"A Life in Letters: Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher" by Kristin Malin
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum in Hadley will host “A Life in Letters: Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher,” a mixed media installation by Kristin Malin. This exhibition will be housed in the Museum’s Corn Barn from August through October.
For “A Life In Letters” Malin transcribed onto long scrolls of paper in ink sections of letters shared between Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher and her mother, Elizabeth Whiting Phelps Huntington. The letters impart a sense of Elizabeth and what her life was like in the mid-1800’s. The letters, and Kristin’s scrolls, broach many topics including courtship, marriage, family, illness, death, God, religion, travel, education, and love.
Malin, whose husband and daughters are decedents of the family, created a physical link between herself and Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher by transcribing her letters. In addition to the scrolls, the exhibit also includes portraits of Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher’s descendants, Olivia Birdsall, Katherine Birdsall, and Elizabeth Wheeler.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum currently hosts "Undulated Inundation," an outdoor installation that captures the perpetually evolving character of the Connecticut River and its flood planes over time. The piece was designed by artist and designer Anthony DiMari, and its structure is intended to reflect the historical flood planes of the river. The piece consists of a square grid of steel poles of varying heights set in a gravel bed, topped with photo-luminescent caps that glow at night, powered by the sunlight they have captured over the course of the day.
"Kathy Greenwood-A Stitch in Time"
From June 1st to July 31st, 2016, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum featured an exhibition by artist Kathy Greenwood entitled "Kathy Greenwood-A Stitch in Time." This exhibition featured collage and textile works that cross familiar materials and patterns with contemporary sensibilities. The objects and images that populate this work allude to stories, relationships and observations of daily living and how the ephemera of home – heirlooms, implements and cast-offs – can invoke personal memories as well as conjecture about the lives of others.
"Images from the Connecticut River Valley"
From July 1 to September 1, 2015, the Corn Barn hosted "Images from the Connecticut River Valley," which showcases Christopher Curtis’s 30 years of experience photographing nature, haunting rural landscapes, and other subject matter through two series of images: “Looking at Rivers” and “Ghosts and Machines.”
“Looking at Rivers” captures the energy and beauty Christopher Curtis finds in the wild streams and rivers of western Massachusetts. In his work as an environmental planner, he has spent the better part of a lifetime working to clean up and protect rivers; in his work as a photographer, he has captured the beauty and movement of these rivers.
“Ghosts and Machines” turns from the environmental to the mechanical, exploring the old abandoned farm vehicles from the 1930’s and 40’s that lie decomposing behind barns and in the woods bordering farmland of the Connecticut River Valley. By depicting these old trucks as they sink and erode into the landscape, the “Ghosts and Machines” photographs reflect on nature’s reclamation of human creations, as the vehicles become partially submerged in mud, covered with weeds in the summer, and merge back into the earth again.
"Field Notes 4: Transect"
In 2014, the Corn Barn hosted "Field Notes 4: Transect," an exhibition of drawings, paintings, collages and sculptures by architects Sigrid Miller Pollin and Stephen Schreiber, and landscape architect, Jane Thurber. "Field Notes 4: Transect" is the fourth exhibition created by these artists. This collaborative exhibit focuses on patterns found in the natural and built environments with several of the pieces specifically exploring the Connecticut River Valley near the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House. In particular, the artists are focused on the transect, or cross-section, of the built and natural environments - from the river, through floodplains, cultivated fields and meadows, to the mountains. The clarity in the way each artist stays centered around their own explorations and the subtle unity in the way the works complement each other are self-evident.
The exhibit in the Museum’s Corn Barn ran from June 14 through October 15, 2014.