The large display case at right in the photo above houses ancient Greek objects that represent aspects of Classical Greek warfare. I liked the use of this theme to unify a set of varied objects differing in size, material, and shape, from small clay vases to imposing bronze armor. And although I'm not sure that the radiant blue augments the objects per se, I love that it adds a splash of vibrancy to a set of objects that is otherwise largely bichromatic (red and black/gray).
More striking, however, is the juxtaposition of the large case at right with the smaller one at left. It holds a relief from Benin, Africa. (Although the relief looks minuscule, this is just an effect of the photograph: the relief is several meters farther from the camera. In reality it is a bit bigger than the bronze breastplate at right.) The Benin relief was made approximately a millennium later than the Greek pots, yet it too depicts warefare — in a remarkably different way. Together, the two cases in this room draw connections across time and space to show how very different cultures can share a common social convention (if we can call war a social convention) as well as a desire to express it visually. How they each express it, and why their means of doing so should differ in some ways and align in others, is the basis of precisely the sort of cultural comparison that I think enriches our human experience. It sparks insight, demonstrates connectedness — a profound result from a simple but insightful display concept.