American Nation, American Nature: Nurturing Each in the Anthropocene

The United States has historically identified with nature as much as with abstract ideals of freedom and equality—both principles that have recently been contested in American life. How has nature’s representation, literally and figuratively, broadly conditioned American culture, even as nature, too, is under unprecedented stress? And how has each of these concepts—liberty, democracy, and nature—influenced the other? What is their future in a time of extraordinary challenges to bedrock values? Karl Kusserow, John Wilmerding Curator of AmericanArt, will explore these questions in the context of America’s diverse visual culture across several centuries.