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Virginia Arcadia: The Natural Bridge in American Art

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Outgoing Loan
2/6/2021 - 8/7/2022
Organizing institution: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

This Exhibition includes the following Venues:
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 2/6/2021 - 6/13/2021
  • Taubman Museum of Art 4/1/2022 - 8/7/2022

Natural Bridge prompts both aesthetic and scientific contemplation and has figured prominently in discussions of ·western expansion, slavery, tourism, and ecological conservation. with early associations to both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, the Natural Bridge is a site for mythmaking-the creation of American foundational lore that continues to this day. Its historical importance notwithstanding, the Natural Bridge has escaped serious scholarly contemplation and art historical examination.
Featuring approximately fifty paintings, works on paper and decorative arts objects drawn from VMFA and lenders across the nation, this exhibition and accompanying catalogue will not only revive Natural Bridge's reputation as an important, early site for artistic inspiration, but also demonstrate that the site's legacy among artists extended well into the twentieth century. The exhibition's organizing sections-exploration, the sublime, tourism, and westward expansion-highlight the multilayered meanings of the Natural Bridge. This exhibition is curated by Dr. Christopher Oliver, Assistant Curator of American Art, and accompanied by a fully-illustrated scholarly catalogue with thematic essays that reveal the intellectual depth underlying the gallery presentation, expanding beyond the checklist.

Exhibition Objects (1)

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