Thursday, March 14, 2024
Explore the legacy of Thoreau and his iconic cabin with Jeffrey Cramer, Curator of Collections at the Walden Woods Project, and Sarah Montross, deCordova’s Chief Curator. They will discuss the new installation at deCordova, “Huff and a Puff” by Hugh Hayden.
Texas-born and New York-based artist Hugh Hayden’s practice considers the anthropomorphization of the natural world as a visceral lens for exploring the human condition. At deCordova, his original outdoor commission titled Huff and a Puff will be a slanted replica of the one-room home where Henry David Thoreau lived in relative isolation and wrote Walden-Or A Life in the Woods in 1845. Thoreau’s wood and brick cabin is a modern-day pilgrimage site: a symbol of American self-reliance, spirituality, political activism, and ecological consciousness. Hayden plans for the entire cabin—every shingle, windowpane, and brick—to dramatically slant toward the viewer, conveying a surreal, tensioned force upon this iconic home. The commission advances Hayden’s innovations as a sculptor who forges conversations around the myths and markers of American identity.
About Jeffrey S. Cramer:
Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections at the Walden Woods Project, is an independent scholar whose works include Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition (Yale University Press),The Portable Thoreau (Penguin), and most recently, Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson (Counterpoint Press).
Purchase Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition at deCordova Store
About Sarah Montross:
Sarah Montross is Chief Curator at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. She has organized numerous exhibitions including Jeffrey Gibson: INFINITE INDIGENOUS QUEERLOVE (2021), Visionary New England (MIT Press, 2020), and New Formations (2022).
About The Walden Woods Project:
The Walden Woods Project, a nonprofit located in Lincoln, MA, was founded in 1990 by recording artist Don Henley. The WWP preserves the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility through the integration of conservation, education, research and advocacy.
Image: Hugh Hayden, sketch for Hugh and a Puff, 2022 © Hugh HaydenRegister