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Hofstra University Museum
  • Converging Voices: Gender and Identity
  • Andy Warhol

A Celebration of Darwin’s Legacy

February 20-May 22, 2009
Rochelle and Irwin A. Lowenfeld Conference and Exhibition Hall
Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, 10th Floor, South Campus

Presented in conjunction with the Darwin's Reach: A Celebration of Darwin's Legacy Across Academic Disciplines conference sponsored by the Hofstra University Library, Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Hofstra Cultural Center on March 12, 13 and 14, 2009.

Charles Darwin believed that the evolution of life on Earth was expressible as a metaphor he called the Tree of Life.  The focus of this exhibition is the original Tree of Life sketch that Charles Darwin included in his 1859 publication.  Artists since Darwin, inspired by this image, have created their own versions using various artistic techniques.  This exhibition features reproductions by nationally and internationally known artists who have visually interpreted the Tree of Life theme.

The original Darwin sketch, when viewed as an artistic work, is simplistic and childlike.  Many of the artist compositions based on the original are also uncomplicated, both in shape as well as color; others are much more complex.  Whether in oil or acrylic, mixed media or stained glass, Darwin’s symbolic use of a “tree” often depicts all that is natural or found in a natural world. Although the artists in this exhibition do not always portray this tree in a realistic way, the tree is still the most recognizable form.  Using leaves or branches or earthly colors, the symbol of a tree grounds each of the artworks.  The legacy of Darwin, may be interpreted by scholars or debated by the clergy, however, these artists have embraced the depiction of the natural world as he defined it.

Curated by
Geri E. Solomon
Assistant Dean and University Archivist
Hofstra University

Jovi Schnell Tree of Life, 2005
Jovi Schnell, Tree of Life, 2005

  • Converging Voices: Gender and Identity
  • Andy Warhol