Casual stargazers be warned: You may turn into a total astronomy geek after seeing “The Cosmos Viewed from Earth and Outer Space from 1949 to the Present” at Haverford College’s Atrium Gallery.
Included are 40 high-definition color photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope, taken between 1990 and 2018, that show some of the deepest views ever taken of our universe.
Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night might have been inspired by a nebula now known as the Whirlpool Galaxy? There’s a Hubble photo of it here.
Also here is a collection of black-and-white silver print photographs of the Southern California sky, shot between 1949 and 1958, before light pollution ruined the view. It’s as potent a reminder as I can think of to turn off the lights, please!
Through Oct. 26 at Atrium Gallery, Marshall Fine Arts Center, Haverford College, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays . haverford.edu/fine-arts/exhibitions.
There are any number of reasons to visit WheatonArts, off the beaten path in Millville, N.J.
The complex resembles a Victorian village but was largely built in the early 1970s. Among other attractions, it boasts the Museum of American Glass, with one of the finest collections there is. There’s also a world-class glass studio in which glass artists — a number of them internationally known — give demonstrations.
The main draw for contemporary-art enthusiasts is the museum’s biennial exhibition, “Emanation,” whose chosen artists are asked to make use of WheatonArts’ resources. This year’s show, “Emanation 2019,”is organized by independent curator Julie Courtney and demonstrates what imaginative artists who’ve never worked in glass can achieve with the help of an expert — in this case WheatonArts’ glass studio manager, Skitch Manion.
One of the exhibition’s most ambitious works is Phantom Frequencies, by performance artist Martha McDonald and musician Laura Baird, which has transformed the museum’s front room into a peculiar Victorian parlor.
Riffing on WheatonArts’ ersatz Victorian past, McDonald and Baird designed record albums, fantastical musical instruments, and a speaker horn for a gramophone — all realized here in clear glass. In a June 2 performance, the two sang Baird’s invented compositions of 19th-century parlor music and played them on the glass instruments. You can watch it on a video monitor in the gallery, and it’s a hoot.
The curator and artist Richard Torchia, of Arcadia University, is another artist in the 2019 show. His work here, Grrndr, employs motorized, drum-like vessels to create a large-scale kaleidoscope using waste glass that Torchia found in barrels on the WheatonArts property.
The images produced look like classic kaleidoscopic patterns — and may also remind viewers of Robert Rauschenberg’s cover for the Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tongues album. But here the glass fragments in the kaleidoscope cascade into a mill that crushes them into powder for reuse.
When Torchia at first visited the museum, he remarked that “the sheer mass of mostly small, fragile objects arouses in me an uncanny desire to smash things.” He got his way, but also delivers sublime moments of vanishing beauty.
Another artist here, Jo Yarrington, makes site-specific exhibitions and has been exploring the history of the nuclear industry. Yarrington has my favorite exhibition space at WheatonArts, a former one-room schoolhouse built in 1876 that was moved to the complex from its original site in Millville.
Her Uranium Game reinterprets Harold Edgerton’s 1950s photographs of nuclear explosions and board games of that era in a floor display of glowing spheres made of uranium glass.
Two pieces by Karyn Olivier occupy their sites at the museum with such subtlety that some visitors might walk right past them. Shell Midden/Memorial, a tall, wood-encased glass vitrine in the style of the museum’s other display cases, is filled with oyster shells. Museum Midden is Olivier’s reconstruction of a museum door.
“Emanation 2019” also includes works by Jesse Krimes, Tristin Lowe, and Allan Wexler.
Through Dec. 31 at the Museum of American Glass, WheatonArts, Millville, N.J., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. 856-825-6800 or wheatonarts.org. Through December 31.
Anyone who admires illustration should get to “Dare Me” at James Oliver Gallery this week, before it closes. The drawings of urban scenes here by Marek Danielewski, David Jablow, Hawk Krall, and Paul Rentler are startling and stylish — in equal measure.