Close Looks

At the Ackland, where we encourage our visitors to look close and think far, we often start conversations about art and its meanings by asking “what do you see?” With each work of art selected here for Close Looks, asking “what do you see?” — or “what do you see?” becomes the starting point for commentary from our colleagues and our communities, for conversations in our lively public programs, and for consideration of contexts through additional learning resources. Everyone may begin at the same place, but there are multiple routes and many destinations. By amplifying a multitude of voices from a plurality of lived perspectives, we hope these art-based conversations spark insights into ourselves and each other.

Scroll down to see the individual works of art or explore by the themes below.

HUMANS & THE ENVIRONMENT

ART & PERSONAL IDENTITY

UNC STUDENTS EXPLORE AMERICAN ART

 HUMANS & THE ENVIRONMENT

These works of art invite us to consider the variety of ways that humans interact with their environments.

Close Looks: "Ghost of a Dream"
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Close Looks: "Stem Cup and Stand"
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Close Looks: "Entering Zig's Indian Reservation" by Zig Jackson
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Close Looks: "Fish Pieta" by Christopher Myers
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 ART & PERSONAL IDENTITY

The following works of art engage with the construction and reception of racial(-ized) and LGBTQIA+ identities.

Close Looks: "Head of a Boy" by William Artis
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Close Looks: "Figure Portrait of the Chevalier d'Eon"
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Close Looks: "Vietnam Opa" by Ruth Owens
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Close Looks: "Bronzed VALIDity" by Stacey L. Kirby
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Close Looks: "Ogun" by Renée Stout
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Close Looks: "Midnite Show" by Tennessee Williams
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Close Looks: "Talisman" by Barton Lidice Beneš
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Close Looks: "Saphire" by Willie Cole
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Close Looks: "Queen on Board" by Nelson Morales
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UNC STUDENTS EXPLORE AMERICAN ART

These entries, written by undergraduates studying American Art History, explore ideas American-ness in artwork through close observation, academic research, and the use of multiple perspectives.

Close Looks: Quilt (Housetop Variation)" Emma Lee Pettway Campbell
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Close Looks: "Sanitation Workers" by Ernest Withers
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Close Looks: "Japanese Landscape" by Felrath Hines
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Close Looks: "Adam and Eve" by Patrociño Barela
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Close Looks: "Zia Pueblo Bowl"
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