Gallery Talk: "American Ruins"


Location: Snite Museum of Art

American ruins are increasingly visible today, typically signifying disaster, failure, defeat, and the past. Why, then, in a nation that has repeatedly defined itself in terms of the promise, progress, and success of the American Dream are visions of ruin—real and imagined—so prevalent today? Students in the American Studies course American Ruins, taught by Professor Erika Doss, chose photographs from the Museum’s collection to more deeply engage this question.

Throughout the semester, students will interpret four photographs—by Richard Misrach, Camilo Vergara, Antonio Turok, and Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison—through three different approaches. Three groups of students will take turns providing label copy and leading gallery talks that further explore their ideas. Visit the Museum on the following Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. for new labels and student gallery talks:

March 1: Tessa Bangs, Montana Crowell, Ben Foley, Caitlin Hodges, and Tom Nye

March 29: Anna Bourbonnais, Samuel Cho, Emma Erwin, Molly Kalk, and Alex O’Connor

April 19: Allie Griffith, Jimmy Kane, Michelle McGrath, and Janet­ Stengle

Originally published at