Browse Exhibits (5 total)

Coins of the Greek and Roman World


Ancient coins are rich in information about the ancient world. Deciphering this information, however, can be quite the task for a novice archaeologist or historian. This exhibit attempts to provide some essential context for the coins found in the collection of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Explore the links at right to learn more. The beautiful collection of coins here at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art exists thanks to James and Aneta McIntyre, who generously donated the coins to the museum.

If you are interested in viewing the collection as a whole, please click this link.

Collection of Coins found at The Hallie Ford Museum of Art

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This is the virtual gallery for the upcoming “Epilogue” exhibit on the 4th floor of Eaton Hall on Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. The exhibit was curated as an Anthro 303 Museum Studies class project with Professor Dobkins. The prints were selected from the Hallie Ford Museum collection with an eye for resonating images and a chance to inflict a new perspective.

Abbie Foley, B.A. 14 and Dave Hatch S.E.(Siletz Elder) 08

Salvador Dalí: Alchimie des Philosophes


Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) was perhaps the most publicized artist of the twentieth century. He is remembered for his surrealist art and outrageous personality. Dalí's paintings are his most celebrated works, but he was a versatile artist who also worked with film, jewelry, sculpture, literature, and graphic arts. Towards the end of his life, Dalí produced an enormous ouevre of prints-many of which were equal in brilliance and quality to his earlier works. However, many scholars and critics have scorned Dalí's graphic works because as he grew older he became less involved in the production process of his prints. He even signed large quantities of blank pages for his printing team to use. Because of the uncontrolled editions of his graphic works, Dalí has received negative attention for his reproduced art, despite its virtuosity and innovation. 

One of Dalí's most incredible series of graphic works is an artist's book entitled Alchimie des Philosophes, or Alchemy of the Philosophers. Created in 1976, it contains ten prints encased in a large portfolio box with ancient alchemical texts from the 3rd-17th centuries reproduced in facsimile. The prints are 56 x 76 cm, and were created with a combination of intaglio, lithography, and serigraphy. There are 275 copies of Alchimie des Philosophes, some in French and English, and some in French and Italian. Each of the prints represents a particular alchemical theme and relates to the ancient texts. The iconography combines Dalí's personal motifs with the symbolism of thousands of years of alchemy. 



Alchemy arose in many ancient cultures, each employing somewhat different theories. Dalí recognized the multi-faceted nature of alchemy and drew inspiration from Chinese, Greek, Arabic, Hebraic, and Western alchemy. Alchemy is notoriously mysterious and frequently misunderstood. The modern perception of alchemy is that it was practiced by greedy sorcerers attempting to create gold. While the creation of gold was certainly a component of alchemy, there was also a spiritual side. Just like alchemists wanted to purify base matter into gold, they also wanted to purify the human soul into a perfect being. Thus, alchemy has two distinct subdivisions: physical alchemy (laboratory experiments, the precursors of modern chemistry) and spiritual alchemy (philosophical teachings). 

The ultimate goal of alchemy was purification. In physical alchemy, this manifested in a concrete product, the Philosopher's Stone. The Philosopher's Stone would ideally be a physical substance which provided eternal life and purity to the successful alchemist. In spiritual alchemy, the goal was a transmuted, perfect spirit which also gave the alchemist eternal life. Even though the two types of alchemy are fundamentally different, the symbolism remains the same. In order to protect their secrets, alchemists deliberately made their texts difficult to understand, with conflicting metaphors and symbols.



Each page of this online exhibition is dedicated to one of Dalí's prints in Alchimie des Philosophes. It includes an image and description of the print above a gallery of thumbnails. The first row of thumbnails includes closer details of each featured print. Below those are relevant images from alchemical texts, or other works by Dalí which use similar symbols. At the bottom of the pages are quotes from the alchemical texts that Dalí used as inspiration. There is also a Glossary which explains alchemical terms and symbols.


“All great art is born of alchemy and going beyond death. But I make gold by transcending my innards through hyperconsciousness."

-Salvador Dalí


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Late Antique Textile Fragments

This online exhibition covers the Late Antique textile fragments donated to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in 2015.

Established in 1965, the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation manages and organizes the extensive collection of the late Arthur M. Sackler. By loaning and donating art to various museums, the foundation makes the collection accessible to the public. The foundation has made several loans and donations to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, specifically helping to greatly expand its Asian art collection.

The textiles donated to the HFMA and featured in this exhibition are all fragments from larger works that have otherwise been lost. Textile fragments like these are not uncommon, generally having been taken from illicit grave excavations in Egypt and other parts of North Africa. Features of these textiles with interesting designs were frequently cut off and sold individually. The rest of the textile had no market value, so it was generally discarded. Over the last few decades, laws concerning the importing of antiquities, including textile fragments from North Africa, have changed in an attempt to curb these practices. However, fragments with a provenance placing them in the U.S. before these laws were enacted can still be legally bought and donated. All the textile fragments in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art collection were brought to the U.S. before these laws were enacted and can legally be owned and exhibited. 

This process of removing textile fragments from their archaeological context greatly complicates viewing these fragments. Having been removed from completed works, determining how these fragments were used becomes difficult if not impossible. Although some patterns or designs may offer clues as to what sort of garment or furnishing a fragment could have been cut from, many are very ambiguous. This problem is made worse by a lack of archaeological context. Excavations can provide contextual clues about the date and physical origin of a piece, but having come from illicit excavations, these textile fragments can not be effectively dated without radiocarbon dating and their original location may never be determined. 

Culture Through Currency: Antiochia ad Pisidiam


Archaeologists have been drawn to the Colonia Caesarea Antiochia since its "discovery" by Francis Vyvyan Jago Arundell in 1833. The site lies just outside modern-day Yalvaç in Turkey, upon a plataeu that rises to the north of the Yalvaç Çay, or the river called Anthios in antiquity. 

During Roman times, Antioch was located in the province of Galatia on the border between the states of Phyrgia and Pisidia in central Asia Minor. All roads in Galatia led to Antioch, namely the Via Sebaste, which extended East and West across Asia Minor. Thus, Antioch was widely accessible via the extensive road system established throughout Asia Minor.

Historical Context

The Roman Empire annexed the province with Antioch in 25 BCE. Augustus established a colony of veterans from Legion V and VII there as a anttempt to pacify the newly aquired region. These Roman veterans became the new political leadership of Antioch and the indigenous Graeco-Phrygian peoples remained only as incolae (residents stripped of citizenship rights). A functioning Greek polis was adapted into an Imperial colony. Thus, Antioch's culture is characterized by the interaction between its Greek heritage and colonial legacy. 

Furthermore, Antioch's coinage serves to define the main religious and cultural identifiers of a colony. These icons including Tyche, Genius, and Anthius bridged the gap between the Roman Empire and its Eastern provinces.