Huff and a Puff: Thoreau’s Legacy with Jeffrey S. Cramer and Sarah Montross


Thursday, March 14, 2024    
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Hugh Hayden, sketch for Hugh and a Puff, 2022 © Hugh Hayden

About the event: Explore the legacy of Thoreau and his iconic cabin with Jeffrey Cramer, Curator of Collections at The Walden Woods Project, and Sarah Montross, deCordova’s Chief Curator. They will discuss the new installation at deCordova, Huff and a Puff by Hugh Hayden.

Texas-born and New York-based artist Hugh Hayden’s practice considers the anthropomorphization of the natural world as a visceral lens for exploring the human condition. At deCordova, his original outdoor commission titled Huff and a Puff is a slanted replica of the one-room home where Henry David Thoreau lived in relative isolation and wrote Walden-Or A Life in the Woods in 1845. Thoreau’s wood and brick cabin is a modern-day pilgrimage site: a symbol of American self-reliance, spirituality, political activism, and ecological consciousness. Hayden planned for the entire cabin—every shingle, windowpane, and brick—to dramatically slant toward the viewer, conveying a surreal, tensioned force upon this iconic home. The commission advances Hayden’s innovations as a sculptor who forges conversations around the myths and markers of American identity.

About Jeffrey S. Cramer: Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections at The Walden Woods Project, is an independent scholar whose works include Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition (Yale University Press),The Portable Thoreau (Penguin), and most recently, Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson ​(Counterpoint Press).

About Sarah Montross: Sarah Montross is Chief Curator at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. She has organized numerous exhibitions including Jeffrey Gibson: INFINITE INDIGENOUS QUEERLOVE (2021), Visionary New England (MIT Press, 2020), and New Formations (2022).

When: Thursday, March 14, 2024 6:00-7:30PM EST.

Where: deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum

This is a partnership event with The WWP & deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.