This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World
January 5–July 23, 2022
Kaish Gallery stairs, Sack Gallery, Rush Gallery, and Cheatham Gallery
Barbara J. MacAdam, former Jonathan Little Cohen Curator of American Art, Jami C. Powell, curator of Indigenous art, Thomas H. Price, former curatorial assistant for American art, Morgan E. Freeman, former Native American art fellow, and Michael Hartman, The Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art
This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World explored artistic responses to the natural world by diverse American artists working from the early nineteenth century to the present. It was the first major installation of the museum's historic American collection to be organized thematically, rather than chronologically. More significantly, it featured not only Euro-American, African American, Latin American, and Asian American works but also, for the first time, traditional and contemporary Native American works hung alongside this early-to-contemporary "American" art. This collaboratively curated exhibition of approximately 160 works filled four galleries. It compelled us to consider new perspectives on historical and contemporary art by diverse artists, Native and non-Native, and to reflect on our own relationship to place and land. How, for instance, have experiences of home and the natural world changed historically and in our own lifetimes? How have they already been impacted by unanticipated phenomena, such as the COVID-19 pandemic? What actions would help to provide all Americans a secure sense of home, in both the built and the natural environment?
This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, and generously supported by a gift from Claire Foerster and Daniel Bernstein, Class of 1987, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.