Visitation

images for Visitation
Exhibition Label
In Visitation, a large flock of passenger pigeons gorge themselves in a field strewn with fruit and nuts. Ford’s scene recalls a written description by Audubon, “Whilst feeding, their avidity is at times so great that in attempting to swallow a large acorn or nut, they are seen gasping for a long while as if in the agonies of suffocation.” The birds’ ravenous feasting on the bounty of the land could symbolize the profligate exploitation of natural resources perpetuated by European settlers in the New World, which ultimately led to the extinction of the passenger pigeon. Ford also notes that the image alludes to the human tendency of blaming victims for their own destruction.
The Singing & the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art, 2014
Topic
Landscape\mountain
Animal\bird\pigeon
Object\letter
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Artist
Walton Ford, born Larchmont, NY 1960
Publisher
Blue Heron Press
Printer
Wingate Studio
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Medium
color etching, aquatint, spit-bite and drypoint on paper
Dimensions
44 x 31 in. (111.7 x 78.8 cm)
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
2004
Type
Graphic Arts-Print
Object number
2010.3