The Construction of Meaning

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Landscape art is often more than a visual record of place. Meaning is initially imparted by the artist, sometimes intentionally through allegorical symbols and other visual techniques and sometimes through unintentional incorporation of cultural values and perspectives. The viewer also brings preconceptions and feelings into the interpretation of the artwork. Thus, different viewers may have completely different understandings of the same landscape.

Artists are keen observers of the processes of cultural change that become imprinted on the land and often explore both the problems and the opportunities each issue presents. One such artwork may present what appears to be an opportunity to one viewer and a problem to another.

In this learning collection we examine images paired together representing issues of environment, transportation, waterways as a reflection of everyday life, the horse as a symbol, and worldview of the artist, and ask whether the perspectives represented are a product of the artist or the viewer.

This Learning Object Collection was created using the content from the following VMC exhibit:

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