May 25–December 1, 2024

Barbara Bosworth: The Meadow

In 1996 artist Barbara Bosworth (b. 1953) began photographing a meadow in Carlisle, Massachusetts, just northwest of Boston. Returning regularly over the next 15 years, she used a large-format camera to capture images of the land at different times of day and in all seasons. Through the resulting series of photos, called The Meadow, Bosworth carries on a long-standing tradition of New England artists, poets, and naturalists who have chronicled the passage of time and traces of human presence in beautiful yet quietly unspectacular landscapes like this one.

Featuring a dozen large-format color photographs as well as several small contact prints, this exhibition gives visitors a glimpse into Bosworth’s unique and evolving vision of the meadow. Although seemingly humble and unassuming, the area, as rendered patiently through Bosworth’s lens, reveals a rich diversity of life—from an ever-changing expanse of sky above to a profusion of native ferns, flowers, fireflies, lichen, mushrooms, caterpillars, apple trees, and even ants below.

Together with her friend, writer Margot Anne Kelley, Bosworth invited scientists, urban foragers, archeologists, and local historians on walks through the meadow. With the help of their expertise she came to better understand the land that provided her subject matter. The meadow is located in a part of Carlisle that once was Concord (founded in 1635), and stands not far from the Concord River. Originally called Musketaquid—meaning “marsh grass river” in the Algonquian language—the area was hunted, fished, and cultivated by Native peoples for thousands of years. European settlers gradually transformed the landscape into farming fields and pastures but, more recently, some of it, including the meadow, has been set aside as conservation land protected from development.

  • Herb Ritts Gallery (Gallery 169)