Redwood Library to Host Seminar on History of Portraits in Colonial New England

Thursday, April 07, 2016


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The Redwood Library will host Facing America: Patrons and Portraits in Colonial New England on Friday June 3 as part of the Redwood History Seminar. The event will look at how portraits  dominated the culture of the American colonies as the preferred mode of visual self expression, as well as the means through which an emergent and distinctly American intelligentsia sough to be imaged by artists of uncertain status. 

"The eighteenth century was the golden age of portraiture, and our art collection is rich in portraits by foundational American masters such as Robert Feke, Gilbert Stuart, and John Smibert, all of whom had direct connections to the Redwood Library. We are especially gratified to be hosting some of the leading scholars in the field, who will further elucidate this important aspect of Newport's colonial history and the centrality of the Redwood Library within it," said Executive Director, Benedict Leca.

The single afternoon program will gather four eminent experts, each speaking on topics of 18th century portraiture directly related to Newport or the Redwood Library. 

The day will begin with a  keynote talk by Redwood Library and Athenaeum Executive Director, Benedict Leca, and feature four speakers: R. Tripp Evans PH.D., Nancy Austin Ph.D. William Keyse Rudolph PH.D and Margaretta Lovell PH.D.

The day will conclude with an evening dinner at Harbour Court. 

Redwood History Seminar 

The Redwood History Seminar is part of a slate of recurring programs, including exhibitions, performances and special events that continue Redwood's core mission of generating knowledge about any topic. 

Redwood Library & Athenaeum

The Redwood Library was chartered in 1747 by 46 prominent citizens of Newport and is a hybrid museum, rare book repository and the oldest continuously operating lending library in its original structure, the nation's older public Neoclassical building. 


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