At the AAR Gallery, Meteor Stream: Recital in Four Dominions, by Terry Adkins After John Brown

Terry Adkins, Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, is the current Jesse Howard, Jr./Jacob H. Lazarus-Metropolitan Museum of Art Rome Prize Fellow in Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome. On Friday 16 October 2009 his show Meteor Stream: Recital in Four Dominions opened in the Gallery of the American Academy, to a large and responsive audience from the AAR and the Roman public. Read a synopsis and interview with Adkins (in Italian, by Giovanna Sarno) here.

Meteor Stream is the latest incarnation of Terry Adkins’ ongoing cycle of site-inspired recitals on the abolitionist John Brown that began in 1999 at the John Brown House and sheep farm in Akron, Ohio. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of his Harper’s Ferry, Virginia campaign, the opening of Meteor Stream coincided with the inception of Brown’s 16 October 1859 raid on a U.S. armory to his execution by hanging on that December 2nd at Charles Town (West Virginia).

Adkins5Terry Adkins at the 16 October opening of Meteor Stream

In Meteor Stream Adkins dutifully explores biblical aspects of John Brown as a shepherd, soldier, martyr, and prophet through a muscular communion of sound, text, video, sculpture, drawing, and ritual actions. He has also responded to new research for Meteor Stream that reveals incredibly far-reaching ties, binding the legend of this enigmatic American figure to parallel histories of Rome, the Janiculum Hill and the American Academy in Rome. The 16 October opening featured performances on reed instruments by Adkins, sometimes accompanying readings from various Brown-related texts by current AAR Fellow and poet Peter Campion. Chief coordinator of the show is Lexi Eberspacher of the AAR Programs Department.

Adkins4Peter Campion and Terry Adkins


Terry Adkins is an artist, musician, and activist who upholds the legacies of transformative figures from the past by reinserting them to their rightful place in the contemporary landscape of world history. His recitals are multimedia events that rely on the collision of imaginative intuition with the potential disclosure of unfolding biography and reclaimed materials.





Adkins has exhibited and performed widely since 1982, and his work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, among others.



The AAR Gallery will be open to view Meteor Stream from 17 October to 2 December 2009 by appointment. Please call 06/5846459. The Gallery may see further performances by Terry Adkins and Peter Campion before the 2 December closing. Please note that all visitors to the American Academy in Rome are required to show a form of ID at the entrance.


Adkins6James S. Ackerman FAAR’52, RAAR’65,’70,’75,’80, and Jill Slosburg-Ackerman

Adkins2AAR Arts Intern Giovanna Sarno and AAR Director Carmela Vircillo Franklin FAAR’85, RAAR’02


2 Responses to “At the AAR Gallery, Meteor Stream: Recital in Four Dominions, by Terry Adkins After John Brown”

  1. Some websites « AMCV1550, Methods in Public Humanities Says:

    […]… And Adkins worked on an installation on John Brown for the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia: […]


    […] “Meteor Stream: Recital in Four Dominions,” for instance, was one of a cycle of works in which Mr. Adkins honored Brown. In that piece, performed in 2009 at the American Academy in Rome, he explored Brown’s storied past through an amalgam of music, sculpture, video, drawing and readings from Brown’s own writings. […]

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