Front and Center: Portraits from the Collection of the Boston Athenaeum
April 21, 2009
David B. Dearinger - Susan Morse Hilles Curator of Paintings and Sculpture
This illustrated lecture will focus on a small group of painted and sculpted portraits from the Athenaeum's collection, including Washington Allston's (1814) and Charles Robert Leslie's (1818) copies of Thomas Lawrence's portrait of the great history painter Benjamin West, Chester Harding's portrait of politician and patriot Daniel Webster (ca. 1828 and 1849-51), Horatio Greenough's bust of legendary Boston beauty Emily Marshall Otis (1837-43), and Augustus Saint-Gaudens's marble relief of Massachusetts governor Roger Wolcott (1901-03). This lecture will reveal that, besides being artistic masterworks, each of these images has a fascinating back story related to its subject, creator, or provenance.
DAVID B. DEARINGER, Susan Morse Hilles Curator of Paintings and Sculpture and Head of the Art Department at the Boston Athenaeum, holds a Ph.D. in Art History and is a specialist in nineteenth-century American painting and sculpture. He has published and lectured widely in the field and has curated many exhibitions in New York, Boston, and elsewhere. Among these have been exhibitions at the Athenaeum, including Seen But not Heard: Images of Children from the Collection of the Boston Athenaeum (2004), Power Line: The Art of Leo Dee (2005), George and Martha Washington: Gilbert Stuart's Athenaeum Portraits (2006), Acquired Tastes: Two Hundred Years of Collecting for the Boston Athenaeum (2007, with Stanley Ellis Cushing), and Albert Wein, American Modernist (2008). He has received fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation, the City University of New York (where he was a University Fellow), and the Lucelia Foundation. In 2002, he was the Thomas P. Johnson Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.
No fee. Open to the public by advance reservation. Reservations will be accepted starting March 18.
Chester Harding (1792-1886)
Daniel Webster, ca. 1828-30; 1849-51
Collection of the Boston Athenaeum.
Gift of several subscribers, 1832