Landscape: Awe to Activism

February 16 – November 29, 2020


Curated by Jeff Nathanson

From 19th century California artists inspired by nature, to contemporary artists who have broken from traditional perspectives and embraced new technologies to address climate change and other important issues, the artist's relationship to landscape has evolved. Landscape: Awe to Activism explores this relationship through diverse artworks including painting, photography, and video.

Historical context for Landscape begins with 19th century artists who were inspired to represent and interpret their appreciation of the natural beauty and majesty of the unblemished California landscape. With the advancement of science, global exploration, industrialization, and the societal changes that have occurred, artists’ relationship to the land, nature, and representation of landscape shifted. 20th century artists began to explore new ways of interacting and engaging physically with the landscape through interventions and by creating conceptual earthworks. Contemporary artists have broken from traditional perspectives and embraced new concepts, concerned with important issues. Faced with the threat of climate change, some artists have chosen to comment on the human impact on the environment, using their art as a form of activism to draw public attention to the mounting environmental crisis. Others are addressing issues of space, borders, land ownership, and displacement, while others utilize technology and new approaches to create unique ways to view the landscape.

The wide range of artists in the exhibition include:

• Ansel Adams

• Brooks Anderson

• Chester Arnold

• Diane Burko

• Christo and Jeanne-Claude

• Tilden Daken

• Maynard Dixon

• Mercedes Dorame

• Jeff Frost

• John Marshall Gamble

• Thomas Hill

• Elizabeth Hoen

• R. G. Holdredge

• William Keith

• Tony King

• Naomie Kremer

• Richard Mayhew

• Richard Misrach

• William Morehouse

• Sebastião Salgado

• Jack Stuppin

• William Wheeler

• Adam Wolpert


This exhibition is generously supported by Creative Sonoma, the Diane and Jack Stuppin Fund, Community Foundation Sonoma County, and Eric and Debbie Green, Resolution Capital.

Sponsorship inquiries:, (707) 579-1500 ext. 104 (Maggie)



Virtual Experience

Explore the exhibition through 360° imaging! Enjoy close-up views of the artworks, a video tour, and more from the gallery exhibition.

This virtual experience is generously provided by Steve Vargas, VARGAS XR "Mind Over Matter"








Artist statements and biographies


(Press Democrat, 4/8/2020) Museum of Sonoma County offers tour of landscape exhibit online 

Landscape Artist Interviews

(Mar 31, 2020) Naomie Kremer

(Apr 20, 2020) Adam Wolpert

(Apr 28, 2020) Tony King