Middlebury College Museum of Art

News & Events

Museum Exhibit Examines the Environment through Modern and Contemporary Photography

August 1, 2017

Land and Lens: Photographers Envision the Environment
September 15–December 10, 2017

For immediate release: 8/1/17
For further information contact: Douglas Perkins, at deperkin@middlebury.edu or (802) 443-5235

Middlebury, VT—On Friday, September 15 the Middlebury College Museum of Art opens Land and Lens: Photographers Envision the Environment, an exhibition several years in the making. Featuring seventy-one images spanning the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, the works on view come primarily from the Museum’s rich holdings of historic and contemporary photography. Among the wide range of artists represented are historic figures Ansel Adams, Arthur Rothstein, Eliot Porter and Alfred Stieglitz, as well as many contemporaries. Among these Jamie Stillings, Richard Misrach, David Maisel, James Balog, and Edward Burtynsky are well known for their concerned image-making.

Land and Lens, which remains on view through Sunday, December 10, was curated by Kirsten Hoving, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, with the aid of numerous research assistants, interns, and students in her classes. With support from the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation and the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative at Middlebury College, Professor Hoving has produced an innovative and comprehensive digital catalogue of the works on view. Accessible on Museum iPads or personal tablets and smartphones, the digital catalogue enhances understanding of the photographs through short videos and written descriptions of their respective photographic processes or environmental contexts, as well as discussions of their art historical importance. Selected works are interpreted through original music composed and performed by Middlebury College students.

Since its earliest days, photography has helped us comprehend the beauty, complexity, and fragility of the natural world. Spanning more than 150 years, the works on display in Land and Lens reflect the deep commitment of their makers to recording and responding to the world around them. From sublime landscapes of the American West to images of melting glaciers that underscore our current environmental crisis, the exhibition is organized to illustrate a selection of themes that range from wilderness and water to the built environment and the cosmos. The breadth and diversity of photographs together with their digital interpretation provide visitors an opportunity to contemplate the wide variety of ways photographers have envisioned the environment.

Related Events


Friday, September 15

The Burn

Illustrated Lecture
Time: 12:15pm
Location: Mahaney Center for the Arts, Room 125

Jane Fulton Alt, photographer

Friday, September 29

Fridays at the Museum: Land and Lens

Gallery Talk
Time: 12:30pm
Location: Mahaney Center for the Arts, Room 125 and Museum

Kirsten Hoving, Charles A. Dana Professor of Art and Architecture

Tuesday, October 17

Visualizing Renewable Energy

Illustrated Lecture
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Mahaney Center for the Arts, Room 221

Jamey Stillings, Photographer

Tuesday, November 7

David Maisel, Photographer

Artist Talk
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Mahaney Center for the Arts, Room 125

David Maisel, Photographer

Press Images


Mitch Dobrowner, Chromosphere, Green Grass, South Dakota
Mitch Dobrowner (American, b. 1956), Chromosphere, Green Grass, South Dakota, 2012, archival pigment print, 13 1/4 x 20 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art, purchase with funds provided by the Fine Arts Acquisition Fund, 2015.229.
John Pfahl, Trojan Nuclear Plant, Columbia River, Oregon
John Pfahl (American, b. 1939), Trojan Nuclear Plant, Columbia River, Oregon, October 1982/printed 2014, pigment print on Platine paper, 13 3/8 x 18 5/16 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art, purchase with funds provided by the Fine Arts Acquisition Fund, 2015.018.
David Maisel, Lake Project 19
David Maisel (American, b. 1961), Lake Project 19, 2002, archival pigment print, 28 7/8 x 29 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art. Purchase with funds provided by the Fine Arts Acquisition Fund, 2016.082.
James Balog, Greenland Ice Sheet, 28 June 2009, Adam LeWinter surveys Birthday Canyon
James Balog (American, b. 1952), Greenland Ice Sheet, 28 June 2009, Adam LeWinter surveys Birthday Canyon, from the portfolio Ice: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers, 2009, chromogenic color print on paper, 16 x 24 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art, purchase with funds provided by the Fine Arts Acquisition Fund, 2015.006.
Jeff Rich, Blue Ridge Paper Mill
Jeff Rich (American, b. 1977), Blue Ridge Paper Mill, 2008, archival pigment print, 30 x 37 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art, purchase with funds provided by the Fine Arts Acquisition Fund, 2015.230.
Eliot Porter, Pool in a brook, Pond Brook, near Whiteface, New Hampshire
Eliot Furness Porter (American, 1901–1990), Pool in a brook, Pond Brook, near Whiteface, New Hampshire, from In Wildness, October 1953, dye transfer print, 16 x 12 9/16 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art, gift of Jeremy Dworkin ’62 and B. D. Dworkin, South Londonderry, Vermont, 2012.031.09.

The Middlebury College Museum of Art, located in the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts on Rte. 30 on the southern edge of campus, is free and open to the public Tues. through Fri. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sat. and Sun. from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays. The museum is physically accessible. Parking is available in the Mahaney Center parking lot. For further information and to confirm dates and times of scheduled events, please call (802) 443–5007 or TTY (802) 443–3155, or visit the museum’s website at museum.middlebury.edu.