Since the Stone Age, people around the world have looked to the night sky to make sense of the universe and ourselves. The cosmos—the sun, moon, orbiting planets, and twinkling stars—have inspired stargazing astronomers and artists alike, while practitioners of astrology use the position of celestial bodies to gain insight into our characters and predict our futures. Notably, in both Western and Eastern astrological traditions, zodiac signs are often visualized in animal forms, each zodiac representing certain characteristics in people’s personalities.
Seeing Stars, Divining Futures highlights the long history of human interest in the cosmos and its impact on earthly affairs. The exhibition showcases works from the Toledo Museum of Art’s collection that demonstrate the integration of art and divinatory practices across eras and cultures. From representations of the zodiac to tarot cards and images of fortune tellers, we invite you to explore how artists communicate our desire to know the unknowable and foresee the future.
Seeing Stars, Divining Futures is organized by the Toledo Museum of Art and curated by Sophie Ong and Ahmad Rafiei, Brian P. Kennedy Leadership Fellows.