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The Long View: From Conservation to Sustainability: Works from the Bank of America Collection
June 10, 2023 - November 5, 2023
The Long View: From Conservation to Sustainability: Works from the Bank of America Collection examines the evolution of the modern environmental movement and our relationship with the earth and all its inhabitants through eighty-eight works of art, including photographs, paintings, works on paper, and sculpture, that are categorized in four sections.
The Beginnings of Conservation features nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists who influenced the nascent environmental movement, including John James Audubon, whose impact on our understanding of nature was profound, and Carleton Watkins, whose photographs of Yosemite Valley swayed the politicians who were debating its preservation. His photographs were a major factor in Abraham Lincoln’s signing the Yosemite Grant Act, which led directly to the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890 and the U.S. National Park Service in 1916.
Push and Pull—Industry and Environment highlights work from the first half of the twentieth century, including iconic images by photojournalist Arthur Rothstein, whose Farm Security Administration photographs directed public attention to the plight of the displaced, poor, largely overlooked farming families and migrant workers. The FSA photographers documented the worst of the Great Depression and the environmental disaster that resulted from years of unsustainable farming practices and extreme drought.
The Emergence of Conservation Activism focuses on postwar works and the ecology movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. When the first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, millions celebrated a new commitment to protect our world. Robert Rauschenberg honored the event with his Earth Day poster from the same year. Michael Heizer’s dialogue with the earth is seen in his Scrap Metal series (1978), composed of metal waste recycled from California’s aeronautical industry.
Working Towards a Sustainable Vision includes the work of contemporary artists who focus our attention on how humanity has radically transformed the planet and how we must protect it.
Artists have played an important role in shaping the conversation about the environment that goes well beyond the merely illustrational. Originally created to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, The Long View affirms Bank of America’s dedication to the environment. The exhibition’s appearance at the Morris is made possible by the generous support of Bank of America.