TRAVELING EXHIBITION: Pompeii Archive: Recent Photographs by William Wylie

Pompeii Archive features a selection of recent work by American photographer, William Wylie, exploring the archeological site of Pompeii in highly evocative images. Wylie’s interest in the contemporary state of Pompeii began with his discovery of the work of Giorgio Sommer (1834-1914), a German photographer who documented the excavation of the site in the midnineteenth century.

An avid historian and collector, Wylie began collecting Sommer’s images and researching his work, particularly Sommer’s strategic use of photography to flatten the picture plane and create layered and stratified images that evoked the archeological processes. Examples of Sommer’s work are also included in the exhibition. This ongoing research, and the body of work that has resulted, was supported by Yale University’s Doran Artist in Residency awards at the Sol and Carol LeWitt estate in Praiano, Italy, where Wylie was a resident in 2012 and 2015.

Pompeii Archive is Wylie’s second body of work documenting the Italian landscape. An earlier, and ongoing, series explores the famous marble quarries of Carrara by focusing on the extensive history of extraction from the site, from the Etruscans through the modern, with an emphasis on the workers and their product. Wylie’s working method for these series incorporates repeated visits to a site; an immersion in which he gains an understanding of both the cultural and natural landscapes that create place. For the ongoing Pompeii project, Wylie travelled extensively to the archeological site, gradually building friendships and the trust of site supervisors and archivists, and gaining access to areas of the site and storage facilities not available to the general public.

This exhibition features eighteen large scale photographs focused on the ongoing process of restoration, discovery and collection of archival remains and materials from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. Through Wylie’s photographs, Pompeii is seen as a constantly changing, not static archeological site. Photographing with a large-format camera, the artist creates highly detailed images, that both evoke Sommer’s nineteenth century oeuvre, and the transitions that continue to mark the site and landscape in the twenty-first century.

William Wylie
William Wylie is Professor of Art at the University of Virginia where he teaches photography, Director of the Studio Art Department, and coordinator the Studio Art Study Abroad Program in Italy. He received his MFA from The University of Michigan and his BFA from Colorado State University.

Wylie has published four books of his photographs, Riverwalk (University Press of Colorado, 2000), Stillwater (Nazraeli Press, 2002), Carrara (Center for American Places, 2009), and Route 36 (Flood Editions, 2010) and has a forthcoming publication, Prairie (Flood Editions, 2017). His research is primarily concerned with the recognition of how spaces are transformed by a variety of forces, including human impact. His photographs and films have been shown both nationally and internationally.

Wylie received a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography in 2005, a VMFA Professional Fellowship for 2011 and the Doran Artist in Residence in Italy through the Sol LeWitt Foundation and the Yale University Art Museum in 2012 and 2015. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, and Yale University Art Museum, among others. He has been an Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome and the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Utah and has had numerous other university fellowships.

Pompeii Archive is organized by the GREGORY ALLICAR MUSEUM OF ART at Colorado State University.

William Wylie, 18 archival pigment – 2 @ 45” x 56”, 10 @ 37” x 45”, 6 @ 19” x 24”
Giorgio Sommer, 8-10 framed albumen photographs @ 14 x 17

Late spring 2018 through spring 2020

$4,000 plus outgoing shipping for 10-12 week period. Fee includes comprehensive press kit with high-resolution images; registrar’s packet with condition reports, shipping and installation instructions; electronic labels and text panels; insurance. The artist may also be available for programming.

• Approximately 150 running feet
• Secured, environmentally stable gallery and storage.
• Light levels must be controlled to between 5-10 foot-candles. No direct sunlight.
• AAM General Facility Report required.

Dr. Lynn Boland, Director, GREGORY ALLICAR MUSEUM OF ART or 970-491-7634

Pompeii Archive Tour
(as of February 13, 2017)
Gregory Allicar Museum of Art
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
January 16 – April 21, 2018

Summer 2018 – Open

Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
Fall, 2018

The Fralin Museum of Art
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
January 18 – April 21, 2019

Summer 2019 – Open

Fall 2019 – Open

Spring 2020 – Open

Download the original exhibition prospectus and the complete exhibition checklist.


Categories: Traveling Exhibitions