I believe in the power of objects. They tell us about history. They connect us to one another across time and space. They are packed with meaning if only we take the time to think about them. This is true of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. It’s equally true, I’d argue, of a cheap bottle-opener key chain I carry around with me.

My blog explores both kinds of objects in ways you may not have considered before:

In Narrate I explore so-called high art through a completely personal and imaginative lens. You see, even though I majored in art history and later got my PhD, it turns out that it was never really the academic stuff that interested me. I’d look at a Caravaggio painting and imagine how the flickering torchlight might create a dance of shadows on the wall. I’d imagine the dampness on that wall surface or its crumbling plaster. Then my mind might go to the street. What’s happening out there? What is this world and what might it mean? Every work of art seems to be shouting at me with some story or other. If you’ve ever gone to a museum or sat through an art history lecture and felt uninspired, I hope this might give you new ways to appreciate art and art history.

In Catalogue, I do the reverse. Examining the ordinary objects that make up the “collection” that is my personal world, I try to give the same respect and thoughtfulness to the objects that I’ve accumulated that a museum curator might give to the objects in an art exhibition. The project loosely follows the format of an exhibition catalogue. I hope that by analyzing ordinary objects from my life I might help others to take notice of seemingly insignificant details from their own lives—to reflect and find meaning. (Especially helpful, I find, circa 2020.)

About Ellen:
I have a PhD in art history and originally created this website to provide information about my professional services. If you’re interested in learning more about the work I’m available to do, please check out my Professional Work page. You can contact me through the contact form on this site or at ellenannehurst AT gmail DOT com.

I love art in its myriad forms because it exposes how the experience of living is simultaneously universal and individual. I contend that it is finding the extraordinary in our everyday experiences that makes life so interesting. There are fascinating stories everywhere we look. My goal is to bring these stories to light.


*Please note that an earlier iteration of this blog (2015–19) existed before these projects were begun. Those posts are viewable in the archived section of the blog page.

Follow me:

Twitter: @ellenannehurst
Instagram: @ellen.a.hurst


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