September 22, 2020
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Rebecca Dawson, Director of Communications
860.443.2545 x2112 / [email protected]


New London – To honor and commemorate the life and accomplishments of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (19332020), the Lyman Allyn Art Museum has just installed a large-scale portrait of Ginsburg by artist Jac Lahav, which will be on view through October 18, 2020. Admission to the museum is free to all through the end of September.

Justice Ginsburg served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1993 until her recent death on September 18, 2020 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. The second woman justice on the Supreme Court after Sandra Day O’Connor, Ginsburg worked as an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights over the course of her long and remarkable career. She struggled against gender and religious discrimination, excelling as a law student and then as a professor, teaching law at Rutgers and Columbia before being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980. From there she was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993, where she served with distinction for 27 years.

Artist Jac Lahav, who currently lives in Lyme, Connecticut, first painted Ruth Bader Ginsburg as part of his series 48 Jews, which was exhibited at the Jewish Museum in 2008. The portrait of Ginsburg currently on view at the Lyman Allyn is part of Lahav’s series The Great Americans (2010–Present), which includes over 32 life-sized portraits (80” x 32” each). The series weaves a story about the history of portrait painting in the age of the internet, exploring questions of image, representation, celebrity, and achievement.

In this portrait, Lahav painted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from a widely known photograph, rendering her familiar face and gaze with precision. She wears one of her signature collars, but instead of traditional black judicial robes, Lahav imagines her in a dynamic pantsuit with a bright shirt beneath. Made of splotches of different colored paint, the shirt suggests an artist’s palette and the raw materials at the heart of painting. On the ground below, the artist reproduces a figure of Justice from a painting by Raphael, a triangular element that adds a diagonal thrust to the vertical canvas. Lahav altered and added to the Renaissance painting, drawing parallels between past and present notions of justice. Lahav has exhibited The Great Americans in four solo museum exhibitions, most recently at the Florence Griswold Museum in 2019, where this portrait of Justice Ginsburg was exhibited alongside a related portrait of Justice O’Connor.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Dawson by email at [email protected].

About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.

The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. The Lyman Allyn will be open for free through the end of September. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129 or visit us on Facebook or the web at:

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