Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Desert
Edwards Harris Center


Art Talks: Sight in Sediment with Jason Weems, PhD

11/14/14 6 p.m.

Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert

Art Talks: Sight in Sediment with Jason Weems, PhD



ArtTalks: Conversations with Tomorrow’s Experts

Sight in Sediment: Stratigraphy, History and Landscape in the Americas, circa 1877

With Jason Weems, PhD

Friday, November 14, 6 p.m.

Gerald and Georgia Fogelson Education Classroom


Jason Weems, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of California, Riverside, reconsiders the American landscape through a visual exploration of the stratigraphy of the West. Stratigraphy and its place in the representation of landscape in North/South America developed during the late nineteenth century, and its implications were multi-faceted. In science, the study of mineral layers led to the discovery of valuable mining deposits. In cultural studies, stratigraphy opened the earth’s crust as both an index and a metaphor for human history. At the same time, the visualization of subterranean terrains challenged the conventions of landscape art, illustration, and mapping. Stratigraphy’s focus on the invisible layers of geological matter troubled the hierarchy of surface and structure in landscape—a relationship that was also being tested in other areas of visual modernity, such as the invention of the x-ray photograph, and the developments of early Modernist painting.     


This lecture complements the exhibition A Grand Adventure: American Art of the West.

Space is limited, RSVPs are requested.


ArtTalks are sponsored by Sandpiper Historic District.