In Light of the Past

Experiencing Photography 1839–2021

March 5, 2021 - October 9, 2021

This exhibition considers how we experience photographs, from the origins of the daguerreotype and paper negative to digital imagery. It examaines the ways in which we make, view, comprehend, and consume photographic imagery. This wide-ranging exhibition draws together more than one-hundred objects, including early photographic media to printed books, magazines, projected imagery, and cell phones. This exhibition is curated by art history majors Tenzin Crowley, Ana-Elena Karlova, Hill Gobourne, Emma Larson-Whittaker, Zuquin Qi, and Jackson Rhodes.

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Senior Studio Majors Thesis Exhibition

April 30, 2021 - September 11, 2021

This exhibition features thesis projects by senior studio art majors Devon Anderson, Gracyn Bird, Ernest Entsie, Ruodan Que, Clara Roth, and Jeremy Yu, under the direction of Rachel Eng with Todd Arsenault, Anthony Cervino, and Andy Bale. 







Horace Pippin

Racism and War

September 24, 2021 - February 19, 2022

September 24, 2021–February 19, 2020

This exhibition centers on Horace Pippin’s powerful work, Mr. Prejudice, which represents the artist’s response to the discrimination of African American soldiers fighting in World War II (1939–1945). Painted in 1943, the work shows a bare-chested white man hammering a wedge into the center of a giant “V”—for victory— which cracks under the stress. Pippin, who fought in World War I as part of the 369th Regiment (an African American Infantry division nicknamed the "Harlem Hell Fighters"), knew well how badly African American soldiers were treated after they returned home. Seeing how conditions had not changed for the next generation of African American soldiers, he composed this work to show how such discrimination threatened the war effort abroad and the struggle for equality at home. Mr. Prejudice is shown in conjunction with a series of vintage World War II posters and related materials that were made with African American soldiers in mind. In particular, the exhibition feaatures photographs of the African American "Double-V: Democracy Abroad and at Home" campaign. 


Horace Pippin, Mr. Prejudice courtesy the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Charles "Tennie" Harris's photographs courtesy the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.

Horace Pippin's Memoir of World War I courtesy the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

This is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges Initiative.

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Tracing Slavery: I

Moses Williams: Silhouettes

October 22, 2021 - January 22, 2022

Tracing Slavery considers issues of racism and the African American experience through the simple, yet direct medium of cut-paper profiles, or silhouettes. Moses Williams (c. 1775–c. 1825) was born enslaved into the household of Charles Willson Peale, the early-American portraitist, naturalist, and museum founder. Williams worked in Peale’s home and fledgling museum in Philadelphia, where he cut portrait silhouettes of visitors to the museum. The majority of his portraits represent members of the white elite, some of whom were slave holders. 

This exhibition draws together silhouette imagery by Moses Williams with prints by contremporary artist, Kara Walker as a way to trace a profile of racism in American that continues to shape the present.

This is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges Initiative.

>Audio Tour

Tracing Slavery: II

Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)

October 22, 2021 - January 22, 2022

Walker’s work deals extensively with the experience and identity of African Americans—past and present, which she explores in part through contemporary imagery portrayed as narratives cast in the manner of nineteenth-century cut silhouettes. At first nostalgic, perhaps charming in appearance, Walker’s silhouette imagery depicts the brutal reality of racial violence in American society. 

Unlike traditional silhouette artists, Walker does not create portrait likenesses, rather, she employs the medium as a way to interrogate history and expose racism. In Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), Walker “corrects” the Reconstruction-era publication by overlaying its images with silhouettes of African Americans, whose presence the publishers minimized so as to make the volumes more appealing to Southern White readers. 

Walker’s work and the nineteenth century artistic sources she references are paired with hollow-cut profile silhouettes made by Moses Williams (c. 1775–c. 1825), featured in Tracing Slavery I on display in conjunction with Walker's prints.

Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go. 

All images copyright © Kara Walker 2005.

> Audio Tour

Queering the Muse

Identity and Desire in the Photography of Lissa Rivera

February 11, 2022 - April 16, 2022

February 11– April 16

Queering the Muse features the work of contemporary photographer, Lissa Rivera, and her genderqueer romantic partner, B.J. Lillis, who serves as her collaborator and creative muse. Drawing from a vast array of sources, from ancient art to surrealism, and from classic Hollywood film to independent cinema, Rivera pictures Lillis in a variety of different settings and costumes rich with historical reference. Through her photographs, she brings visibility to an overlooked subject—the genderqueer body—in order to challenge the gender binary and to complicate how we define and understand beauty.

This exhibition is curated by senior art history majors Ellery Coleman, Emma Latham, Bethany Petrunak, Peter Philips, Frances Taylor, and Ellie Werner under the direction of Elizbeth Lee.

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Eleanor Conover

Weather Reader

February 25, 2022 - August 13, 2022

February 25–August 13, 2022

Eleanor Conover works with the material conditions of painting as both tangible and metaphorical spaces to investigate surface and environment. She joined the Dickinson College faculty as Assistant Professor of Art in the Fall of 2021.

Recent past exhibitions include Able Baker Contemporary (Portland, ME), Bad Water (Knoxville, TN), and Ortega y Gasset Projects (Brooklyn, NY). She was the 2020-21 recipient of the Wellesley College Alice C. Cole ’42 fellowship, awarded to an outstanding early career painter or sculptor. She completed her MFA at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University (2018), and BA from Harvard College (2010); she received a post-MFA teaching fellowship at the School of Art, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 


The museum will host an informal discussion in the gallery with the artist. Meet Eleanor Conover and consider the nature of her paintings and their place within her artistic career.

Thursday, April 21.

Meet and greet: 4-4:15 pm

Discussion: 4:15-5 pm

Less than Three

Senior Studio Majors Thesis Exhibition

April 29, 2022 - May 21, 2022

This exhibition features thesis projects by senior studio art majors Erin Clarke, Molly Darcy, Rebecca Fox, Bethany Petrunak, Cristian Tineo, and Marja van Mierlo under the direction of Anthony Cervino, with Todd Arsenault, and Andy Bale, and Rachel Eng.

GRADUATION: The exhibition will be open Sunday, May 22, from 8am to 10:00am.