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Witho Worms and Scarlett Hooft Graafland in “The Awe of the Arctic: A Visual History” exhibition at the NYPL

@ Scarlett Hooft Graafland
@ Withi Worms, Noorwegen 044. Courtesy of L. Parker Stephenson and the artist

Fri, Mar 15 - Sat, Jul 13  2024

New York Pubic Library - Stephen A. Schwarzman Building - New York Consulate Region

The New York Public Library presents the exhibition The Awe of the Arctic: A Visual History, a group exhibition that includes work by Witho Worms and Scarlett Hooft Graafland among many of their peers.

For centuries, what lies above the Arctic Circle has been a source of intrigue and fascination for those who live below its border. Stories from the ancient Greeks mixed with Norse mythology and reports from early voyages gave rise to lively and creative conceptions of ice-free waters and a fabled people who lived at the top of the world. Expeditions to the Arctic in search of resources and trade routes slowly replaced these legends with more accurate information. Yet even these narrative accounts were still filled with details of a foreign world that excited the imagination. Accompanying illustrations further enhanced the appeal of the polar North because they seemed to promise verisimilitude, giving shape to the incredible. Whether as woodcuts, engravings, lithographs, photographs, halftones, or digital prints, these images continue to captivate. They influence and inform our knowledge, bringing a distant region closer to those unfamiliar with its icy shores.

This exhibition, drawn almost exclusively from the rich collections of The New York Public Library, is a large, multi-part survey of how the Arctic has been visually depicted, defined, and imagined over the past 500 years, and invites us to consider how this history relates to our current understanding of the Arctic. The presentation ranges from 16th-century explorers who attempted to capture the perceived strangeness of a remote region to contemporary artists whose work conveys the human impact on its changing climate and vulnerable landscape.

This exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Cronin, Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography, and assisted by Maggie Mustard, Assistant Curator of Photography in The New York Public Library’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.


The NYPL is delighted to be exhibiting work by the following contemporary artists in The Awe of the Arctic: A Visual History: Evgenia Arbugaeva, Terry Adkins, Ohito Ashoona, Olaf Otto Becker, Saul Becker, Minik Bidstrup, Siân Bowen, Julian Charrière, Sebastian Copeland, Ellie Ga, Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Julie Edel Hardenberg, Tiina Itkonen, Ciril Jazbec, Nadav Kander, Marte Lill Somby, Mark Mahaney, Chris McCaw, Marcelo Moscheta, Vincent Munier, Susanne Neunhoeffer, Outi Pieski, Jukke Rosing, Pauojoungie Saggiak, Kakulu Saggiaktok, Gregor Sailer, Christina Seely, Carleen Sheehan, Santiago Sierra, Jacob Aue Sobol, Emma Stibbon, Inuuteq Storch, Witho Worms, Charles Xelot, Shingo Yoshida, and Kiliii Yüyan.

DutchCulture USA