The American Landscape
The new exhibition Becoming America is organized by theme, showcasing works of art of various mediums all in conversation with one another about the same theme. The first theme presented in the exhibition is “American Landscape” and is comprised of paintings, photographs, and lithographs of the ever-changing landscapes of America throughout the centuries.
America’s dramatic and majestic landscape has long excited the imaginations of artists, poets, and politicians. Since the earliest days of colonization, the country’s varied natural character, from Niagara Falls to the Grand Canyon, and from the southwestern desert to the towering redwoods, has been a source of national pride, creative inspiration, and economic success. But this national treasure of the land is much more than the backdrop against which Americans live their lives. Rather, the land is itself a central player in the cultivation and expansion of the American story.
The artworks in this section of Becoming America do not represent the totality of America’s sublime physical splendor, but rather tell specific stories about the ways that the landscape has participated in America’s becoming; in our potential and our evolution as a nation and as a people.
How has your life has been shaped by the places you have lived and visited? How do we continue to change and adapt the land to suit our needs? What are the consequences—good and bad—of this change?