The Princeton Environmental Institute and the Princeton University Art Museum will host the Art + Environment Event Series, in which noted authors, journalists and researchers will speak at Princeton University to offer perspectives on the intersections between art and environment. The three-part series is being timed with the major exhibition, Nature's Nation: American Art and Environment, on display at the Art Museum through Jan. 6, 2019.
Nature's Nation gathers more than 100 works of art — from the colonial period to the present — to examine for the first time how American artists have both reflected and shaped environmental understanding, while contributing to the emergence of a modern ecological consciousness. The exhibition is co-curated by Karl Kusserow, the John Wilmerding Curator of American Art at the Art Museum, and Alan Braddock, the 2016 PEI Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities and the Ralph H. Wark Associate Professor of Art History and American Studies at the College of William and Mary.
Events in the series are listed below. All events will be followed by a public reception at the Art Museum, during which time the galleries will be open for viewing Nature's Nation.
Author and environmentalist Bill McKibben presented, "Art, Activism and the Chance for Change," discussing his work confronting the global challenge of climate change, while considering how art and public engagement can raise consciousness about ecological issues and bring positive action. McKibben is founder of the grassroots climate change movement 350.org and has written more than a dozen books, including, "The End of Nature," which is regarded as the first book about climate change for a general audience. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont. A public reception at the Art Museum will follow the lecture, during which time the galleries will be open for viewing Nature's Nation. Video of the talk is available on PEI's YouTube channel.
The panel discussion, "Environmental Perspectives on Nature's Nation," featured PEI faculty Rob Nixon, Amilcare Porporato and David Wilcove, along with Department of Geosciences professor emeritus George Philander, as they drew on their research to discuss environmental topics and issues against the backdrop of selected works from Nature’s Nation. The panel discussion was moderated by exhibition co-curator Karl Kusserow, the John Wilmerding Curator of American Art at the Art Museum.
Journalist and author Naomi Klein will discuss her bestselling book "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate" with writer and environmental activist Ashley Dawson, the 2017 PEI Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities. A public reception at the Art Museum will follow the lecture, during which time the galleries will be open for viewing Nature's Nation.