Chasing Bugs: Insects as Subject and Metaphor Exhibition at University of Richmond Harnett Museum

Thursday, 14 September, 2017


Chasing Bugs: Insects as Subject and Metaphor is on view August 23 through October 3, 2017, in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums. This exhibition explores our abiding fascination with insects in science, literature, and the arts with images created from the late 1400s to the present. With more than one hundred artworks (and within those pieces often scores of insects), the exhibition is an extended look at more than five centuries of naturalists and artists representing the insect as subject matter and symbol. Just as entomologists continue to chase their elusive insects and spiders, contemporary artists continue to pursue bugs for intriguing and meaningful metaphors.

Calculated to be the largest biomass of terrestrial animals, insects are a pervasive presence in our lives and in our imaginations. Entomologists estimate that the ratio of insects to humans is 200 million to one. “It’s no wonder that visualizing these insects that surround and vastly outnumber us is manifested in the arts throughout the past several centuries,” states Richard Waller, Executive Director, University of Richmond Museums, and curator of the exhibition. “Insects and the natural world are the catalysts for images in the arts that beguile and often charm us. The insect continues to serve as subject matter, signifier, and symbol for so many artists.”




University of Richmond Harnett Museum
28 Westhampton Way University of Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA 23173

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