Art, Money, and Celebrity: Portraits as Cultural Currency
Thursday, November 1 6 - 7:30 p.m. Buy Tickets Members: $12 Public: $20
Join Beauty’s Legacy Curator, Barbara Gallati, for her illuminating talk, which highlights a series of important portrait exhibitions that took place in New York in the 1890s, sparking a trend taken up in other American cities, including Chicago and Boston. Organized by members of the social elite for charitable purposes, the exhibitions featured hundreds of society portraits the cumulative impact of which created a platform not only for the spectacular display of personal grandeur, but also (because the exhibitions benefitted charities) functioned as a defensive ploy on the part of the wealthy whose opulent lifestyles were harshly criticized in a time of economic and social strife. Perhaps most important was that the selection of paintings revealed an inherent belief in personal and cultural legacy by depicting members of successive generations of families who figured in the development of the United States as a commercial and cultural power.
She has recently contributed essays to catalogues for Une Brève Histoire de L’Avenir (Louvre, Paris, 2015), Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends (National Portrait Gallery, London, 2015), and Venedig: Stadt der Künstler (Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, 2016). Among her forthcoming publications are essays about American Pre-Raphaelite iconography and the development of nineteenth-century American genre painting. She and her husband live in Bristol, England, where she is currently engaged in researching the life and art of the Anglo-American painter Charles Robert Leslie.
Image: Albert Abendschein (American, 1859–1914?), Mrs. Grenville Kane, ca. 1900. Watercolor on ivory. New-York Historical Society, Gift of the Estate of Peter Marié, 1905.124
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