Stephen G. Hoffius
Coeditor, Landscape of Slavery: The Plantation in American Art
After three years of editing with Angela D. Mack, the catalogue for Landscape of Slavery, I’m eager to see how the exhibition differs from the book. We took the six essays and Angela’s introduction and tried to fit them together, acknowledging that at times the essayists disagreed with each other, sometimes complemented each other, sometimes expanded each other’s points. But they’re all text with illustrations. The show is all illustrations with text panels. Do viewers get totally different messages from those picked up by readers of the catalogue? Which is more powerful, or more meaningful? The visceral experience of walking through the show or the intellectual spark of reading scholars’ analyses?
I know the visual experience enhances the catalogue, just as the catalogue enhances a trip to the exhibition. But I’d love to hear from people who have delved into both: how are the experiences different, how the same? How is each uplifting or depressing or annoying or exciting? How do they fit into what people have studied about art history or southern history or folklore or anthropology… or whatever?