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“The Long View: From Conservation to Sustainability” Opens at the Morris Museum on June 10

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The Long View

From Conservation to Sustainability

Works from the Bank of America Collection

Opens at the Morris Museum of Art on June 10, 2023


The Long View: From Conservation to Sustainability | Works from the Bank of American Collection, opens at the Morris Museum of Art on Saturday, June 10, 2023. This exhibition—a survey of the history of the environmental movement and the impact made by its photographers, painters, printmakers, sculptors, and multimedia artists on our awareness of the relationship of man with nature—captures the evolution of a global worldview from the early days of the nineteenth century’s industrial revolution to our own times, when environmental change affects every aspect of daily life.

The Long View shares a sense of how environmental awareness developed through 88 works of art that are categorized in four, broad thematic sections—The Beginnings of Conservation, Push and Pull, The Emergence of Conservation Activism, and Working Towards a Sustainable Vision. It features iconic pieces by many world-renowned artists of the past two hundred years, including naturalist/ornithologist John James Audubon, Regionalist painter and printmaker Thomas Hart Benton, photographer Ansel Adams, and master-of-all-mediums Robert Rauschenberg whose influence on contemporary art was pervasive—this to cite just a few of the many important artists included in the exhibition.

The Beginnings of Conservation features artists from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries whose works captured the adventurous spirit and curiosity of Americans who explored the continent and went on to influence the nascent environmental movement.

Push and Pull—Industry and Environment features works from the first half of the twentieth century, including iconic images by photojournalists documented the “Dust Bowl,” when unsustainable farming practices and extreme drought created a disaster of both natural and human origin. These indelible images reached newspaper and magazine readers around the world during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Emergence of Conservation Activism focuses on the art of the postwar era and the emerging ecology movement of the1960s and1970s. When the first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, millions of Americans celebrated the fundamental change in values that the event represented. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 193 nations.

In Working Towards a Sustainable Vision, contemporary artists focus our attention on ways humanity has radically transformed the planet, and how we must protect it. A long line of artists have identified with the Earth, encouraging recycling and the regeneration of nature: art with an ecological conscience.

The Long View: From Conservation to Sustainability | Works from the Bank of American Collectionremains on display at the Morris Museum though November 5, 2023.