Brandon Beckstrom, American b. 1979, The Brazilian Guitar Player, 2011, oil on canvas. Purchase with funds provided by Fill The Frame, 2013.03.

Beyond Face-Value: Portraits from the Permanent Collection

November 18, 2023 - January 28, 2024

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Portraits can reveal and hide many things. They tell us who the sitter is, what they value, and how they want to be remembered. From the court portraits of old to today’s culture of social media and celebrity, power, beauty, identity, and individuality have always been championed in art and society. This exhibition of portraits from the museum’s permanent collection puts works spanning over 500 years in conversation to examine how (or if) representations of identity have evolved over time.

Portraits are also diverse in their makeup. A snapshot of a room or one’s favorite food can offer a different view of someone than simply their face. By showcasing a wide array of arts across mediums and subjects, this exhibition asks viewers to look beyond the presented subject to a deeper level, exploring how portraits can convey both collective implications of social identity, as well as the unique traits of an individual.

This exhibition has been curated by Jenna Gilley, Associate Curator of Exhibitions, and is supported by the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation.