Art to Zoo: Exploring Animal Natures

This exhibition of photographs, drawn from the permanent collection, looks beyond the immediate allure of adorable animals, to explore the dimensions of animal characteristics and knowledge. The human species has long held itself as the highest animal form, while often overlooking or being unaware of the many traits that other species exhibit. These photographic masterworks also offer the opportunity to explore scientific discoveries on a variety of species.

The essence, movement, and posture of our fellow creatures are captured in an impressive range of photographic processes.  The museum’s permanent collection now becomes a tool to educate viewers about animal knowledge and perception, for creatures are sentient beings who possess a remarkable range of skills and senses, capacities that are beginning to be studied and understood in depth. Just as animal portraiture reveals personalities and presence, Art to Zoo: Exploring Animal Natures seeks to reveal larger scientific truths.

This exhibition is organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and shared with the College of Creative Studies Gallery at the University of California Santa Barbara. These installations bring zoology into the gallery.


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