Parrish Art Museum Opens American Portraits. Treasures from the Collection

The Parrish Art Museum presents American Portraits: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum a new exhibition open October 16–November 27, 2011.

The fourth in a series of special exhibitions drawn exclusively from the Parrish’s collection, American Portraits will showcase some of the truly exceptional works of art that illustrate the many and varied ways in which artists approach portraiture. William Sidney Mount’s Portrait of Mrs. Manice (1833) is the earliest painting in the collection and a prime example of the importance of portrait painting in the early years of the nation, bringing both status and prominence to the sitter. While William Merritt Chase made his reputation in the late nineteenth century in portrait painting and became the most highly regarded painter of his time, it is the intimate portraits of his family that are his finest achievements. Fairfield Porter’s mid-twentieth century depictions of his wife and children in domestic settings often impart a psychological portrait of the family as well. Dawoud Bey’s four-part 20 x 24 inch Polaroid portrait, Anthony (1999), brings multiple facets of the sitter, a teenage boy, into focus. Elizabeth Peyton’s colored-pencil sketch on hotel stationery of Ben Drawing (2001) deftly captures her friend the artist Ben Brunnemer. American Portraits: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum, will explore the tradition of portrait painting ranging from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century.

American Portraits: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum is organized by Alicia G. Longwell, Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Art and Education, and will bring together some 45 works from the museum’s collection, including works by Mary Abbott, Richard Avedon, Peggy Bacon, Tina Barney, Adam Bartos, Reynolds Beal, David Burliuk, Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Frederick Kiesler, William King, Robert De Niro, Lydia Field Emmet, Marisol, Mary Ellen Mark, Elie Nadelman, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, Eugene Speicher, and James McNeill Whistler.

Image: Elizabeth Peyton (American, born 1965)
Nick in Orient (Nick Mauss), 2004

Oil on board
12 x 9 ¼ inches
Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

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