Look Close, Think Far: Art at the Ackland, Edited by Peter Nisbet


A selection of nearly three hundred outstanding works from the Ackland Art Museum’s collection, with accompanying commentaries.

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This richly illustrated volume introduces one of the most distinguished public university art museums in the United States: Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Founded in 1958, it now houses over twenty thousand works of art, covering some five thousand years of culture from around the globe.

“Look Close, Think Far” is the tagline of the Ackland, informing everything from its dynamic and varied exhibitions program to its ambitious interpretation, education, and outreach activities. It applies especially strongly to the museum’s extensive permanent collection. This publication showcases a cross-section of the diverse collection, with 283 works that reflect the museum’s character, breadth, and quality. Instead of separating works along the lines of curatorial departments, editor Peter Nisbet’s arrangement emphasizes the unity of the collection by merging works from different cultures. These are presented in a largely chronological sequence, starting with the present and extending back in time. Within this order, works of art are deliberately paired across individual page openings to stimulate visual attention, reflective thinking, and sometimes just a smile.

Look Close, Think Far: Art at the Ackland, Edited by Peter Nisbet