Contsted Space [in red and blue letters].

Every four years since we opened, the American University Museum presents exhibitions during the run-up to presidential elections addressing the most heavily contested issues. Our intention is to educate and encourage dialogue.

This year, necessitated by the ongoing pandemic, we will provide virtual space for these exhibitions and discussions. Art on view this fall explores themes around the global climate crisis, particularly water as a declining resource, immigration policies, and truth and illusion in public discourse.   


Edward Burtynsky, Step-well #2, Panna Meena, Amber, Rajasthan, India, 2010

Edward Burtynsky: Water features Edward Burtynsky’s critically acclaimed large-scale photographs, often taken from a bird’s-eye perspective, that tell the timely story of where water comes from, how we use, distribute, and waste it.
Edward Burtynsky


Two online exhibitions address issues surrounding immigration and identity from very different perspectives.

Allan Gerson, Border wall number 8, 2019

Border Wall | Allan Gerson presents powerful and poignant outsized photographs taken of the Mexican side of the border wall.
Border Wall

Mikray Pida, My Space

Mikray Pida reflects on the environmental and human impact of immigration to the Uighur territory. Drawing upon her ancestry to contemplate the loss of Uighur cultural identity, Pida’s large-scale paintings comment on climate change, overpopulation, and refugee crises that threaten human existence worldwide.
Mikray Pida


Abstract of people standing outside

Art and Authenticity in the Age of Fake News was curated by AU Art Historian Nika Elder and executed by her students. This online exhibition presents works from the museum’s permanent collection to examine the illusion of truth evident throughout art history, drawing connections to present claims of “fake news.”
Art & Authenticity

Special feature

Beverly Ryan, Drone Silhouette 2

Learn more about Beverly Ryan's installation Weaponized Surveillence, which explores the role of drone technology in modern warfare. 
Weaponized Surveillance


From top to bottom:

Edward Burtynsky, Step-well #2, Panna Meena, Amber, Rajasthan, India, 2010. Digital chromogenic colour print on Kodak Endura Premier paper, 48 x 64 in; framed: 52 3/8 x 68 3/8 in. © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto / Howard Greenberg & Bryce Wolkowitz, New York.

Allan Gerson, Border Wall, No.8, 3.19. The Estate of Allan Gerson.

Mikray Pida, My Space, 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 27 x 34.5 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Eglon Daley, Chinese New Year, Chinatown, 1993. Acrylic on board, 29 5/8 × 45 3/8 in. American University Museum, Gift of Nelson and Susanne Joyner, 2019.4.1.

Beverly Ryan, Weaponized Surveillance installation, 2016-2020. Mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.  

Queer Threads Expanded View Artist Talks

White, brown, and black fiber in the shape of a rainbow

Sheila Pepe
Thursday, October 29, 6PM ET

Angela Hennessy
Thursday, November 12, 6PM ET

Queer Threads is an evolving curatorial project organized by John Chaich that spotlights contemporary LGBTQ artists who are remixing fiber and textile traditions. This lecture series, "Expanded View" will provide a glimpse into studio practices that defy formal expectations and question the function of identity in the making and circulating of artworks. The American University Fine Art Department, co-hosted by the AU Museum, presents this series of lectures by past, present, proto, and future Queer Threads artists.

Image: Angela Hennessy, Black Rainbow, 2017. Crocheted synthetic and human hair, artist’s hair, LED light strip, frame 10 x 15 x 5 ft.