Bert Teunissen in the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

Imaging Eden: Photographers Discover the Everglades Photography has played an important role in the construction of the myth and reality of the Everglades. Imaging Eden presents an overview of the medium’s historic complicity as silent witness, pre-meditated booster, and passionate advocate of this unique environment, and also showcases commissioned work by five international contemporary artists, including Crossmedia Design tutor Bert Teunissen (Netherlands), Gerald Slota (USA), Jungjin Lee (Korea), and Jim Goldberg and Jordan Stein (USA), whose practice is photo-based. Each artist will be asked to respond to and expand beyond the physical, ideological, and aesthetic boundaries of the Everglades in their own, unique way. The exhibition will provide fertile ground for future conversations about one of the most unique, contested, and vital landscapes on the planet.

The Florida Everglades has been a vital ecosystem both environmentally and economically since the “River of Grass” was ceded to the federal government in 1821. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century, however, that the Everglades were systematically depicted in photographs. The Norton Museum of Art’s special exhibition, Imaging Eden: Photographers Discover the Everglades, on view March 19 through July 12, 2015, presents a unique look at the pictures that have formed our understanding of one of the most contested and unique environments on the planet, and adds new views to this photographic legacy.

The exhibition, organized by Tim B. Wride, the Norton’s William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography, features more than 200 images, including early maps, post cards, Audubon prints, and works by celebrated photographers Walker Evans, Marian Post Wolcott, Eliot Porter, James Balog and Clyde Butcher, who ventured into Florida’s wilderness over the years. These images provide context for the work of five photographers the Norton Museum commissioned to add contemporary points of view to this visual history of the Everglades. The participating photographers are: Amsterdam-based Bert Teunissen; American photographer and artist Gerald Slota; Korean-American Jungjin Lee; and Magnum photographer Jim Goldberg working in collaboration with Jordan Stein. All were asked to discover the Everglades on their own terms, through their widely differing sensibilities, and with their distinctive visual vocabularies.

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The Norton Museum of Art is internationally known for its collections of American, European, Contemporary, and Chinese art, as well as its collection of Photography.

Exhibition: March 19, 2015 – July 12, 2015