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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Sternfeld, Joel
Culture:American (b. 1944)
Title:May 24, 2007, The East Meadows, Northampton, Massachusetts from the Oxbow Archive
Date Made:2007 negative; 2008 print
Materials:Digital C print, artist's proof, unique by size.
Measurements:overall: 44 in x 53 1/2 in; 111.76 cm x 135.89 cm
Accession Number:  UM 2008.159
Credit Line:Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine Gallery


Label Text:
Exhibition Label, 40 Years / 40 Artists, January 22–March 8, 2015:
In 1836, the landscape painter and conservationist Thomas Cole completed “View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm
(The Oxbow),” his iconic painting of the Connecticut River where it bends like an ox yoke. Nearly 200 years later, Joel Sternfeld walked into the field depicted in Cole’s painting--which he had first photographed in 1978 while traveling for his seminal American Prospects series--and began making almost daily photographs. By 2006, the oxbow in the river was crossed by an interstate highway and the destructive effects of progress which Cole had so feared were making themselves apparent globally as climate change.
From 2006 to 2008 Sternfeld made 77 quietly haunting photographs of this region. His choice of subject matter — a flat, unremarkable corn and potato field — signals a conceptual stance away from previous nature depictions: His field is neither beautiful, nor sublime, nor picturesque. Its flatness offers an eloquent emptiness, as well as a vessel for the true subject of this work — the effects of human consumption upon the natural world. - Loretta Yarlow

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