In The Museum of Prehistory, we are introduced to the fictional legendary archaeologist and artifact collector, Professor Maurice Quincy Brown, an alter ego for artist Quentin Moseley, The “collection” on display belongs to Professor Brown, who is too consumed with collecting “really cool stuff” to pay attention to the practical necessities of museum administration. The exhibition, stuffed with storage crates that are art objects in themselves, reflects the problems that all museums have with storage, expansion, and sustainability.
Documentation is presented alongside the “artifacts” - images appropriated from Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age artwork - in a detailed parody of museum exhibitions that reveals our inevitable human concerns with sex, society, security, and time.
In the course of creating the large-scale constructions, drawings, prints, and neon pieces that make up The Museum of Prehistory, Moseley visited eight Paleolithic painted and sculpted caves in the Dordogne Valley of France and Spain, as well as many of the great Megalithic sites of Brittany and the British Isles. Exploring a theme he has pursued for two decades, the artist brings these periods of early human creativity to life in rich detail and invites us to consider the ways we as contemporary human beings continue to find meaning in signs and symbols that inform our place in the cycles of time and life.
Quentin Moseley has been on the faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art since 1974 as a member of the Printmaking Department and has served as the department’s chair. He received his MFA in 1972 from the Hoffberger School of Painting and a BFA from Syracuse School of Art in 1970.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.