Based on an exhibit at the Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University and accompanied by lively essays on natural history and biodiversity, State of Nature is a unique opportunity to see what once lived in Indiana blended with works of art that address the contemporary world. The artifacts in the exhibit from the collection at the Indiana State Museum and the Indiana Geological and Water Survey occupy an important place in the history of biodiversity in Indiana. The introduction of natural history specimens into an art gallery alters our appreciation of these vestiges of living things and encourages us to reconsider their value and function. While disintegration and decay are to be expected, the artifactual aesthetic characteristics of collections help us hold onto the past, ensuring that these once-living things remain relevant today. State of Nature tells multilayered stories of our wonder at the natural world and our attempts to make sense of it.
Located on the Indiana University Bloomington campus, The Grunwald Gallery of Art is home to contemporary works by both professional and student artists. It frequently collaborates with artists, scientists, and scholars to produce exhibits that interpret visual art in a broader scientific or humanities context.