'Mapping an Uneven Country: Bird’s Eye Views of Vermont' | Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education, Shelburne Museum | Shows | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Shows

'Mapping an Uneven Country: Bird’s Eye Views of Vermont'

When: Through March 3

In the latter half of the 19th century, perspective paintings and the more common lithograph prints emerged as a way to depict human settlement. Though typically used to boost commercial investment in a nascent town, these as-seen-from-above images were also artistic panoramas that enabled residents to see their impact on the natural landscape — before there were airplanes and drones to help with that. Often created by itinerant “map men,” the artworks contributed to a sense of place. A current exhibit at the Shelburne Museum includes more than three dozen such drawings, paintings and prints that illustrate human-centric growth in the Green Mountain State. Writes curator Katie Wood Kirchhoff in exhibition notes, “The questions these views provoke — from ambivalence about burgeoning technologies to border relations between Vermont and Canada to changing perceptions of Vermont’s identity — are especially timely.” Map lovers in particular will enjoy trying to identify buildings and landmarks in this engaging collection. In the latter half of the 19th century, perspective paintings and the more common lithograph prints emerged as a way to depict human settlement. Though typically used to boost commercial investment in a nascent town, these as-seen-from-above images were also artistic panoramas that enabled residents to see their impact on the natural landscape — before there were airplanes and drones to help with that. Often created by itinerant “map men,” the artworks contributed to a sense of place. A current exhibit at the Shelburne Museum includes more than three dozen such drawings, paintings and prints that illustrate human-centric growth in the Green Mountain State. Writes curator Katie Wood Kirchhoff in exhibition notes, “The questions these views provoke — from ambivalence about burgeoning technologies to border relations between Vermont and Canada to changing perceptions of Vermont’s identity — are especially timely.” Map lovers in particular will enjoy trying to identify buildings and landmarks in this engaging collection.

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