Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation

January 13 - May 27, 2018

Over the last 150 years the medium of photography has powerfully depicted and shaped representations of past and present scenes of devastation. Aftermath examines landscape photographs made at the sites of natural or human-made disasters, capturing the results of destructive forces wrought on the land and its inhabitants, including volcano eruptions and floods, massacres and uprisings, and even nuclear explosions. The photographs portray both well-known and untold stories of violence, tragedy, and loss. Each scene is visually striking, yet viewers may be surprised at the elements of beauty and tranquility present in these tragic landscapes. The exhibition includes images of the aftermath of events spanning over 2,000 years of human history—from ancient Pompeii to September 11, 2001. These photographs remind us that disaster is often a collective experience that can tear apart the seams of a culture’s social fabric and impact societies well after an event. 

Lead support for Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.

Images

Peter Turnley, New York, 9-11-01, 2001, archival pigment print. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of David and Jennifer Kieselstein, 2016/2.504

Photographer unknown, Civil Forum, Pompeii, 1855–1865, albumen print. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Transfer from the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 1980/1.176

Leonard Freed, Workers Outside a Home Damaged by Flood, Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA, 1972, gelatin silver print. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80, 2014/2.326, Photo © Magnum Photos

Timeline

Exhibition Timeline

SatJan 13
Exhibition Opens
Sun
Jan 28
Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation
2:00pm3:00pm
Gallery Talks and Tours
Sun
Feb 4
UMMA Dialogue: Mediating Disaster 
3:00pm4:30pm
Artists and Curators / Exhibitions Related / Film
Sun
Feb 25
Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation
2:00pm3:00pm
Gallery Talks and Tours
SunMay 27
Exhibition Closes