“There is no wealth but life,” wrote John Ruskin in 1860. The British critic, artist, economic theorist, and ecologist provoked ire among the elite—“That country is richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings”—but he is now considered a visionary. Ruskin writ large is celebrated in this exhibition, which features his drawings, paintings, manuscripts, mineral samples, and more. The U.S. may seem an unlikely home for a Ruskin retrospective—he once called the country’s ugliness “unfathomable”—but several American towns are named Ruskin, and in those towns early socialists developed “cooperative villages” based on his radical teachings. —C.J.F.
Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510 Get Directions »