Fleming Museum of Art Opens Spring Season
- By Lee Ann Cox
The University of Vermont's Fleming Museum of Art announces three new exhibits now on view with a fourth, A Discerning Eye: Selections from the J. Brooks Buxton Collection, set to open Feb. 7. A gala reception launching the spring season will be held Thursday, Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m.
Among the Fleming’s new offerings:
This exhibit introduces nearly 60 works of photography and video by 20 of Iran's most celebrated photographers. The perspective of these artists contradicts that of many foreign photographers who often represent Iran and its people as purely exotic. In expressing different visions of their world, these artists offer a glimpse into both private and public realms. The exhibition aspires to build a visual bridge between Iran and the U.S. as it leads viewers to become aware of other ways of being and seeing.
This exhibition is derived from a selection of late 19th- and early 20th-century travel photographs from the collection of J. Brooks Buxton ‘56, former resident of several of the countries represented here. Because of Islamic prohibitions against graven images, it was chiefly Westerners that made and collected these early photographs as the genre eventually gained recognition as an art form. These works offer a rare historical counterpoint to the contemporary photographs on view in Persian Visions.
Smoke is a ubiquitous part of life around the world whether from pipes, fireplaces, factories or infernos and conveys a multitude of complex and contradictory meanings. Images of cigarette smoke can signal a leisure activity and convey the glamour of an earlier time, yet also calls to mind serious health hazards. When seen billowing out of factories, smoke can be a leitmotif representing industry and progress yet also threats to the environment, public health and quality of life. Used in ritual, smoke can serve as an offering, a tangible symbol of the immaterial; it can connote transcendence into another state of being, or its plumes can indicate destruction.
These opposing themes abound in a selection of paintings, prints and artifacts drawn from the Fleming Museum's collection, ranging from 17th-century Dutch painter Aert van der Neer to elaborately carved European and African tobacco pipes to incense burners from Asia and North America that reflect the use of smoke as an offering and agent of purification.
Learn more about the Fleming Museum of Art and its upcoming events.