Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announces ‘In the Garden’

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is proud to present “In the Garden,” on view February 2 through April 22, 2018.  The exhibition features more than 100 photographs from the George Eastman Museum collection that explore how humans cultivate the landscapes that surround them, and the ways in which photography has recorded, interpreted, or staged the cultivated landscape in its many shapes and forms.  From famous locations to the simplest home vegetable garden, from worlds imagined by artists to food production recorded by journalists, these images broaden our understanding of how photography has been used to record gardens.

Spanning the history of photography and photographic processes from the 19th-century daguerreotype to inkjet prints, the exhibition looks at how photography has been key in documenting humans’ relationship to nature.  Some of the first photographs were photograms of plant materials — direct records of the structures of botanical specimens.  However, 19th-century photographers also called upon the artistic tradition of still life paintings, capturing compositions of floral bouquets or objects in a garden.  As photography quickly became accepted as a method for recording the world, photographs became stand-ins for landscapes that most people could not visit — a visual access to cultures and gardens around the world.

This exhibition is even more relevant in the context of Arthur and Ninah Cummer and their experience of creating and utilizing their gardens and other garden spaces in their family, social, and civic lives. In particular, Ninah’s love for the cultivated landscape, and for outdoor spaces that promoted gatherings, contemplation, and respite, still impacts the Jacksonville community.  
It comes as no surprise that, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma’s fury, the Jacksonville community longed to see the Cummer Gardens and other cultivated public spaces return to their previous beauty and purpose.  Although In the Garden had been planned for a while, an exhibition about the beauty of gardens and nature, seen through the lens of a camera, could not be more relevant.  “As we are still in the reconstructive phase of our historical gardens, it is very timely that we present an exhibition about photographers who celebrate the beauty, uniqueness, and significance of these cultivated spaces,” said Associate Curator Nelda Damiano.

Members of the community, and lovers of art and nature, may continue to donate directly to the Garden Reconstruction Fund at, as they visit the beauty of the museum.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
  829 Riverside Avenue
  Jacksonville, Florida 32204
  (904) 356-6857
Hours of Operation & Admission

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