[CT Birds] Birds, Nature, and Art

Stephen Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Wed Feb 22 07:37:59 EST 2017

The New Britain Museum of American Art is holding an exhibition, “Vistas del Sur:  Traveler Artists’ Landscapes of Latin America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection (January 20-April 16).  The 150 works of art chronicle the representation of nature in Latin America from the 1630s to the 1880s, using paintings, photographs, works on paper, and books.  While representation of birds is pretty limited, the various ways in which European and American travelers depicted the remarkable landscapes of Latin America are fascinating.  The exhibition begins with a  very interesting section on Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), the founder of modern environmentalism, including a map of his “groundbreaking" 1799-1804 explorations through the Americas.  The museum bookstore is carrying copies of the exhibition catalogue, as well as Andrea Wulf’s outstanding biography, “The Invention of Nature:  Alexander von Humboldt’s New World” (Knopf. 2015.), “Unity of Nature:  Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas”, and “Views of the Cordilleras and Monuments of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas:  Alexander von Humboldt (U. of Chicago Press. 2012.).  I viewed the exhibition yesterday.  It’s well worth a visit to NBMAA. 

Steve Broker

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