We may hardly notice them, but fences are dominant features in our lives and in our history. There are thousands of types, millions of miles, and countless rivals have seized post, rail, panel, and wire to stake their claims. In 1871, the Department of Agriculture estimated the total value of fences in the United States at 1.7 billion, a sum almost equal to the national debt. Our past is defined by the cutting point of barbed steel and the rhythm of a white picket.
Built of hedge, concrete, wood and metal, the fence skirts our properties and is central to the American landscape. Between Fences will enlighten audiences who live surrounded by these familiar objects whose history and meaning they hardly suspect. They will discover how tightly the fence is entwined with politics, industry, and daily life. The ability to expose the unexpected within the familiar – while revealing to visitors something about themselves – will be the exhibition’s great strength.
—Visitor from Cincinnati, Ohio