Instructor: Bob Potter
Classes: Thursday’s 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Dates: March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30
Fee: $125 members • $150 non-members
From Thomas Gainsborough to Andy Warhol, the portrait has remained one of the most compelling and revealing of artistic expressions. For centuries, artists have painted leading figures of their times from royalty and high society, to subjects in the arts, politics and everyday life. Through the art of the portrait, artists have given the viewer a unique expression of and visual insight into not only the personalities of their subjects, but also the worlds in which both the artist and their subjects live.
This lecture series will begin with a study of Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other leading artists who would dominate and transform 18th century British portraiture influencing portrait and figurative artists for generations to come. French Impressionism and the post-Impressionist art movements of the 19th century, from Manet to Van Gogh, will explore radical new ways of seeing and painting subjects of their era. Spanning the late 19th and early 20th century, John Singer Sargent would dominate society portrait painting, imbuing his paintings with a lush sensitivity. Photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Man Ray would challenge and expand our traditional concepts of what is art. And Pablo Picasso would radically change forever how artists interpret the human face and form.
After World War II, New York city became the new international center for modern art, and the portrait would again be a dominate inspiration for artists like Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Cindy Sherman, and Alice Neel. The Black experience in America will be documented and re-interpreted in portraits and figurative studies by African American painters Romare Bearden and Kerry James Marshall along with photographer and film maker Gordon Parks.
Through a wide range of visual images, profiles of the artists, and historical context, this course will explore the artists, the people they painted and photographed, and the changing historical events and artistic movements that influenced society and the art of portraiture over the past 300 years. The program will also include recommended reading lists, relevant films, online sources of information, and handouts for class discussion covering the artists from each period being discussed.
If you would like to learn more about the class descriptions, please click the link.
Advanced reservations are required for the series. Please contact the Education Department at 860.443.2545 x110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Potter is a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. He spent his early career as an art director and creative director for leading media companies including Scholastic Magazines, Time Warner, and National Geographic. Over the past decade, he helped create an innovative art therapy program for Save The Children, was a corporate development officer for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and headed all marketing and communications for the Mystic Seaport Museum. Most recently, he launched a professional development program for art students at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and is a docent at the Yale Center For British Art.