This Friday, April 29, Crystal Bridges brings Art and Nature together in a pair of fascinating presentations by nature writer Doug Tallamy and artist Philip Haas. Tallamy is award-winning author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens , and an advocate for the use of native plants in our backyard landscapes. Haas is an artist, filmmaker, and screenwriter whose work has been featured at museums around the world.
Philip Haas began his career as a screenwriter and film director in the 1990s. A commission to develop a series of film installations based on works of art prompted him to pursue a career in the fine arts. This interest in reinterpreting historical masterpieces continues to inform his projects.
Guests to Crystal Bridges’ grounds may already have seen Haas’s monumental sculptures newly installed along the Orchard Trail and in the Museum courtyard. The four artworks, titled Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter are three-dimensional interpretations created by Haas and inspired by a set of paintings with the same titles by sixteenth-century Italian Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimbaldo. Each season is represented by the bust of an oversized figure composed of fruits, flowers, and other vegetation symbolic of that time of year. A set of smaller versions of the works (known as maquettes) also are on display inside the Museum. The works are on loan to Crystal Bridges through the summer.
On Friday, Haas will present a free Gallery Conversation about his works at Crystal Bridges from 1 to 2 p.m. outside on the Orchard Trail. No reservations are required.
Featured image above: Philip Haas, Summer (foreground), and Spring (background), 2011. Fiberglass, on the grounds of Crystal Bridges.
Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 84 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 34 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Among Tallamy’s awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd Jr. Award of Excellence.
Friday evening, from 7 to 8 p.m., Tallamy will offer a Spotlight talk in the Museum’s Great Hall. Tallamy will discuss the important ecological roles of the plants in our landscapes, emphasize the ecological, educational, physical, and emotional benefits of designing landscapes with these roles in mind, and explore the consequences of failing to do so. Managing landscapes in this crowded world carries both moral and ecological responsibilities that we can no longer ignore. Because our yards and gardens are essential parts of the terrestrial ecosystems that sustain humans and the life around us, it is essential that we keep them in working order. Tickets are free, but reservations are required. Reserve your tickets here.