Blessed Beasts and Curious Creatures

September 23 - December 11, 2016

Inspired by the San Diego Zoo’s 100th Anniversary, the Timken joins six prominent Balboa Park institutions in a collaboration of animal-themed exhibitions for 2016. The exhibition, Blessed Beasts and Curious Creatures: Animal Processionals from the 13th to the 21st Centuries, runs September 23 through December 11, 2016 and examines humanity’s changing relationship with animals, nature, and the world through Western art.

This fascinating exhibition offers a view of the creation and presentation of visual art portraying animals with the intent to stretch the viewer’s perception of the changing relationship humans have with animals, nature and the world.

A 13-century English Medieval bestiary manuscript, Jan Brueghel the Elder’s brilliant rare composition, The Entry Of The Animals Into Noah's Ark, and a large-scale contemporary print by artist Kiki Smith, Pool of Tears 2 (after Lewis Carroll), will complete the exhibition. Blessed Beasts and Curious Creatures provides a unique opportunity for the San Diego community to think about the ways in which the animal kingdom has been shown and interpreted across 800 years of art history in Europe and the United States.

Interactive Children’s Area

The installation includes a reading area designed to connect visitors with animals through the literary world. Curated selections of books celebrating animal themes compliments the exhibition’s works of art and serve as modern interpretations of bestiaries.

This interactive display for patrons of all ages is a nod to the Timken mission and its belief education is the most significant contribution a museum can make to its community. 

Blessed Beasts and Curious Creatures: Animal Processionals from the 13th to the 21st Centuries


Support for Blessed Beasts and Curious Creatures: Animal Processionals from the 13th to the 21st Centuries is generously provided by:

The Rembrandt Society 

Supervisor Ron Roberts, County of Board of Supervisors

Mandell-Weiss Charitable Trust 

The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

Friends of the Timken