Beauty's Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America

8 September 2018–6 January 2019

Exhibition Overview


George Peter Alexander Healy, Jeannette Ovington (1863-1926), 1887, Oil on canvas, 20 3/8 × 26 3/4 in.

Beauty’s Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America looks at the popular revival of formal portraiture in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time the established elite and the newly wealthy of the Gilded Age sought to commemorate their social status and personal affluence by commissioning the most sought-after and well-known artists of their time to paint elaborate portraits of themselves and their families. The exhibition features nearly sixty artworks, including oil paintings, miniatures, and bronzes with works by artists such as Gilbert Stuart, Rembrandt Peale, John Singer Sargent, Eastman Johnson, and William Adolphe Bouguereau. Beauty’s Legacy features portraits of members of socially prominent families such as Washington, Bonaparte, Livingston, Vanderbilt, and Astor, names that left a lasting impression on the cultural and financial legacies of our nation.

(Photo courtesy of Richard H. Driehaus Museum.)

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