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A Space for Dialogue 86

A Space for Dialogue 86 Cover
January 2015

Emblem: Figuring the Abstract in Social Commentary

Bay Lauris ByrneSim ’15, Mellon Special Project Intern

Published by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College

2015, 2 pages

Emblem, type, symbol, token, trope, image, sign—all of these words describe specific visual forms that represent abstract ideas through recognized shapes, colors, and figures. Many emblems contain culturally specific messages, often taken from sacred or ancient texts, the meanings of which evolve over time. Since these images are quickly legible to members of a shared culture, artists mobilize emblems to provoke certain reactions in an audience. This exhibition draws together various types of emblematic prints—primarily woodcuts—that address social problems and issues.

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