Time Travels in Nineteenth-Century Landscapes

February 24, 2016 - April 3, 2016

Black and white landscape with river

Featuring works from the collection of the Ackland Art Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Louis Round Wilson Library Special Collections, Time Travels considers how artists visualized time and its passage—such as the idealized “long ago”—in nineteenth-century drawings, paintings, and photographs of landscapes.

While landscapes are most commonly considered in terms of place and space or geography and topography, artists of the nineteenth century often imbued landscapes not only with a sense of the familiar or foreign, but also with a feeling of the past, present, or future. The association of certain places with the distant past became especially common during this period with the rise of the academic fields of archaeology, geology, and ethnography. Time Travels examines how growing interests in the history of civilizations, the formation of the earth, and the mythology of various cultures manifested in nineteenth-century landscapes through references to the antique, the prehistoric, the primordial, or a combination of these.

Time Travels is on view in the Ackland Study Gallery, on the Museum’s second floor.

This exhibition was organized by Ashley Bruckbauer, the 2015 Joan and Robert Huntley Art History Scholar. This scholarship for graduate students in art history at the University supports collaboration between the Ackland Art Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art, bringing together works of art from both collections to demonstrate unexpected connections.

Image: James Tibbitts Willmore, British, 1800-1863, after Joseph Mallord William Turner, British, 1775-1851, Ancient Italy, engraving, Provenance Unknown, L87.55.442