The Human Epoch: Living in the Anthropocene 

October 28, 2020 to March 13, 2021
Please note that the Museum will be physically closed from November 21 – January 20, 2021.  View the online exhibition (link below) during this time.  

This curricular exhibition and related website support the teaching of a new introductory environmental literacy and science course offered by the Department of Geosciences at the University of Connecticut, GSCI 1000E The Human Epoch: Living in the Anthropocene. The course is intended to help students better comprehend global environmental change and to combat “eco-anxiety” by understanding how the Earth actually works. The exhibition offers a point of entry for the broader campus community, as well as the general public, to a set of key questions addressed in the course such as: How does the Earth work, and is it fragile? How and why have humans changed it? How does climate change fit into the larger story? When and how will our epoch end?

Curated by Robert Thorson, Department Head (Interim) and Professor, Geosciences, with Amanda Douberley, Assistant Curator/Academic Liaison, William Benton Museum of Art.

Click here to enter the online exhibition.

Listen to Robert Thorson’s TEDxUConn talk on The Human Epoch: The Anthropocene Epoch as Earthly Modernity

Exhibition related programs are listed below.

"Landscape" by George Bunker
George Bunker (1923-1991), Landscape, 1973. Lithograph. Gift of The George R. Bunker Living Trust. Benton Museum collection.

"Devil's Punch Bowl #129, by Truman Ward Ingersoll
Truman Ward Ingersoll (1862-1922), Devil’s Punch Bowl #129, 1885-1890. Albumen Print.  Gift of Samuel Charters and Ann Charters. Benton Museum collection.

"Gas Line, from the portfolio of CITY-SCAPES by Ron Kleemann
Ron Kleemann (1937-2014), Gas Line, from the portfolio CITY-SCAPES, 1979. Screenprint. Gift of Eugene I. Schuster. Benton Museum collection.

"Tornado, from the series Accidentally Kansas" by Lori Nix
Lori Nix (b. 1969), Tornado, from the series Accidentally Kansas, 1998. Chromogenic print. Gift of the Artist, Medici Circle. Benton Museum collection.


Conversation with the Curators: Living in the Anthropocene 
Date: Thursday, November 12, 5:30 – 6:30pm

Join Robert Thorson, Department Head and Professor of Geosciences at UConn, and Amanda Douberley, Assistant Curator/Academic Liaison, William Benton Museum of Art, for a discussion of the exhibition, The Human Epoch: Living in the Anthropocene. Offered via Zoom Webinar.

Registration Link: 


Critical Looking: A Virtual Dialogue

Tap your powers of observation and investigate a single work of art through close looking and discussion with Amanda Douberley, Assistant Curator/Academic Liaison. The program will focus on works featured in Living in the Anthropocene during November and December. Visit our calendar to register.

  • November 4, 6:00-6:30pm William Louis Sonntag, Blue Ridge Wilderness, c. 1859
  • November 18, 12:15-12:45pm Truman Ward Ingersoll, Devil’s Punch Bowl #129, 1885-1890
  • December 2, 6:00-6:30pm Joseph Pennell, Coal Mine, Longport, 1909
  • December 16, 12:15-12:45pm Ansel Adams, Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine California, 1944