Being Human: Portraits from the Syracuse University Art Museum

September 2–October 16, 2022

Portrait of a Girl by Gustave Jean Jacquet Mitchell Gallery St Johns College
Gustave Jean Jacquet (French, 1846–1909) [Portrait of a girl], no date. Oil on canvas.

Portraiture is often defined as the art of depicting exact likeness or appearance, yet it varies greatly through time and place, in cultures and traditions. The crafting of a subject’s identity may challenge our expectations and assumptions about what form a portrait can take. This exhibition of portraits, ranging from Elizabeth Catlett, Kalyani Devi, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Max Weber, and others, displays a visual dialogue between both artist and artist, and artist and viewer, a place to begin a conversation.

This exhibition is curated by Syracuse University Art Museum and organized by Lucinda Dukes Edinberg and Thomas May.

We thank the following for their continuous funding and support: Anne Arundel County, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis, The Helena Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Estate of Elizabeth Myers Mitchell, the Mitchell Gallery Board of Advisors, Members of the Mitchell Gallery, Mrs. Ruth Mitchell, the John and Hilda Moore Fund, the Lillian Vanous Nutt Mitchell Gallery Endowment, and the Clare Eddy and Eugene V. Thaw Fine Arts Fund.


Programs and Events

September 2: Opening of online exhibition

Being Human: Portraits from the Syracuse University Art Collection

September 2–October 16: Online lecture, pre-recorded

“Defining Portraits” by Lucinda Edinberg.
Watch the “Defining Portraits” online lecture

September 20: Tuesday Try-It!, 3–4:30 p.m. ET

In person! With the guidance of painter Abigail McBride, participants will learn principles and techniques in creating a portrait. No experience necessary. Materials provided. $30 for members $40 for non-members. Open to ages 16 and up. Registration required.

September 25: Online lecture, 3 p.m. ET, online

“Portraits and People: 10 Women Photographers, 1920 to 2020” by David Gariff, lecturer for the National Gallery of Art.
Watch the “Portraits and People: 10 Women Photographers, 1920 to 2020” online lecture

October 6: Art Express, 12:15–12:45 p.m. ET, online

Online lunchtime tour with Lucinda Edinberg. This event has been canceled.

October 13: Book Club, 2:30–4:30 p.m. ET

In person! Discussion of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, led by St. John’s College Assistant Dean and tutor Robert Abbott. Free. Registration required. Online tour of the exhibition precedes the book club meeting at 2:30 p.m. This event is FULL.