Next of Kin: Seeing Extinction Through the Artist's Lens

May 2, 2017 |  Dartmouth Press Release  

Exhibition by Christina Seely with the Canary Project at the Harvard Museum of Natural History Through July 16, 2017.

With the world’s population at 7.38 billion and counting, with one birth every 8 seconds, plants and animals are being driven to extinction due to human’s footprint. Researchers have reported that our planet has entered the sixth mass extinction. The exhibition, Next of Kin: Seeing Extinction Through the Artist’s Lens, at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, presents a provocative and powerful new perspective on the biodiversity extinction crisis through a series of new photographic works by visual artist and Dartmouth Assistant Professor of Studio Art Christina Seely. The exhibition will be on display through July 16 and includes an installation that the artist created in collaboration with the Canary Project.

Seely was invited by the Harvard Museum of Natural History to create new work that drew on the museum’s collections to explore the topic of extinction. Next of Kin evokes a profound sense of empathy with our “next of kin,” by engaging visitors with some of the many species that are already extinct or are threatened with extinction, reminding audiences about the fragility of our planet. 

“The exhibition is designed to serve as a bridge between science and art offering a space within the science context to face emotions and questions brought on by the complexity of the topic, as well as our role in it as a dominant force on the planet,” says Seely. “I hope that my work might help protect these amazing animals and the habitat that they live in by inspiring a deeper more personal connection to what is unfolding,” she added.

The Dickey Center for International Understanding and the Neukom Institute at Dartmouth provided Seely with support for Next of Kin. As part of her fieldwork for the exhibition, Seely spent time in Greenland last summer photographing muskox and caribou for the daguerreotypes. While in Greenland, she worked closely with Ross Virginia, director of the Institute of Arctic Studies and the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science at Dartmouth, and with students participating in the Joint Science Education Project.

Read the entire Dartmouth press release

For more information about the exhibit:

Studio Art

Harvard Museum of Natural Science