Cats and Quotes

January 15, 2015 – July 10, 2016

Exhibition Overview

And metaphors like cats behind your smile,
Each one wound up to purr,
Each one a pride,
Each one a fine gold beast you've hid inside

-Ray Bradbury

Emmanuel Fremiet, Cat, ca. 1900, RS94.2

Cats—whether fierce wild predators or cuddly domestic pets—have fascinated artists throughout history. This exhibition features felines from a variety of periods, offering a wonderful chance to see how different artists have depicted cats and their varied relationships with human beings over time. Whether their approach is abstracted or highly realistic, artists have strived to capture their ever-changing moods: ferocity, sensuality, self-satisfaction, aloofness, and playfulness. To emphasize the importance of cats to humans, and their constant appearance in our lives, these paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and prints have been paired with famous quotes about felines. Both the artworks and the quotes reflect our love and admiration for these complicated, independent, clever, and mysterious creatures.

Emmanuel Fremiet
French, 1824 - 1910
Cat, ca. 1900
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Gift of Dr. Wesley and Mrs. Carolyn Halpert RS94.2