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Panel Discussion: Devour the Land

Color landscape photograph with water, trees, and trash.
Alex Webb, American, Mine shaft on northside of Treece (Kansas) filled with water and garbage, 2012. Archival chromogenic print. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Fund for the Acquisition of Photographs, 2020.165. © Alex Webb. Photo: Courtesy Robert Klein Gallery.

Special Event

In this virtual panel discussion, curator Makeda Best will be in conversation with scholars to dissect the wider impacts of military activity on the American landscape. Their discussion is inspired by our latest special exhibition, Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography since 1970, on view at the Harvard Art Museums through January 16, 2022.

Devour the Land explores the unknown and often hidden consequences of militarism on habitats and well-being in the United States. Featuring approximately 160 photographs across 6 thematic groupings, the exhibition reveals the nationwide footprint of the U.S. military, the wide network of industries that support and supply its work, and the impacts of—and responses to—this activity.

Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums
Neta C. Crawford, Professor and Chair of Political Science, Boston University; Co-Director, Costs of War
Abrahm Lustgarten, Reporter, ProPublica
Catherine Lutz, Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor Emerita of Anthropology and International Studies, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University; Co-Director, Costs of War

This panel discussion will take place online via Zoom. The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.

Please read these instructions on how to join a meeting on Zoom. For general questions, email

This exhibition is made possible in part by the generosity of the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Publication Fund and the Rosenblatt Fund for Postwar American Art. Related programming is supported by the M. Victor Leventritt Lecture Series Endowment Fund. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.

The Harvard Art Museums have reopened to the public. Reservations are required for visitors and can be made up to three weeks in advance. Please visit the museum website for more information.