World is Still Flat: Landscapes on Paper
The Smith College Museum
of Art is pleased to announce the opening of "The World
is Still Flat: Landscapes on Paper," the
second annual exhibition produced by participants in the
Summer Institute in Art Museum Studies (SIAMS) under the
direction of senior managers of the Museum. The exhibition
will be on view from Friday, July 27, through Sunday, September
2, in the Winslow Teaching Gallery of the Museum.
Founded in 2006 by Suzannah Fabing, former director of the
Smith College Museum of Art, SIAMS is a six-week intensive
program designed to give students a thorough introduction
to the world of art museums as well as facilitate understanding
of the basic functions of these institutions. Comprised of
classroom instruction, day and overnight trips to museums,
conversation with museum professionals, and hands-on education
by SCMA staff, the culmination of the program is an exhibition
that is curated, designed, and organized by SIAMS students
who have been mentored by Museum staff.
For this year’s exhibition, students were challenged
to select a body of work from over 50 landscapes pre-selected
by members of the Museum’s curatorial staff, around
which a unifying theme was then developed. Program participants
were divided into four focused task groups for the exhibition:
Curatorial, Design, Marketing, and Education. Despite the
distinct responsibilities of each group (which included the
complete installation of the exhibition by the Design team),
creativity and collaboration were challenges that unified
all teams and allowed for a cohesive process.
in the SIAMS program is given priority by members of the
Museum’s staff each summer
because of the Museum’s long-standing, deep commitment
to providing students with relevant,
applicable, hands-on opportunities for learning about the
Museum field,” says Jessica
Nicoll, director of SCMA.
"The World is Still Flat" invites
the viewer to consider the question: What makes a landscape?
The flat reality of paper challenges the illusory depth of
the landscape, yet artists must reconcile the task of representing
the expanse of nature within a two-dimensional paper surface.
Armed with principles of perspective and a sense of the natural
world, artists traditionally enlist the formal principles
of foreground, middle ground, and background to create a
semblance of space. Other artists take greater liberties
in representing a natural place, forgoing conventions of
perspective and eliminating such basic elements as a horizon
"The World is Still Flat" explores
how artists carve volume, whether deep or shallow, within
the confines of the paper’s surface. Choosing from
a variety of methods, such as line, pattern, horizon, layering,
and framing, artists attempt to capture the illusion of
depth. The landscape on paper flattens the world, but also
provides artists with numerous spatial possibilities for
depicting the natural world.
The exhibition features 19 wide-ranging
works, including a Hokusai woodcut and the Edward Hopper
Landscape (1920), a quintessential example of the artist’s
work. The objects range from a 16th-century etching
to contemporary photography.
"The World is Still Flat" was
organized by the students of SIAMS, class of 2007. Smith
College is grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
for partial support of this program.