Night Skies

Nocturnes

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Episode 23 : Today I chat with Alice Phillips, Ph.D, director of exhibitions at the UNI Gallery at the University of Iowa.

L. Hugo c. uimi

Nocturnes: Night Skies in Nineteenth-Century Art and The Darker Side of Modern Art

UNI Gallery of ArtKamerick Art Building, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Nocturnes traces artists’ portrayals of night skies from the mid-nineteenth century through the present. The night sky has always instilled a sense of wonder and curiosity in earthbound observers, while moonlight has long been associated with illusions, apparitions, and enchantment. The artworks here explore our enduring human interest in observing the atmospheric phenomena, illuminated cityscapes, and phantasmagoria that emerge from darkness. These artists capture the effect of lustrous moonlight on sublime landscapes, the garish glow of gaslight, and renditions of surreal and cosmic universes. This exhibition guides us into starlit skies that inspired Romantic introspection and otherworldly visions in the nineteenth century, fantastical depictions of lunar radiance in the twentieth, and those that continue to compell us to dream.

This exhibition is curated by Alice M. Phillips, PhD, and is organized by Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections Sharing Project, Supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family.