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Here be Dragons: Mapping the Real and Imagined

Jan 17, 2024 - Dec 29, 2024

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville in Moby Dick (1851)

Here be Dragons: Mapping the Real and Imagined presents artworks from the Philbrook collection that span over three hundred years of history, and that build a sense of place, whether real or imagined. The exhibition, which features a range of interpretations of locations, moments, or even experiences, includes elaborate topographic views of seventeenth-century Europe alongside contemporary prints that explore abstract conceptions of land, including representations of memory and the contested nature of property and ownership.

Whether depicting a bird’s-eye view of a landscape, the iconic architecture of a city, or the idea of place, the artworks in Here be Dragons provides a chance for visitors to step into landscapes and to consider not only the perspectives of the artists, but also perhaps their own relationship to the places they experience every day.

Image: Matthäus Merian (Swiss, 1593–1650). Vienna, from Topographia Germania: Topographia Provinciarum Austriacarum, 1649. Engraving, 9×131/2″. Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bequest of Kathryn Burke, 2020.6.7.