Today at noon, the University Art Museum will premiere four highly anticipated exhibitions ranging from a display of shocking postmortem photographs to an abstract collection of objects.

One exhibition, “Holiday: Nineteenth-Century Travel Photography and Popular Tourism,” depicts the century’s obsession with travel through the use of photographs, brochures, guidebooks, maps and other media. Another show, “Jillian Mcdonald: Horror Make-Up,” features a performance-based video of the author applying zombie-like make-up on a subway. A third exhibit, “After Life,” presents a varied and diverse collection of images on death and dying, ranging from Salvador Dali to postmortem photos. Meanwhile, “Forms and Symbols” offers an eclectic mix of familiar objects in a unique format.

Museum curator Elyse Gonzales, who organized the holiday exhibition, said she sought to not only present 19th century photography, but to also display how it was used to formulate and confirm cultural ideas.

The After Life exhibition, Art Director Kathryn Kanjo said, is filled with disturbing and fascinating images of death and dying. Complementing the After Life selection is the Horror Make-Up exhibition. Since All Hallow’s Eve is approaching, Gonzales said it was fitting to devote an exhibition to zombie make-up.

As a whole, Kanjo said these exhibitions display contemporary pieces alongside antique collections to provide a glimpse into the past as well as a sense of where art is headed.

Established in 1959, the University Art Museum is open from noon to 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is free, and the exhibitions run until Jan. 31, 2010.