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  • Exhibit

Narratives of the Deluge

See two experimental almanacs designed by Landscape Architecture students from the Weitzman School of Design.

May 29 - August 8, 2024
Fisher Fine Arts Library, first floor
Open to the Public
Artwork depicting a flooded landscape in blues, greens, and browns. People and horses are caught up in the floodwaters and more figures can be seen standing on the banks in the background.

This summer exhibit showcases two experimental almanacs designed by Landscape Architecture students from the Weitzman School of Design. These works are the outcomes of the research seminar “The Hydrologists Almanac”, taught by 2023-24 McHarg Fellow Emma Mendel. As part of the Ian McHarg Fellowship, the seminar invites students to explore folklore as a type of mitigation strategy in the event of a flooding disaster. The class uses Johnstown, Pennsylvania as a case study of extreme flooding events and explores how cultural responses — such as oral stories, folklore, urban legends, and cautionary tales — emerge just as reliably as technical solutions in the aftermath of a disaster. 

These almanacs display images and artifacts related to environmental folklore written by the students. By focusing on folklore and local knowledge, the almanacs engage with indigenous relationships to the landscape and more generally competing narratives about water and engineering.

Plan Your Visit

On view May 29 to August 8, 2024 on the first floor of the Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Please note that access to the College Green and Fisher Fine Arts Library is restricted until further notice. The following groups of people may enter the Fisher Fine Arts Library:

  • Current students, faculty, and staff with a valid PennCard.
  • University of Pennsylvania alumni with an Alumni PennCard.
  • Those with a photo ID from the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), HUP, CHOP, Pennsylvania, or Presbyterian hospitals, or UPHS affiliate.

See our Service Alerts for details.


Image credit: Emma Mendel