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Pearl in the Night Sky: Reflections on the Moon in Art and Poetry

“Pearl in the Night Sky: Reflections on the Moon in Art and Poetry” presents a selection of the Albuquerque Museum’s works on paper that address our collective fascination with the moon, and with bodies more distant still.

On view October 14, 2023 - May 19, 2024


Storm Clouds With Moon, New Mexico

Eliot Porter, Storm Clouds With Moon, New Mexico, 1977. Dye-transfer print, overall: 9 7/8 x 11 in. (25.1 x 27.9 cm).

Albuquerque Museum, Museum Purchase, 1987 General Obligation Bonds. PC1988.35.23


Alongside these inspired works, you will encounter the words of writers both living and long-since passed whose meditations on the same subject have provided similar nourishment and catharsis over the years. A continuous, all-too-human reflection on what it means to be in the world, of this world, and to imagine worlds beyond this one.

For millennia, the moon has been a muse, mirror, and metaphor for humankind’s enduring exploration of our place in the world and the cosmos around us. Just as the moon reflects the light of our star, poets and artists reflect our most abiding ideals as a people. Artists like Eliot Porter depict earth’s satellite as a singular celestial body, while others like Anne Cooper and Frederico Vigil explore movement and the phases of the moon. Still others, like Patrick Nagatani, raise questions about our relationship with the land and nature, and among one another. As Carl Sagan said, “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”