January 24, 2017

The Mystery And History Within "The Poetry Of Place"

  • By: Jared Foretek

People connect emotions to places. Think of all the feelings that swell in a place full of childhood memories. Consider the serenity, wonder, or awe that might overcome you in a setting of incredible natural beauty. And just as place and emotion are linked, poetry is—to many—the language of emotion.

They all come together through photography in a new exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum titled The Poetry of Place, which features landscapes, buildings, and a mix of the two in order to explore the way setting moves us.

Eighteen black and white photographs from the museum’s collection by William Clift, Linda Connor, and Michael Kenna are presented.

“The special feature aims to unite both artist and viewer through a common, familiar theme: place,” writes Cincinnati Art Museum Curatorial Assistant of Photography Emily Bauman. “Although artists Clift, Connor, and Kenna are not connected to one another, the scenes featured in The Poetry of Place evoke a haunting, human presence we can all sense, even in the absence of human subjects.”

North Star and Meteor by Linda Connor

photo by: Linda Connor

Linda Connor, "North Star and Meteor, Cushing, Maine."

The exhibit features breathtaking landscape shots by Clift in New Mexico and France. It also includes work he did for a project on county courthouses starting in 1975.

Connor’s photographs of Maine’s Olson House—famously painted by Andrew Wyeth—bring the viewer inside, while Kenna’s work from the Boughton Castle in England literally blurs the lines of nature and man-made.

Taken together, the exhibit considers place conceptually, emphasizing how place moves us.

Our work at the National Trust does the same. Specific buildings or places are valuable and worth preserving, but the value often derives not from the location or structure itself, but rather from the people and stories connected to those places. At the National Trust, we emphasize what can be learned and taken from those places, and how those places affect us in the present.

The Poetry of Place is on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum through June 11, 2016. Admission to the museum and exhibit are both free. If you value places like we do, we think you might enjoy it.

The Front Hall by Linda Connor

photo by: Linda Connor

Linda Connor, "The Front Hall."

Three Trees at Dusk by Michael Kenna

photo by: Michael Kenna

Michael Kenna, "Three Trees at Dusk, France."

Jared Foretek

Jared Foretek enjoys historic train stations, old bars, and interesting public spaces, he was an editorial intern at the National Trust.

Announcing the 2024 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

See the List