Capturing Landscape


Wynn Bullock, Shore Line, 1966. Gelatin silver print. Museum purchase 1967-14-2. © Wynn Bullock
Wynn Bullock, The Shore, 1966. Gelatin silver print. Museum purchase 1967-14-2. © Wynn Bullock


Harry Callahan, Weeds in Water, ca. 1941. Gelatin silver print on paper. Museum purchase 1961-23-7 © The Estate of Harry Callahan
Harry Callahan, Detroit, ca. 1941. Gelatin silver print on paper. Museum purchase 1961-23-7 © The Estate of Harry Callahan


On view
May 26, 2018 to Oct 20, 2018
Main Level, Gelvin Noel Gallery

Capturing Landscape features a selection of 20th and 21st century black-and-white photographs from the collection by artists working in the United States.

Wide-ranging in subject and interpretation, these works capture and frame diverse vistas that explore humanity’s fluctuating relationship with nature and the built environment. While some artists continued the late nineteenth-century tradition of depicting sweeping panoramas of the natural landscape, others have chosen to highlight how humans have altered the landscape through urbanization and industrial encroachment.

Modern photographers, such as Harry Callahan, Walker Evans, and Edward Weston, frequently abstracted natural elements or isolated details in their photographs, emphasizing the formal qualities of the medium and exploiting the camera as an essentially mechanical tool.

In contrast, many contemporary photographers, such as Alan Cohen, Richard Meisinger, and Charles Traub, relied on the same visual elements—line, texture, form, and pattern—to explore the dynamics of place—in particular, how humans convert nature into suburban sprawl and impose borders that define cities and nation states.

By including an array of landscapes and cityscapes, this exhibition invites the viewer to consider not only how these artists navigate and visually interpret these environments, but also how humanity’s relationship with nature has changed over the last century.  

This exhibition includes photography from the Krannert Art Museum collection by Berenice Abbott, Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Art Sinsabaugh, Andy Warhol, and Edward Weston.

Curator: Kathryn Koca Polite, assistant curator

Sponsored in part by Fred and Donna Giertz

Ricker Library of Architecture and Art has developed a library guide with details about this exhibition, as well as supplementary materials and curator-recommended readings: Library Guide for Capturing Landscape

Paul Kelpe, Man and Machines (Abstraction #5), 1934. Oil, canvas. Commissioned through the New Deal art projects 1943-4-209
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