Caspian: The Elements Exhibit to Open in April 2019

Albina Visilova, a regular visitor to the Naftalan Sanatorium, Naftalan, Azerbaijan, 2010. © Chloe Dewe Mathews
Albina Visilova, a regular visitor to the Naftalan Sanatorium, Naftalan, Azerbaijan, 2010. © Chloe Dewe Mathews

Caspian: The Elements Exhibit

Caspian: The Elements will be a new exhibit featuring the evocative imagery of Chloe Dewe Mathews, the 2014 recipient of the Peabody Museum’s Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography.  The exhibit will document her extraordinary five-year journey through the contested borderlands of the Caspian Sea: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and Iran. 

"Chloe Dewe Mathews’s exhibition immerses the viewer into the striking Caspian landscape through enormous murals of ice flows, rocky terrain, raging fire, and viscous oil," said Ilisa Barbash, the Peabody Museum's Curator of Visual Anthropology. "Photographs of people living and working in these landscapes communicate their complex relationship with their environment." The exhibit will reveal the essential role played by elemental materials like oil, rock, and uranium in the practical, artistic, spiritual, and therapeutic aspects of daily life. Caspian: The Elements will be a powerful photographic narrative that explores the deep links between the peoples of the Caspian and their enigmatic and coveted landscapes. 

“The views of people and lands are striking, even startling. They are beautiful and terrifying and always enthralling,” said Jeffrey Quilter, the William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director of the Peabody Museum. Dewe Mathews’ fellowship work “is an outstanding example of contemporary photography that both embraces and breaks through the boundaries of documentary, ethnography, and fine art.“

The exhibit will open Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and will remain on view through Monday, February 17, 2020.

The exhibit preview and book signing will feature Dewe Mathews on Thursday, April 25, 2019, and is open to the public.

About Chloe Dewe Mathews and the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography
Caspian: The Elements (Peabody Museum Press/Aperture)  
Chloe Dewe Mathews

Selected press for Chloe Dewe Mathews' Caspian: The Elements (Peabody Museum Press/Aperture 2018)

The New Yorker
The Guardian (Best Books of 2018)