past exhibitions

Under the Whelming Tide

The 1997 Flood of the Red River of the North
May 14 - August 2, 1998

Under the Whelming Tide, examined our own audience's experience of the flood. Our goal is to place what happened to our community within a global perspective, and to use art to give shape to the meaning of our experience. The photographs are now published in a comprehensive catalog of the same title.


The exhibition tells the story of the Red River of the North as it emerged into an inland sea stretching from the South Dakota border across North Dakota and on to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Composed of 154 photographs by fifty-five American and Canadian photographers, Under the Whelming Tide includes images of giants in the field of photojournalism--like Mary Ellen Mark, a regular contributor to the New York Times magazine, and Jim Richardson, one of the mainstays at National Geographic--as well as seven amateurs who documented the flood from personal memory. The exhibition and accompanying book were curated and edited by Museum Director Laurel Reuter and Grand Forks photojournalist Eric Hylden. The book, which included writings by poet Madelyn Camrud, Minneapolis journalist Chuck Haga, and Reuter, is still available through the North Dakota Museum of Art.








Homes built along the failed dyke in Grand Forks become submerged.








A wall of sandbags keeps the floodwaters at bay.








A blizzard forshadowed the disaster to come.
Ice on the Red River grazes a bridge on DeMers Avenue
between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.








The aftermath: belongings soaked and ruined lay on the curb awaiting retrieval.








The aftermath: belongings soaked and ruined lay on the curb awaiting retrieval.












Onlookers watch the floodwaters rise.