A beautifully designed introduction to art history by way of artworks that feature the mouse—from the ancient world to drawings by Picasso, Disney, and Art Spiegelman.
Across centuries and civilizations, artists have used the mouse—the planet’s most common mammal after us—to illustrate our myths and beliefs. Mice have appeared as Japanese symbols of good luck or medieval emblems of evil, in Arab fables, Russian political satire and Nazi propaganda, as scientific tools and to help us challenge the way we see nature.
With more than 80 rarely reproduced works—including paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and Gustav Klimt, a silkscreen by Andy Warhol, a print by Hokusai, a photograph by André Kertész, a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, a video installation by Bruce Nauman, a performance by Joseph Beuys, and many more—Lorna Owen has created an engaging presentation of an extraordinary range. The pieces, which represent every period of visual art, are accompanied by Owen’s intriguing text about the story behind each work. She has combined her passion for art and her empathy for the unsung archetype of the animal kingdom to explain not only how or why the artist came to use the mouse as a subject, but how the art, in the end, reveals more about us than it could ever reveal about this humble creature.