Exhibitions

Calm. Smoke rises vertically.

Exhibition by Wendy Jacob RI ‘05
Image source: Models for the BlindImage source: Models for the Blind

This exhibition opens on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, and runs through Saturday, January 14, 2017.

It will be on view in the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery of Byerly Hall at 8 Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard, Monday through Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m.

Exhibition opening talk took place on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at 5 p.m. in the Sheerr Room, Fay House.

Free and open to the public.


Working with vibrating walls, a live-streaming weather report, and architectural models from schools for the blind, this exhibition explores sensory experience through different modes of perception. The artist Wendy Jacob challenges the viewer to place touch on an equal footing with sight. The title comes from the Beaufort Wind Scale, which relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land.

The exhibition includes scale models of the Parthenon, the Tower of Babel, and a Cape Cod house. The models, built between 1935 and 1938 as part of a Works Progress Administration project to create "clear and accurate conceptions of many objects," originally provided blind students with tactile tools for learning. The walls of the gallery itself vibrate with meteorological information that visitors can hear by pressing their ears to the wall.

By transposing disparate scales of sensory experiences intended for radically different audiences and sites—the school for the blind, the high seas—to the space of the gallery, Jacob's work alerts visitors to simultaneous worlds of perception.

This exhibition was created in collaboration with the:

Ohio State School for the Blind
Perkins School for the Blind

About the Artist

Wendy Jacob is an artist whose work includes sculpture, installation and design, and explores relationships between the physical world and perceptual experience.

Jacob has exhibited internationally at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Whitney Biennial, Galerie Emmanuel Perotin (Paris), MIT List Visual Arts Center, Chicago Project Room, Kunsthaus Graz, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Maud Morgan Prize from Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; a Fulbright Fellowship at the Glasgow School of Art; and she was the Mary I. Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute in 2004–2005.