Face Value: The Portrait and the Formulation of Identity in Art

Erich Heckel (1883-1970)
German
Junges Mädchen (Young Girl)
From Genius, no. 1, 1920
Woodcut
10-3/16” x 6-11/16”
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund
1976.030

October 26- December 8, 2000

Drawn primarily from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Collection, this exhibition will examine the multiple “uses” of portraiture in the history of Western art. As the most popular genre of art, portraiture has been crucial to the formulation and depiction of the individual. From an ancient Egyptian stone fragment depicting a portrait in profile to a Greco-Roman bust of a goddess, and from formal “state” portraits of the Renaissance nobility to the birth of the modern portrait characterized by a fascination with the inner psyche, Face Value will highlight major themes in portraiture while providing biographical “portraits” of the artists that created them.