On December 6, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art will open the exhibition Material Resources: Intersections of Art and the Environment. While exploring the historic use of Earth’s natural resources in the production of art, this exhibition will also present visual art as an important interdisciplinary resource for understanding and studying the environment. Organized in three thematic sections —Extraction, Conservation, and Development—Material Resources will bring together works from across the Museum’s global collection that reveal interconnected cultural, political, and social ecologies within the natural and the built environment.
In anticipation of the opening, we preview here one of the exhibition’s highlights.
Le Corbusier’s Untitled (Plan for a Model City) will be featured among other works that will explore the development of human-made structures. Completed by the renowned Swiss-French architect while he was giving a lecture at Bowdoin on November 12, 1935, this large-scale drawing includes an array of architectural diagrams, plans, elevations, and annotations in reference to his famous concept for the ideal city: Ville Radieuse. Although unrealized in a physical form, Ville Radieuse or “Radiant City,” had a significant impact on the subsequent development of urban design. Conceived to provide equal and convenient access to social and natural resources, Le Corbusier’s “Plan for a Model City” offers insight into the concept of societal “progress” and the corresponding desire to organize and structure civilization within the natural environment.
Material Resources: Intersections of Art and the Environment will be on view in the downstairs galleries from December 6, 2018 to June 2, 2019.