On view September 10–October 12, 2018
Eli Marsh Gallery • 105 Fayerweather Hall

Opening Lecture, Reception & Book Signing:
Thursday, September 13, 4:30 p.m.
Pruyne Lecture Hall • 115 Fayerweather Hall

Lisa McCarty, Louisa May Alcott’s Desk, Orchard House, 2015. Image courtesy of the artist.

Lisa McCarty, Louisa May Alcott’s Desk, Orchard House, 2015. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the Exhibition

Transcendental Concord documents the spirit of Transcendentalism, the 19th century philosophical movement that embraced idealism, communal living, and reverence for the natural world in the face of growing industrialization and inhumanity. While the circle of Transcendentalists in New England was wide, at its center was a core group that lived in Concord, Massachusetts. Bronson Alcott and daughter Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau lived within a few miles of each other for nearly 20 years, regularly meeting in each other’s homes and on the paths of Walden Woods to discuss their writings and beliefs.

In the course of a year and in every season, North Carolina-based artist Lisa McCarty photographed the sites where these Transcendentalists lived and wrote in Concord. McCarty’s parallel reverence for the natural world is evident in her photographs, which point to large and small variations in environment, season and light. McCarty uses long exposures and camera movement in order to capture these variations. Transcendental Concord pays homage to Transcendentalism not only in capturing a shared landscape, but in McCarty’s technique: her keen observation of natural phenomena and openness to experimentation and chance.

About the Artist

Lisa McCarty is an artist, curator and educator based in Durham, North Carolina. She has participated in over 70 exhibitions and screenings at venues such as the American University Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Chicago Photography Center, Fruitlands Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, Houston Center for Photography, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Visual Studies Workshop. Her photographs have also been featured in a variety of international festivals, including Noorderlicht, Picture Berlin and Sören Kierkegaard in Images, while her moving images have been screened at the New York Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Experiments in Cinema, Cairo Video Festival, Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival and Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival. Her first book as a contributing writer and editor, William Gedney: Only the Lonely, 1955-1984 (co-written with Gilles Mora and Margaret Sartor), was published by the University of Texas Press and Editions Hazan in 2017. Her first monograph, Transcendental Concord, was published by Radius Books in 2018. McCarty received an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University. She currently teaches at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies and is curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts.




Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday, 12-4 p.m.
Closed Saturday

Please note: This exhibition will close at noon on Friday, Oct. 12.

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