ArtsConnectEd/ArtsNet Minnesota

Art and Artists
 Berenice Abbott
 Giovanni Canal
 Frank Gehry
 Marsden Hartley
 Louis Lozowick
 Mexico (Nayarit)
 David Nash
 Georgia O'Keeffe
 Vincent van Gogh

Inner Worlds What is Art?   Identity Designing Spaces and Places
Introduction to



To provide contexts for observing and discussing ideas about the natural environment, human-made environment, and ecological issues in art.

What is your environment? Start with big environments and work to smaller ones. You are part of the universe, Milky Way, solar system, Earth, continent, country, state, county, town, community, neighborhood, house, room, and finally, yourself. Notice how your environments start out with natural elements, evolve to human-made, and return to natural.

Environments can be created by natural climatic conditions or be human-made. Environments can have both positive and negative influences on people.


Name five environmentally positive influences and five environmentally negative influences.

Consider these selected works. Which works express emotion about natural environments? Which works express emotion about human-made environments? Which works create an environment? Which works comment on social issues (criticize or praise society)? How have these artists expressed ideas and feelings, or faced issues about the environment?

What is Nash trying to express about the environment? Lozowick? Abbott? Gehry?

Which one of the nine artworks would you like to have in your own environment, in your home or yard? Why?

Do environments change? What part did environment play in the disappearance of the dinosaurs?

How is the O' Keeffe painting different from the Lozowick painting? Which one do you like the best? Why?


  1. Berenice Abbott, Murray Hill Hotel, 1935, black and white photograph, 9 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. and Broadway to the Battery, 1936, black and white photograph, 9 1/4 x 6 3/4 in. WAM

  2. Giovanni Antonio Canal (called Canaletto), Grand Canal from Palazzo Flangini to Palazzo Bembo, before 1740, oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 36 3/8 in. MIA

  3. Frank Gehry, The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, 1993, architecture/mixed media. WAM

  4. Marsden Hartley, Storm Clouds, Maine, 1906-07, oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 24 15/16 in. WAC

  5. Louis Lozowick, New York, about 1925-26, oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 22 1/8 in. WAC

  6. Mexico (Nayarit), House Group, 200 B.C.- A.D. 300, polychromed terra-cotta, 18 1/2 in. high. MIA

  7. David Nash, Standing Frame, 1987, charred white oak, linseed oil, 172 x 209 3/4 x 209 1/2 in. WAC

  8. Georgia O'Keeffe, Oriental Poppies, 1928, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 1/4 in. WAM

  9. Vincent van Gogh, Olive Trees, 1889, oil on linen, 29 x 36 1/2 in. MIA
Themes, Resources, Participants, Sitemap, Help

Activities, Gallery, Vocabulary

Inner Worlds | What Is Art? | Environment | Identity | Designing Spaces and Places
Environment Activities | Environment Gallery | Environment Vocabulary