Souvenirs of Ruin

Piranesi and the Birth of Western Tourism

October 27, 2023 - February 10, 2024

Italian artist, archaeologist, and architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) combined his multi-disciplinary interests to produce dramatic depictions of Roman temples, aqueducts, monuments, and ruins. In the eighteenth century, Piranesi’s prints often inspired travelers to embark on the Grand Tour through Europe. Some tourists then brought home an engraving by Piranesi to commemorate their experiences among these newly excavated sites. Other travelers, such as Commodore Jesse Duncan Elliott (1782-1845), a former Dickinson College Trustee and resident of Carlisle, acquired eclectic collections of antique fragments during their Mediterranean travels. Curated by Dickinson student Emily Angelucci ’24, this exhibition features a wide selection of Piranesi’s romanticized perspectives of Roman ruins alongside Elliot’s artifacts, which include pieces of the Parthenon, sarcophagi, and statuary. Seen in dialogue with Elliot’s antiquities, Piranesi’s prints demonstrate the Grand Tourists’ shared desire for tangible connections to the ancient world. 


Unruly Texts, Provocative Pictures

November 10, 2023 - April 6, 2024

Across a diverse selection of prints, sculpture, photographs, and drawings, this exhibition presents disruptive combinations of texts and images. Dating from the nineteenth century to the present day, the works on display employ visual and semantic tactics that are surprising, satirical, and sometimes unsettling. Individual objects feature captions, labels, speech banderoles, narratives, poems, as well as words and letters shaped into artful forms. The artworks provoke their beholders to question assumptions, consider difficult truths, and cast a critical eye on the social world.  

Paintings by Louisa Chase (1951-2016)

Curated by Art History Senior Seminar Students

February 23, 2024 - April 6, 2024

Dickinson College students in the Art History Senior Seminar curate an exhibition and write a scholarly exhibition catalogue for selected paintings by Louisa Chase (1951-2016), on loan from the gallery Hirschl & Adler Modern in New York City. In collaboration with Eric W. Baumgartner, ’79, a Dickinson College Art History graduate and Senior Vice President and Director of American Paintings and Sculpture at H&A, the students examine how Chase explored a variety of pictorial techniques and visual styles in her Neo-Expressionist paintings. Chase’s work is represented in the permanent collections of many prominent museums, including the Whitney Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. 

Senior Studio Majors 2024

Thesis Exhibition

April 19, 2024 - May 19, 2024

Over a year-long seminar, senior studio art majors engage in sustained and critical studio inquiry that results in the creation of ambitious and cohesive bodies of artwork, a selection of which are included in the end-of-year thesis exhibition. Under the collective direction of Dickinson’s studio art faculty, the students develop individual projects made in a variety of media, but share a commitment to the investigation of conceptual, material, formal, historical, political, and aesthetic concepts in their scholarship.