February 15, 2017
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Rebecca Marsie, Communications Associate
860.443.2545 x112 / [email protected]


New London – The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is proud to announce the continuation of its lifelong adult learning program, Art History For AllThis course, beginning March 2, is entitled, “Face to Face: How Great Artists Transformed the Art of the Portrait.”

Bob Potter will lead this 5-week class at the Lyman Allyn. Through a wide range of visual images, historical context, and profiles of artists from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, 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 class will also include recommended reading lists, relevant films, online sources of information, and handouts for discussion covering the artists from each period being investigated.

Course Description
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.

The 5-week class 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. In French Impressionism and the post-Impressionist art movements of the 19th century, from Manet to Van Gogh, the class will explore radical new ways of seeing and painting subjects of their era.  Spanning the late 19thand early 20th century, the examination will move on to how John Singer Sargent would dominate society portrait painting, imbuing his paintings with a lush sensitivity. The focus will then move to photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Man Ray and how they would challenge and expand our traditional concepts of what is art. And finally, this portion of the class will center on Pablo Picasso and how he radically changed the way artists interpret the human face and form.

After World War II, New York City became the new international center for modern art, and the class’s attention will be on how 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.

Weekly classes will be held in the auditorium of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. Advanced reservations are required. Please contact the Education Department at 860.443.2545 x110 or email [email protected].

Class Information
Classes: Five Thursdays: March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 (10:00am – 12:00 noon)
Fee: $125 members / $150 non- members

For more information or images, please contact Rebecca Marsie at 860.443.2545 x112 or at [email protected].

About Bob Potter
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.

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 11 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. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 129 or visit us on Facebook or the web at:

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