Public programs facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals, informing scholarship and strengthening practice.

Multiple day conferences, year-long colloquia, individual lectures, “conversations” between individuals, hands-on workshops, and Museums at Noon talks featuring our graduate students all contribute to the remarkable richness of MSP offerings.

Video recordings of some MSP lectures are archived for viewing in our Media Gallery.

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Less than Perfect exhibition

August 26, 2016 - January 8, 2017

Location:  Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

In our society, we are taught to strive for and expect perfection. Yet throughout our lives, we learn as much or more from our flaws and failures as we do from our successes. Less Than Perfect celebrates failure and the lessons it teaches. Featuring objects that span more than 2000 years and four continents, this exhibition explores the stories they tell about their makers, their making, and their use.

The exhibition—with objects from the Kelsey Museum, the Museum of Art, and the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology— is organized around three themes. Failed Perfection presents archaeological objects that failed in production to explore how researchers use them to study about ancient technologies. Deliberate Imperfection features beautiful and finely crafted objects whose makers deliberately introduced asymmetries or other imperfections into their products—and considers why artists choose to make imperfect things. Restoring Perfection highlights artifacts that were repaired in antiquity by people who strove to restore usefulness and beauty to broken or damaged objects.

Together these themes allow visitors to ponder the tensions between perfection and imperfection in their own lives and to explore how people in diverse cultures have addressed this divide.

Guest curator:  Carla Sinopoli


August 26, 2016
January 8, 2017
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Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
434 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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