The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College will host a free public symposium titled "Shaping a New World Vision: Past and Present Perspectives" on October 27-28 in Taylor Hall, room 203. The symposium is offered in conjunction with the exhibit "Humanizing Landscapes: Geography, Culture and the Magoon Collection," at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center through December 20. On Friday, October 27, at 5 p.m., historian and geographer David Lowenthal, will deliver the keynote address, "Seen from the Other Shore: English and American Landscapes." A reception will follow.
Lowenthal, a co-curator of "Humanizing Landscapes" and a contributor to its catalogue, is the 2000-2001 John Christie Lecturer for Vassar's American Culture Program. A professor emeritus of geography and honorary research fellow at University College London, Lowenthal has written extensively on landscape tastes and attitudes and historic preservation. His many books include "The Past Is a Foreign Country" (1985), "The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History" (1997), and "George Perkins Marsh, Prophet of Conservation" (2000).
The symposium resumes at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 28, with presentations by art historian Eleanor Jones Harvey, landscape architect Anne Whiston Spirn, and the landscape photography team of Virginia Beahan and Laura McPhee. A dialogue between speakers and audience will follow. Harvey, curator of American art at the Dallas Museum of Art, organized the exhibition "The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature' (1998).
Spirn, professor of landscape architecture at MIT, is the author of "The Language of Landscape' (Yale, 1998). Beahan and McPhee, teachers of photography at Harvard University and Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, respectively, have published their collaborative work in the monograph "No Ordinary Land" (Aperture, 1998). Photographs by Spirn and by Beahan & McPhee will be on view in the Loeb Art Center from October 20 to December 3.
The exhibition "Humanizing Landscapes" casts new light upon the art collection acquired by Matthew Vassar in 1864 from Elias Magoon, a charter College trustee. Magoon's collection of over 4,000 works by contemporary English and American artists immediately became an integral part of education at Vassar College.
In the expansive decades of the mid-nineteenth century, fine artists and landscape architects pioneered in the interpretation of historic sites and features of the natural environment. The seventy works in this exhibition include oil paintings, watercolors, prints, and drawings by 55 artists.
Featured artists include John Ruskin, Joseph William Mallord Turner, and Hudson River School painters such as Frederic Edwin Church, Sanford Robinson Gifford, and Asher B. Durand. Of special regional interest are rarely seen period maps and images of sites in the Hudson River Valley, including Matthew Vassar's estate "Springside," designed by Andrew Jackson Downing in the 1850s.
For additional information about the symposium, call the American Culture Program at (845) 437-7485. To schedule group tours of the exhibition or arrange for group attendance at the symposium, call Monica Church, coordinator of education and public programs, at (845) 437-7745. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Cathy Jennings at (845) 437-5370, as far in advance as possible to request appropriate and reasonable accommodations.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. The Loeb is closed on Mondays. Admission is free and the art center is wheelchair accessible. For general information, call (845) 437-5632 or log on to http://fllac.vassar.edu/.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.