The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is closed until further notice. We will post Loeb updates here. Please visit the College's COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Updates page for all developments.

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


Mon Closed
Tue 10am-5pm
Wed 10am-5pm
Thu 10am-5pm
Fri 10am-5pm
Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 1pm-5pm

Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, and from Dec. 22 through Jan. 15.

Print Room - Students & Public

Wed 3pm-5pm
Fri 2pm-4pm

It is best to make an appointment with the curator of prints and drawings, Patricia Phagan.

Late Nights suspended

Thursday Late Night at the Lehman Loeb is suspended, pending further review.


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

Group visits are welcome. To schedule a reservation, please contact:

Coordinator of Public Education and Information

(845) 437-7745


The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

124 Raymond Ave Box 703
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
Get directions

Send email via contact form

Main office

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

Information Line

(845) 437-5632