January 21st – June 18th, 2017
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the European and American fascination with the collection and cultivation of uncatalogued flora and fauna species reached an apex, and with it generated possibilities for both expert and novice botanists and biologists alike, to write on the subject. Books published during this time were accompanied by abundant illustrations, drawn by both men and women, that aesthetically enhanced prose about flowers, birds and animals, further fanning interest in readers curious about the natural world.
These illustrations, which captured the attention of so many during the 18th and 19th centuries, continue to captivate enthusiasts today, and inspire visual artists drawn to nature and all of its kingdoms
In the exhibition, Radical Kingdoms, contemporary works are juxtaposed with early practitioners’ works, such as John James Audubon’s The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, and lesser-known artists of the time, such as J. Sowerby, Mary Peart, and Georg Dionysius Ehret, in order to highlight artistic similarities and formal shifts away from traditional modes of presentation.
Contemporary artists include George Boorujy, Portia Munson, Juan Fontanive, Amy Ross, Anne Siems, and works held in the Union College Permanent Art Collection by Maria Tomasula and Walton Ford.
– Julie Lohnes, Curator of Art Collections & Exhibitions, Union College