Perlman Teaching Museum exhibits designed to teach, inspire

September 10, 2015

With a mission of connecting the world of art with academic exploration, Carleton College’s Perlman Teaching Museum presents two new exhibits designed both to teach and inspire audiences.

In the Kaemmer Family Gallery, “Mediterranean Rivers, Chained and Unchained,” co-curated by Carleton professors Mary Savina (Charles L. Denison Professor of Geology and co-director of archaeology) and Victoria Morse (professor of history and director of Medieval and Renaissance studies), and featuring rare illustrated books and maps from the 16th and 17th centuries of Italian Renaissance waterways, brings together the disciplines of history and geology. These precious and beautiful objects are on loan from the Hill Library and Museum, St John’s University, Gustavus Adolphus College, and the libraries of the University of Minnesota and the University of Iowa, as well as Carleton’s Gould Library.

In the Braucher Gallery, “Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War from the George Eastman House Collection” offers a rare glimpse at this very distinguished historical photography collection, commemorating the 150th anniversary of this cataclysmic event in American history. The American Civil War was the first to be extensively documented by the new technology of photography.

Both exhibits open Friday, September 18 in the Perlman Teaching Museum, located in Carleton’s Weitz Center for Creativity. At 7 p.m. in Room 236, Savina and Morse will present a lecture titled, "Mediterranean Rivers: a Dialogue between a historian and a geologist.” An opening reception for both exhibits follows from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Weitz Commons.

“Mediterranean Rivers” explores how rivers in the Mediterranean region were revered, documented, altered, controlled, and charted. Lesson learns from Italian Renaissance books and maps have direct application to local rivers today, including the nearby Cannon River rolling through Northfield. In conjunction with the exhibit, Carleton will host a series of public lectures and exhibition tours in October and November, along with a Cannon River walking tour led by Carleton geology student guides and an interactive stream table demonstration.

“Between the States” surveys the visual remnants of war through scenes of military encampments and battlefields, images of the dead, and portraits of proud solider and their leaders. These powerful photographs are on loan from the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. A small supplemental exhibit, “Vintage and Local: Photography and the American Civil War,” presents additional photographs printed during the Civil War and its immediate aftermath, drawing from local collections and demonstrating printing techniques from daguerreotype and tintype to carte-de-visite and pre-modern photo collages.

Carleton will also screen a series of films on Civil War themes, Tuesdays, September 29 and October 13 at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Cinema.

“Mediterranean Rivers, Chained and Unchained” is on display in the Kaemmer Family Gallery through November 18; “Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War from the George Eastman House Collection” is on display in the Braucher Gallery through October 18. Both exhibits are presented with generous support from Pamela Kiecker Royall ’80 and William A. Royall Jr.

All events, including gallery admission, are free and open to the public. The Perlman Teaching Museum is located in the Weitz Center for Creativity, located on at Third and College Streets in Northfield.

Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday-Friday; and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday-Sunday. For more information, call 507-222-4342 or visit online at