Iridescence logo

The Durow Trust presented this colorful exhibition in the Sawyer Library. The exhibition demonstrated how iridescence has impacted the decorative arts and design, and showcased iridescent items in the Museum's collection. 

Stemming from the Greek term and name of the goddess of the rainbow, Iris, "iridescence" refers to the visual effect displayed where the colors of the rainbow shift as the viewing angle changes. Throughout history, naturally iridescent materials were prized items of beauty. The kaleidoscope of rainbow colors can be seen in several familiar human-made and natural objects such as decorative glassware, pottery, beads, soap bubbles, rocks and minerals, seashells, butterfly wings, and peacock feathers.

Thanks to a bequest from the estate of Frederick and Marian Hughes Durow, the Museum has the ability to exhibit, preserve and develop its extensive collection of decorative arts. Through the Durow's generosity and foresight, generations of visitors will be able to experience the beauty and artistry of these amazing objects.

Collection item from Iridescence

Decorative Arts Collection Highlights

April 2021 - September 2023

OPM staff member working in the Iridescence exhibit
Child inspecting artifacts in People of the Waters

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