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"Empire of Things" at the Spencer Museum of Art includes art objects from a variety of time periods, regions and mediums. Here, "Mary Magdalene," left, by Bernardino Ludovisi, and "Bust of a Woman," by Henri Jacobs, are pictured in front of Gillis van Tilborgh's painting, "A Picture Gallery."

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Spencer's new permanent exhibit puts 'Things' back in place

In museums — where artworks traditionally are isolated by time period, type or region and lined up in one-way-only galleries — those connections fade away. The Spencer Museum of Art's newest permanent exhibit, however, aims to put things back in their place. By Sara Shepherd.

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