Good Impressions: Portraits Across Three Centuries from Reynolda and Wake Forest

Northwest Bedroom Gallery

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Portraits are often taken at face value—as accurate representations of a person’s appearance, sometimes removed by decades or centuries. But portraits are often the products of delicate negotiations between artist and subject. Sometimes they flatter, exaggerating the sitter’s beauty or rich attire. Sometimes they capture the subject engaged in his or her occupation, whether pausing during study or painting in his or her studio. Sometimes they celebrate an auspicious occasion, such as a recent engagement or the imminent birth of a child. This exhibition features three centuries of portraits of men and women, Black and White, solitary and companionate, classic and modern.

Good Impressions was mounted to mark the recent conservation treatment of John Singleton Copley’s 1762 Portrait of Mrs. Daniel Rogers (Elizabeth Gorham Rogers) in the collection of Wake Forest University, and Reynolda House’s recent acquisition of Kwame Brathwaite’s 1973 photograph Changing Times.