Looking Closely: The Art of Observation
Artists exploring nature today have a host of digital tools at their fingertips to assist in their work, but some prefer to begin with the unmediated experience of direct observation.
Looking Closely presents the work of five internationally renowned artists: Larry Barth, Lars Jonsson, Jenny Keller, Clare Walker Leslie and David Sibley. Each has quite different goals for their art, but all share the practice of capturing what they see as they see it, with their hand and pencil—and sometimes pen or brush.
The artworks on display depict what these artists observed in the diverse habitats of Siberia, Amazonia, Poland, Africa, Alaska and across this country.
Among the artworks are a watercolor by Swedish artist Lars Jonsson of a spoonbilled sandpiper in Siberia, and field sketches by sculptor Larry Barth and field guide author David Sibley.
Clare Walker Leslie’s journals celebrate the personal meaning in the act of observing nature and the journals of Jenny Keller reveal the inherent beauty in subjects as varied as a mushroom and a kangaroo.
The Museum of American Bird Art invites its visitors to share in the moments captured by these extraordinary artists, and to explore the variety of ways they transformed those moments into art.
Download a children’s activity book which encourages investigation, examination, and creativity during a visit to the museum’s Looking Closely exhibition.