of our thematic galleries below, or view highlights of the CMA collection.

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Vice and Virtue

Good and bad, right or wrong, open and shut. It can be easy to believe we live in a world of strict binaries, but these lines often blur. Behaviors deemed acceptable by some might be considered immoral or offensive to others. Principles that guide civilizations have long acted as sources of fascination for many, whether in being drawn to the allure of the forbidden or exalting those qualities considered honorable.

Art can act as a window and a mirror when examining these uncertain areas. 


Visions from Beyond

Diverse visual vocabularies have sprung from religious traditions across the globe. By employing symbols and icons, artists reference stories from sacred texts that communicate distinct aspects of spiritual life. Images of saints, buddhas, gods, and spirits provide moral guideposts to the faithful. In some cases, artworks might also act as devotional objects and intermediaries for the divine.

This gallery features works that engage spiritual themes, especially the topic of the afterlife. The transition from this life to the next is a common subject throughout art history. 


Art and Identity

Artists often explore characteristics that communicate a person's status, personality, and distinctiveness. Gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, and heritage can be constructed or reconstructed through the use of color, form, and technique. These attributes determine and contribute to our self-identification within a complex network of social, political, religious, national, and local groups. In addition to representing the people who populate their visual world, artists have the power to express the maker's sense of self.

Art gives us the opportunity to think about individuals who may or may not be familiar to us. Do these pieces articulate a sense of who we are as individuals, as society, or as a nation? 


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