The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is open on a revised schedule. Read more about hours and visiting and see VassarTogether for the College’s Spring 2021 plans and policies.

Ludger tom Ring, the Younger (attributed to), The Open Missal, mid-sixteenth century


Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film

48 pages with 44 illustrations
Exhibition May 25 – July 29, 2007
Price: $5.00

About the publication
The exhibition catalogue brings together work by contemporary artists working in photography and film whose images examine landscape, cityscapes, architecture, interiors, residential communities, and fictional scenes that serve as social indicators and metaphors for failed utopian ideals. Utopia, the notion of an ideal society, imagines a place or a community where social contradictions are annulled in a collective dream in which peace and harmony are perfected. The artists whose work is included in Utopian Mirage, revisit these dreams today, only to discover that they have often been overtaken by the dystopian realities of urban decay, corruption, loss of innocence, disregard for natural resources, and nature’s entropic cycles. Many artists working today are using photography as staged tableaux that provide hopeful antidotes to the prevailing view of the world as a place of danger and despair. Others are interested in depicting a loss of hope and virtue in current attitudes about the state of the world today and in our ideas about the future. The work in the publication examines romantic notions of the human race living in harmony with nature through the lens of a decidedly post-romantic contemporary social reality. The publication features an essay by curator Mary-Kay Lombino along a complete exhibition checklist and illustrations of works by the following participating artists: Tom Bamberger, Edward Burtynsky, Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Dijkstra, J. Bennett Fitts, Carlos Garaicoa, Chris Gergley, Beate Gütschow, Eirik Johnson, Soo Kim, Justine Kurland, Richard Misrach, Katherine Newbegin, Clare Richardson, Mark Sanderson, Susan Silton, Alex Slade, Joel Sternfeld, and Althea Thauberger.

Ordering Information:

Make checks payable to Vassar College.

All orders are sent book rate unless otherwise requested. On orders totaling over $10, please include $3 for postage.

Mail to:

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
124 Raymond Ave
Vassar College
Box 703
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-00703

(845) 437-5237

Public Hours

Saturday 10am–5pm
Sunday 1pm–5pm
The Loeb will be closed the weekend of Dec 26–27 and will re-open on weekends starting Jan. 2.


Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, we cannot accommodate group tours at this time, and capacity in the galleries is limited. All visitors are required to wear masks.


Admission is free and open to all. All galleries are wheelchair accessible.


Parking is on Raymond Avenue only. Entrance to the galleries is via the Raymond Ave. gate through the sculpture garden.

Students & Faculty

Consult the Teaching & Learning section of the VassarTogether page for information about visiting the Loeb during the week.

Please note that weekend hours are restricted to the general public only.


The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

Send email via contact form

Main office

(845) 437-5237
(845) 437-5955 (Fax)

Information Line

(845) 437-5632