Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Art History and Visual Culture



First Advisor

Stefanie Snider

Second Advisor

Trenton Olsen

Third Advisor

Kelly Scheffer


This thesis highlights the need for a new way to analyze environmental art. In the past, environmental artwork has been discussed in terms of the abstract concepts that drove their creation and the role they played in moving artists outside of the gallery space in the1960s and 70s. However, in recent years environmental artists are increasingly driven by themes of environmental conservation and preservation, using scientific research as the basis of their designs. Because of the shift in focus, developing a new way to discuss environmental art that takes into consideration the influence scientific research has on art production and public reception, in addition to looking at formalist aspects and historical contexts of the artwork, is more important than ever. By using Jason deCaires Taylor’s exhibition Coral Greenhouse (2019) as a case study, this thesis aims to demonstrate the multiple ways coral conservation research altered the physical appearance of the art works as well as the critical responses from both art and scientific communities, thus proving the need for a more comprehensive way to analyze this type of environmental art in the future.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License