Light, Land, and Water: Native and non-Native Visions of New England

Speaker:  Layla Bermeo (Kristin and Roger Servison Associate Curator of Paintings, Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Painting of  Owl's Head, Penobscot Bay, Maine,

Museums in the United States like the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston have long represented the Anglo-American tradition of landscape painting. But what about artists who used different techniques to explore the natural world? This lecture will attempt to honor diverse definitions of “landscape” by examining Wabanaki baskets and beadwork alongside canvases by New England painters such as Fitz Henry Lane and Martin Johnson Heade. It will raise questions about depictions (or embodiments) of natural resources, relationships between humans and the environment, and entanglements of Native and non-Native histories. 

 Layla Bermeo is the Kristin and Roger Servison Associate Curator of Paintings in the Art of the Americas department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Before joining the MFA in 2016, she co-curated the Black History/Art History Performance Art Series at Harvard University, held curatorial fellowships at the Williams College Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and served as a guest curator at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and graduate degrees from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art and Harvard University. At the MFA, Layla co-organized Collecting Stories: Native American Art, curated Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular, and mentored a team of youth curators who developed the current exhibition, Black Histories, Black Futures. Last year, WBUR, a National Public Radio News Station, named Layla as one of the 25 millennials of color impacting art and culture in Boston. 

Organised by Professor David Peters Corbett (The Courtauld) 

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