The Newark Museum

Newark, NJ





Photography, natural history and the environment are linked together in a new exhibition at The Newark Museum. Wetlands, on view July 19 through September 17, 2000, explores the beauty, diversity and ecological importance of wetland ecosystems through the pictorial works of artist-photographer Anne Heimann.

The show features 26 color images that create a visual essay of an environment as well as its plant and animal inhabitants. Wetlands is a comprehensive exhibition that not only includes Heimann's scenic and close-up studies and informational text, but also related specimens from The Newark Museum's 70,000-object Natural Science Collection. These various elements simultaneously create a fascinating combination of art and science.(left: Sunset, Merritt Island Lagoon, FL; right: Beaver)

The aesthetic photographs focus on areas where water is dominant in affecting the complex interrelationships of the plants and animals that live there. Freshwater marshes, swamps and bogs not only provide habitats for a great variety of living things, but also serve to absorb and retain water during heavy rains, acting as both flood controls and storage areas. Their unique soils, bacteria and plants further help man by purifying underground water supplies and filtering out pollutants.

As captured and revealed by Heimann's photographs, each of these wetlands systems has distinctly different characteristics. "I have tried to select photographs that emphasize the diversity of these ecosystems and, as much as possible, the essence of individual habitants," says Heimann.

Reviewed by the Institute of Ecology at the University of Georgia, the accompanying illustrated text panels include information on numerous wetlands ecosystems, their vital ecological importance and the threats that face them. (left: Barred Owl in Swamp)

Heimann's objective is not simply to depict, but to preserve. "Wetlands are too often perceived as disposable wastelands: almost half of the wetlands in the U.S. have been lost since the early 1600s; 300,000 acres still disappear annually. It is my hope that this show will increase awareness of the beauty and tranquility of wetlands and an understanding of the vital importance of these natural resources."

Natural science objects displayed encompass both the familiar and lesser known animals. Some examples visitors may recognize include the Northern Green Heron (Butorides striatus vivescens), whose favorite habitats are lakes, ponds, swamps, marshes and streams; the Bold eagle (Haliaeetus Leucocephalus), found primarily near seacoasts, rivers and large lakes; and the Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), dwelling in mud flats, lagoons and lakes. (left: American Alligator in Duckwood)

Heimann, currently a resident of Manhattan, was born in Shanghai, China. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of Fine Arts, Syracuse University. Her work has been exhibited in and is included in the collections of numerous art and natural history museums, galleries, science centers and aquariums both nationally and abroad. Heimann's photographs also have been published in museum and aquarium publications, natural history books, nature magazines, National Parks publications and calendars.

Read more about the Newark Museum in Resource Library Magazine

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/18/11

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2011 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.