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Why Draw a Landscape?: A Portfolio of Prints by Contemporary Artists

August 20 to December 7, 2003

Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center


Why Draw a Landscape? features a portfolio of prints on the theme of landscape in contemporary art, commissioned by Crown Point Press in San Francisco and completed in 1999. Each of the eleven participating artists answered the question with a print that attests to the vitality of the natural world.

Collectively, this portfolio includes a diversity of artistic approaches, ranging from documentary accuracy, to expressive images, to abstraction in which areas of colors suggest the landscape. Each print is an etching, yet a wide variety of techniques are employed to convey the artist's vision. Upon closer investigation, the prints reveal myriad associations to the land and how we view ourselves within that context.

This exhibition has also provided the opportunity to highlight landscape prints from the museum's permanent collection. Ranging from a sixteenth-century woodcut to a twenty-first-century mezzotint, this selection reveals the rich history and variety of approaches to representing nature in art.

Organized by the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition was co-curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Assistant Director, University Museums, and Christopher Oliver (AR'05), art history major at the University of Richmond and the 2003 Harnett Summer Fellow. The project was a major part of Chris's summer fellowship in the Harnett Print Study Center. He was responsible for the essay and other material included in this brochure and for researching and writing the text on the extended labels in the exhibition.

We would like to thank the many donors who have generously given several of these prints to the University Museums and a special thanks to Joel (RC'45) and Lila Harnett, not only for their ongoing generosity to the University of Richmond but specifically for funding Christopher Oliver's 2003 summer fellowship.

Richard Waller

Executive Director

University of Richmond Museums

Publication Date



University of Richmond Museums


Richmond, VA


Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, landscape, exhibition, Anne Appleby, Tom Marioni, David Nash, Sylvia Mangold, Joan Nelson, Ed Ruscha, Crown Point Press, landscape art, prints, contemporary art


Fine Arts | Printmaking

Why Draw a Landscape?: A Portfolio of Prints by Contemporary Artists