Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The New Scholar, 1879
detail, oil on canvas, GM 0126.1213

On Common Ground

December 22, 2013 – Ongoing

Often discussions about America focus on the differences of the peoples who came to inhabit this continent in a series of migrations over time. However, basic common needs bind us together as human beings, giving common ground to diversity. This common ground is as physical as the need for food and safety - physical as the land itself upon which all lived.

The richness of common experiences involved the land, its plants and wildlife, the people in their daily life - their sustenance, alliances, movement, their wealth and power, spirituality and belief, suffering from natural catastrophe, conflict, and death, their joys and successes.  Whether Indian or Explorer, Immigrant or Military, Fur Trader or Cattleman, whether English, French, Spanish, Mexican, African or other, all needed to eat, sleep, be protected from the elements, build dwellings and communities, learn, live, love, and die.

In these established themes all parties fit and all time-frames merge to obtain a view of what it meant to be human first in a wild and beautiful land. Through the mixing of these many works of art and cultural items depicting a great variety of people, one is reminded that all human beings have similar needs that bring us to a common ground. 

Title sponsor of the Gilcrease Museum 2013-14 exhibition season is the Sherman E. Smith Family Charitable Foundation.