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Past Exhibits

September 12 thru November 1, 2009

Opening Saturday September 12 in the Museum Gallery is Out of Africa: Recent photography by Susan Jørgensen. The stunning display of artwork comes from Jørgensen’s recent safaris in Tanzania, Botswana, and Namibia. Included are photographic panoramas and a 16-foot wall filled from floor to ceiling with wildlife studies. Complementing the work are excerpts from the artist’s journals.

A reception for the artist will be held on Sunday, September 13 from 4 to 7 pm. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free. The exhibition continues until November 1.

The title of the exhibit recalls the classic memoir, Out of Africa, by Danish author Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen). Born in 1885, she traveled to Kenya in 1912 with her new husband, Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, to work a coffee plantation given to them as a wedding present.

Another Dane, Jørgen Jørgensen, grandfather of the artist, was born in Denmark in 1878, seven years before Karen Blixen. Like her, Jørgen became an adventurer. In the early 1900s he and his new wife traveled to farm in a new land — only they immigrated to the Dakotas, not Africa.

Susan Jørgensen feels that it was the Dane in her that prompted her early interest in Isak Dinesen’s books. She also knows it was her pioneering grandparents’ stories about bison, wolves, and huge flocks of birds blackening the sky that nurtured her deep desire to be part of wilder places. Both Dinesen’s books and her grandparents’ tales drew her to Africa — to its landscapes and the lives it nurtures.

A working artist in Santa Barbara County, Jørgensen has exhibited extensively. Her photography is known for its sensitivity to nature, ranging from broad sweeps of landscape to intimate studies of natural objects.

Jørgensen will present a gallery talk titled “Camera at My Side” on Sunday October 4 at 2 pm. There is no charge for admission.

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