Introduction

Figure Group Drinking Scene

Welcome to the Pre-Columbian exhibit of selected objects from the Miami University Art Museum collection.  The Pre-Columbian collection consists of vessels, figurines, effigies, and other objects.

Many of the objects exhibited here were donated to the museum as a gift by Walter I. Farmer.  Farmer was an alum of Miami University; he graduated with a B.A. in Architecture in 1935.  Farmer was accepted as a member of the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1942, and later became a member of the Corps of Engineers.  He decided to apply to the MFAA rather than return home in June 1945.  Farmer served as Director of the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point from June 1945 to March 1946. There, he oversaw the sorting, cataloguing, restoration, and eventual restitution of thousands of objects which had been found within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forces, Austria (USFA).

Farmer resumed his career as an interior designer when he returned to the United States in 1946.  He helped found the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston and served as President of the museum’s board for the next three years.  In 1946, he opened his own firm in Cincinnati called Greenwich House Interiors.  He owned and operated the firm until his death in 1997. He continued lectures at the Cincinnati Art Museum, as well as guest speaking at the Columbus Art Museum and the University of Cincinnati.  He was a founding donor of the Miami University Art Museum, opened in 1978.

The museum is pleased to introduce the first digital exhibit of selected objects from the Pre-Columbian collection.

Initial exhibit created by Celia Bugno, Collections Intern Spring 2018

Introduction