After a major two-year renovation, the Renwick Gallery reopened last November with an exhibition titled WONDER, featuring nine major contemporary artists. Each artist took over a gallery creating site-specific large-scale installations inspired by the Renwick. Together, these installations turned the building into a larger-than-life work of art.


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“Man is surprised to find that things near are not less beautiful and wondrous than things remote.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1837

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“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.”
– Albert Einstein, 1931

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“It is through wonder that men now begin and originally began to philosophize; wondering in the first place at obvious perplexities, and then by gradual progression raising questions about the great matters too, for example, about the changes of the moon and of the sun, about the stars and about the origin of the universe.”
– Aristotle, 4th century BCE


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“Wonder is defined as a constriction and suspension of the heart caused by amazement at the sensible appearance of something so portentous, great, and unusual, that the heart suffers a systole.”
– Saint Albertus Magnus, 13th century

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“The mere knowledge that such a work could be created makes me twice the person I was.”
– Goethe, 1787IMG_9086 IMG_9088“Men go forth to marvel at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the orbits of the stars, and they neglect to marvel at themselves.”
– Saint Augustine, about 400 CE

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“It is not understanding that destroys wonder, it is familiarity.”
– John Stuart Mill, 1865

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“At the farthest reaches of the world often occur new marvels and wonders, as though Nature plays with greater freedom secretly at the edges of the world than she does openly and nearer us in the middle of it.”
– Ranulf Higden, 14th century