Nature, Myth, Allegory: Imagining Reality in the Nineteenth Century

May 14 – October 6, 2002

Drawing from the Smart's permanent collection, this intimate exhibition explored how nineteenth-century artists and their audiences drew on views of the natural world, classical imagery, allegory and historical subjects to construct a meaningful understanding of the rapidly changing present.

Works by Adolf Braun, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Emile René Ménard, Benjamin West, and others offered views into such important themes as the longing for nature in an industrialized world, the molding of history to contemporary needs, and the nostalgic yearning for a mythologized past.