American 18-19th Century Figurative and Portrait Art


(above: Charles Willson Peale, Self-portrait, c. 1791. National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.)



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American 18-19th Century Figurative and Portrait Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the date of publication in Resource Library.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." Periodically TFAO conducts keyword searches from the Resource Library homepage relating to this topic. The count of pages within Resource Library citing the keywords indicates breadth of coverage in Resource Library for this topic. We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

2010 - present

2007 - 2009






Also see Miniature Painting


TFAO references:

A 11/29/13 search within TFAO's digital library retrieved:


Also from the Web

In October 2012 The Metropolitan Museum of Art launched MetPublications, an online resource that offers in-depth access to the Museum's print and online publications, covering art, art history, archaeology, conservation, and collecting. Titles relating to American representational art available for free viewing via.pdf download or online reading as of 2013 include: American Portrait Miniatures in the Manney Collection; Johnson, Dale T. (1990)

American Portraits from the Cleveland Museum of Art, an exhibit held August 29 - December 17, 2006 at Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College. Accessed 4/14.

Annotations: George Cooke & Thomas Hope and the Influence of Antiquity, an exhibit held February 5, 2012 - July 22, 2012 at the Columbus Museum. Includes an online companion devoted to the exhibit. Accessed August, 2014

Deacon Peckham's Hobby Horse, an exhibit held May 27 - October 8, 2012 at the National Gallery of Art. Includes 48-page exhibit brochure and press materials. Accessed March, 2015.

Great Expectations: John Singer Sargent Painting Children, an exhibit held October 8, 2004 - January 16, 2005 at the Brooklyn Museum. From the Brooklyn Museum. Accessed May, 2014

Thomas Sully: Painted Performance, an exhibit held October 11, 2013-January 5, 2014 at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Accessed February, 2015.

The WGBH/Boston Forum Network is an audio and video streaming web site dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures, including a number of videos on Art and Architecture. Partners include a number of museums, colleges, universities and other cultural organizations. See listings of related videos in this catalogue indexed by partner name. Boston Athenaeum partnered with the WGBH Forum Network for a series of lectures on American art by David Dearinger, who is Susan Morse Hilles Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Boston Athenaeum. An art historian and curator, he received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, with a specialty in nineteenth-century American art. Titles include: Familar Faces: Gilbert Stuart's George & Martha Washington (53 minutes) is an illustrated lecture by Ellen Miles, curator, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian in which she "... discusses Gilbert Stuart's creation in 1796 of his very familiar life portrait of George Washington, together with its companion portrait of Martha Washington, often known as the 'Athenaeum portraits' because they were owned by the Boston Athenaeum for more than 150 years. Ellen Miles describes the relationship between the Washingtons and the artist, the reason for the incomplete composition of the two portraits, and the immediate and lasting success of the portrait of the President, in contrast to the relative obscurity of the portrait of Martha Washington."; Life Drawing in 19th Century America, (55 minutes) an illustrated lecture by Elliot Bostwick Davis, John Cabot Chair, Museum of Fine Arts, compares Darwin's evolutionary theory to the style of life drawing taught in Boston and New York by William Rimmer (1816-1879). [February 24, 2005] Accessed May, 2015.

TFAO also suggests these books:

Alabama Portraits Prior to 1870, By National Society of the Colonial Dames of America Alabama. Historical Activities Committee. 1969. 417 pages


Go to Figurative and Portrait Art: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

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