Art and Geology of Old Volcanic Massifs in Connecticut

A northerly trending ridge of volcanic rocks forms the backbone of Connecticut’s Central Valley. They were emplaced 201 million years ago during an early stage in the separation of North America and Africa. Yale’s eminent geologist Benjamin Silliman described the hills as “composed of precipitous cliffs of naked frowning rock, hoary with time…an immense work of art.” In the 19th century, a group of artists who specialized in the back-to-nature movement emphasized their beauty in many of their paintings. Best known among them were Frederick Edwin Church and George Henry Durrie—the latter, especially for his farm and winter scenes around New Haven, reproduced as lithographs by Currier and Ives. The course will include discussions of the geologic setting of the rocks and paintings by those artists who celebrated their nature.  The course will consist of an evening lecture and an afternoon field trip to the Hanging Hills of Meriden and New Haven's West Rock.

Instructor: JELLE DE BOER

Wednesday, October 12,  7:00–8:30 p.m., Butterfield Room, Wasch Center

Wednesday, October 19,  11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (double session), field trip; meet at the Wasch Center

Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, emeritus Professor of Earth Science at Wesleyan