The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Out of the Vault- Dr. Susan Crane

February 4, 4:00 pm (please note special time)

Ruins or Rubble? Sorting through What Remains as Art

Ruins in a landscape have become an iconic image in European art since the Renaissance, often representing melancholy over loss or invoking the sublime.  But when is a pile of stones a “ruin” and when is it “rubble”?  Who decides whether decrepit architectural objects are worthy of preserving as ruins, or whether it’s better to destroy or deploy remaining rubble in favor of new construction?  The ruins landmarks being preserved in paint in the 18th century had often been ravaged hundreds of years earlier: why were they now considered aesthetically valuable?  We will consider when and why rubbles are transformed into ruins, and what is at stake when memories of the past, invoked through ruins that would otherwise be seen as rubble, demand attention in the present.