HARVARD, MASS. – Having turned 100 years old, the National Park Service inaugurates its second century with a fine art photographic exhibit at Harvard’s Fruitlands Museum titled “Find Your Park: National Parks in New England,” which includes several large-scale photographs by New York artist Xiomaro. The group display is open now through March 19, 2017.
Xiomaro (pronounced “SEE-oh-MAH-ro”) is an internationally-recognized artist, writer and speaker whose photography has been covered by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, CBS Eyewitness News and The Huffington Post. His photography has been widely exhibited at Harvard University, Long Island Museum, Fraunces Tavern Museum, African Burial Ground National Monument, Siena Art Institute (Italy) and by members of Congress. Xio’s commissions for the National Park Service include the New England National Scenic Trail in Massachusetts as well as the Brookline home and office of Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Boston’s Emerald Necklace.
The exhibit, guest curated by Rebecca Migdal, was developed in partnership with Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and with additional support from Artscope Magazine. To showcase the beauty of New England and the important work being done to preserve and promote the national parks, Migdal selected four super-sized photographs by Xiomaro. The images, on public display for the first time, are hung from the ceiling so that visitors can “walk through” the parks to explore their cultural, historical and natural wonders.
Two images Xio created under a commission from Boston Harbor Islands National Recreational Area show the range of historical and scenic diversity that can be encountered. One photograph depicts a dramatically forlorn Civil War hospital on the prison grounds of Fort Warren on Georges Island – its most famous captive being the Confederate Vice President. Another is an inviting seaside view lined with colorful Adirondack chairs against the backdrop of a newly restored World War II army chapel on Peddocks Island.
Xio’s commission for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s house, a national historic site in Cambridge, produced a pensive view of the entry hall where the world-renowned poet and abolitionist greeted dignitaries of his day. Another commissioned photograph shows J. Alden Weir’s painting studio where he created works that are now at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and other world-class museums. His homestead became Weir Farm National Historic Site, Connecticut’s first national park unit and the only one in the country dedicated to American Impressionist painting. It is also where Xio began his career as an Artist-in-Residence and continues as a Visiting Artist.
The National Park Service (NPS) officially turned 100 on August 25, 2016 and, with this exhibit, is looking ahead to the next century of stewardship and opportunities for public engagement. The NPS covers more than 84 million acres and includes 410 sites. Fruitlands Museum, founded in 1914 by Clara Endicott Sears, takes its name from an experimental utopian community established on the site in 1843. In addition to the exhibit, the art museum includes a collection of over 100 Hudson River School landscape paintings by artists such as Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Church.
Fruitlands Museum is located on 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard, MA 01451. The exhibit runs now until March 19, 2017. Viewing hours and other information is posted at www.fruitlands.org/exhibitions or call (978) 456-3924. A free e-book containing some of Xiomaro’s work is available at http://www.xiomaro.com.