Symposium - Art, Nature, and Environmental Awareness: Alexander von Humboldt's Legacy

Friday, March 20, 2020, 9am – 5:30pm EDT
SAAM presents a day-long symposium in connection with the opening of Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture, the first museum exhibition to examine Humboldt’s lasting influence on the art and culture of the United States, specifically in the way we think about our relationship to our environment. The program features presentations by historians of art and science, and contemporary artists that address how Humboldt’s view of nature as an interconnected web has influenced the appreciation of the landscape and guided our stewardship of this planet in the face of climate change. Tickets available February 24.

Program Schedule
  • 9:00 - 9:45 Check-in and Registration 
  • 9:45 Welcome from Smithsonian American Art Museum Director, Stephanie Stebich
  • 9: 55 Introductory remarks from Eleanor Harvey, SAAM Senior Curator
  • 10:10 Andrea Wulf, “The Invention of Nature. Alexander von Humboldt’s New World”
  • 11:00 Eleanor Harvey, “Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture”
  • Lunch break 11:45 - 1:45
  • 1:45 Randall Griffin, “Georgia O’Keeffe’s Aerial River Series, Gaia, and the ‘Web of Life’”
  • 2:30 Dario Robleto, “The Curious Confront Eternity”
  • 3:10 Break
  • 3:35 Tom Lovejoy, “Alexander von Humboldt: Polymath of his time”
  • 4:20 George Steinmann, “Looking from Within: Art in the horizon of the UN Agenda 2030”
  • 5:00 Discussion among speakers

Image credit: Frederic Edwin Church, Study for "The Heart of the Andes," 1858, oil on canvas, 10 1/4 x 18 1/4 in., Courtesy of Olana State Historic Site, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, OL.1981.47.A.B.
Lectures & Discussions
Webcasts & Online
Event Location
McEvoy Auditorium

Free | Registration Required Tickets available February 24.

Part of series