Written by Dr. Barbara C. Matilsky, curator of art at the Whatcom Museum, the 144-page Vanishing Ice catalog includes 80 color illustrations with notes, bibliography, and an illustrated timeline. The introduction is excerpted below.
Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775–2012
Barbara C. Matilsky
Vanishing Ice introduces the rich artistic legacy of the planet’s frozen frontiers now threatened by a changing climate. Tracing the impact of glaciers, icebergs, and fields of ice on artists’ imaginations, this interdisciplinary survey explores the connections between generations of artists who adopt different styles, media, and approaches to interpret alpine and polar landscapes.
Beginning in the eighteenth century, collaborations between the arts and sciences contributed to a deeper understanding of snowcapped mountains, the Arctic, and Antarctica. A resurgence of interest in these environments as dramatic indicators of climate change galvanizes contemporary expeditions to the glaciers and the poles. Today, artists, writers, and scientists awaken the world to both the beauty and increasing vulnerability of ice.
Comprised of 80 works of art, Vanishing Ice unfolds thematically and chronologically, interweaving science, history and art. International in scope, it features artists from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States.
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Dr. Matilsky is the author of numerous catalogs, including Fragile Ecologies: Contemporary Artists’ Interpretations and Solutions (1992).