Framing Nature: The Living World in Art

February 2 – July 17, 2016

Framing Nature: the Living World in Art takes a dynamic view of the artistic engagement with nature across cultures. The exhibition offers challenging and enriching perspectives on how we see and understand the natural world through the eyes of artists and makers from around the globe. This exhibition includes more than 100 drawings, prints, paintings, photographs and sculptures drawn from the Harn’s main collecting areas of modern, contemporary, African and Asian art, and photography, as well as the collections of Oceanic art, Ancient American art, and Prints and Drawings before 1850. The exhibition also draws on the rich collections of the University Florida, with loans from the George A. Smathers Libraries and the Florida Museum of Natural History. The exhibition and related programs encourage new ways of thinking about the encounter between art and nature, the ideas embodied in that encounter and the knowledge produced by it.

Framing Nature will be organized along four thematic groupings:

•    Inspiration considers how artists have explored, interpreted and reinterpreted nature in their work. Featured artists in this grouping include Herman Herzog, William Henry Jackson, Evon Streetman, Toshiko Takaezu and Edward Weston.
•    Discovery addresses how humans have made sense of the world through observation and documentation. A sample of artists in the exhibition who have contributed to the dissemination of this knowledge through their art includes Elizabeth Blackwell, Paul Jacoulet, Bisrat Shibabaw, Carleton E. Watkins and Ellis Wilson.
•    Power features artistic expressions reflecting the symbolic powers vested in nature by the human mind. A highlight of artists in this grouping includes Berenice Abbot, Skunder Boghossian, Rockwell Kent, Sebastião Salgado and Massimo Vitali.
•    Refuge depicts the impulse to escape into nature as well as the experience of living in close harmony with the living world. A sampling of artists in this section include John James Audubon, Milton Avery, Jamini Roy, Maggie Taylor and Jerry Uelsmann.

This exhibition is made possible by the UF Office of the Provost with additional support from an anonymous donor, Robert and Carolyn Thoburn, the John V. and Patricia M. Carlson Program Endowment, the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau, Visit Florida, and the Harn General Program Endowment.



Family Guide

Field Guide to Framing Nature

Families may explore the exhibition together and find interesting connections between art and nature using this guide to the exhibition.

Special Thanks

Exhibition Advertising

Visit Gainesville and Visit Florida assisted in publicizing this exhibition outside of Alachua County in order to draw visitors to our community.

Past Events


June 9, 2016
6 - 9 pm

Where the Wild Things Art


June 12, 2016
3 pm

Scientific Illustration
Emma Roulette


May 6, 2016
11 am – noon

Wings & Things


February 25, 2016
6 – 8:30 pm

Join for free!

February 26, 2016
11 – 5 pm

March 10, 2016
6 – 9 pm

Discover Europe

March 12, 2016
11 am – 2 pm


February 7, 2016
3 pm

The Cultures of Nature
Dulce Román and Eric Segal

April 3, 2016
3 pm

Environments of Power
Maya Stanfield-Mazzi and Glenn Willumson


February 23, 2016
3:30 pm

Art & Nature

March 4, 2016
11 am – noon

Art & Nature

April 26, 2016
3:30 – 4:30 pm

Wings & Things

March 21 - 25, 2016
9 am – 4 pm

Spring into Nature

February 17, 2016
2:30 – 4:30 pm

The Science and Art of Nature Journals

April 10, 2016
3 pm


April 2, 2016

April 16, 2016
1 – 4 pm

Earth Day




Carleton E. Watkins, Glacier Point, 3,257 feet, Yosemite, California, c. 1870, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Melvin and Lorna Rubin Endowment
Herman Herzog, On Alachua Lake, c. 1890, gift of friends of the Harn Museum
Yoruba people, Cloth with Olokun, Goddess of the Sea Motif (adire eleko), c. 1973, gift of Dr. Robin Poynor
Maria Sibylla Merian, Plate 44, 1705, Museum purchase, funds provided by Kevin and Margaret Harrington
Paula Chamlee, Ames Pond, Stonington, MA 46 #2, 1998, gift of Melvin and Lorna Rubin
Andrew Bell, CLV Six Banded Armadillo, ca. 1791, Museum purchase, funds provided by J. Thomas Touchton in honor of Graham Arader III, with additional funds provided by The Gladys Harn Harris Art Acquisition Endowment
Paul Jacoulet, La Tresseuse de Paniers. Remoue, Yap (The Basket Weaver. Remoue, Yap), 1948, gift of Eugene Finkin in memory of Dorothy Finkin
Chinese, Qing Dynasty, Boulder with the God of Longevity in a Landscape, 18th-19th Century, bequest of Dr. David A. Cofrin
Rockwell Kent, Ireland Reef, 1926, gift from the Stephen and Carol Shey Collection