Always available to themselves as models, artists have long produced their own likenesses—as technical exercises, markers of age, expressions of emotion, manifestos of aesthetic principle and innovation, boasts of success, and demonstrations of genius. Whether wry, playful, reflective, melancholy, knowing, arrogant, self-mocking, vain—the list of modifiers is endless—self-portraits show their subjects as they wish to be seen. Similarly, artists have also turned their eyes and materials to creating images of their peers—at times focusing on distinguishing characteristics of their styles or processes or personalities. In more conceptual approaches to portraiture, sitters’ spaces, their words, and their works and possessions may be presented as the most revelatory aspects of identity.
This exhibition is presented in the Museum Learning Center.