American 19-20th Century Figurative Art and Portraiture



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American 19-20th Figurative Art and Portraiture." 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.

After "TFAO references" are links to online resources found outside the TFAO website. Online resources are gathered from TFAO catalogues. Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

TFAO welcomes volunteers to further the broadening of knowledge related to this topic. To learn more about TFAO's many volunteer opportunities please click here. Volunteers are welcome to contribute suggestions for additional content in this catalogue. Please see Catalogue and database management for details.


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

2010- present

Rediscovering Nina Belle Ward; essay by Karla J. Niehus (6/11/15)

Grace Hudson: Painter of the Pomo People (11/13/14)

Seeking Beauty: Paintings by James Jebusa Shannon; essays by Barbara Dayer Gallati (6/5/14)

Beauty's Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America (1/17/14)

Burt and Lucy at Home: Featuring the Paintings of Burt Harwood; with texts by Jina Brenneman (10/25/13)

Red Willow: Portraits of a Town (3/7/13)

Women's Work (6/12/12)

The Paintings of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Works from a Long Island Collection; Introduction by Karl Emil Willers (12/21/11)

The Paintings of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Works from a Long Island Collection (12/17/11)

Beauty Rediscovered: Paintings by Adeline Albright Wigand & Otto Charles Wigand (12/15/11)

Embracing Elegance, 1885-1920: American Art from the Huber Family Collection (10/12/11)

Sullivan Family Legacy Exhibition; essay by V. Scott Dimond (3/28/11)

Face to Face: Portraits and the American West (2/15/11)

An American Gothic; essay by Lee Plested (2/3/11)

Facing Out, Facing In: Figurative Works from the Michener Art Museum Collection (2/3/11)


Out of the Background: Cecilia Beaux and the Art of Portraiture; essay by Tara Leigh Tappert (9/25/09)

Paper to Paint: Edward Hopper's "Hotel Lobby"; monograph by Harriet G. Warkel (8/5/09)

Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820-2009 (7/29/09)

Portraiture: the 19th and 20th Centuries; essay by Joseph S. Trovato (6/1/09)

The Figure in American Art: 1764-1983; essay by John I.H. Baur (1/12/09)

Thomas Eakins and The Academy; essay by Louise Lippincott (7/31/08)

Faces and Figures: Portraits from the Florence Griswold Museum (10/22/07)

Cecilia Beaux, American Figure Painter (5/31/07)

Whistler, Lithography, and the Art of Antagonism; essay by Jeffrey Ruda (1/29/07)

Painterly Controversy: William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri (1/23/07)

Self/Image: Portraiture from Copley to Close (9/6/06)


Pretty Women: Freer and the Ideal of Feminine Beauty (8/3/05)

Seymour Thomas: A Texas Genius Rediscovered (4/22/05)

Great Expectations: John Singer Sargent Painting Children (4/11/05)

Seeing People: Paintings from the National Academy of Design (1/17/04)

C.C.A. Christensen's Panoramas (1/6/03)

John Singer Sargent and Italy (1/3/03)

"The Only Miss Beaux": Photographs of Cecilia Beaux and her Circle; essay by Cheryl Leibold (9/2/02)

Portrait/Self-Portrait: Selections from the Permanent Collection (8/20/02)

Aimée Ernesta and Eliza Cecilia: Two Sisters, Two Choices; essay by Tara Leigh Tappert (7/25/02)

The Honesty of Thomas Eakins; essay by Don Gray (7/22/02)

Thomas Eakins (6/6/02)

An Art in Living (catalogue essay for The Art of Lucy May Stanton), by Betty Alice Fowler (5/31/02)

"The Greatest Woman Painter": Cecilia Beaux, Mary Cassatt, and Issues of Female Fame; essay by Nancy Mowll Mathews (5/30/02)

Gentle Modernist: The Art of Susan Watkins, 1875-1913 (5/25/02)

The Gilded Cage: Views of American Women, 1873 - 1921 (5/15/02)

The Art of Lucy May Stanton (5/14/02)


Through the Picture Plane: The Poetry in the Pictorial Space of Thomas Eakins; essay by Patrick Connors (11/17/01)

Thomas Eakins: American Realist (10/24/01)

Susan Macdowell Eakins (9/1/01)

American Indian Portraits: Elbridge Ayer Burbank in the West (1897-1910) (8/23/01)

Process on Paper: Drawings from Charles Bregler's Thomas Eakins Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (8/16/01)

Frederick Carl Frieseke: The Evolution of an American Impressionist (7/6/01)

A Brush with History: Paintings from the National Portrait Gallery (5/12/01)

William Sergeant Kendall: American Master, by Robert Austin

Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery (3/22/01)

A Studio of Her Own: Boston Women Artists, 1870 - 1940 (2/16/01)

Process on Paper: Drawings by Thomas Eakins from the Charles Bregler Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2/12/01)

A Brush with History: Paintings from the National Portrait Gallery (1/19/01)

Virginia Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery (12/26/00)

John Singer Sargent (11/22/00)

American Indian Portraits: Elbridge Ayer Burbank in the West (1897-1910) (11/17/00)

The Gist of Drawings: Works on Paper by John Sloan (11/3/00)

Woman's World, 1880-1920: from Object to Subject (7/19/00)

Celebrating 200 Years: Du Pont Family Portraits (7/18/00)

Picturing Gentility: Portraits of Women in American Art (7/11/00)

John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family (3/15/00)

John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family (3/3/00)


John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family (9/26/99)

John Singer Sargent (7/8/99)

John Singer Sargent in Houston Collections (9/21/98)


From other websites:

Alexander O. Levy: American Painter, Art Deco Artist, an exhibit held November 14, 2014 - March 29, 2015 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Includes essay by Scott Propeack, chief curator, Burchfield Penney Art Center. Accessed February, 2016.

Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th Century American Art, an exhibit held June 29 - September 30, 2013 at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Includes videos. Accessed March, 2015.

Becoming the Butterfly, Portraits of James McNeill Whistler, an exhibit held April 30 - August 4, 2013 at the University of Virginia Art Museum. Includes exhibit extended object labels. Accessed May, 2015.

Charles Banks Wilson: The Artist as Historian, an exhibit held at the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art. Accessed April, 2015.

Don Shelton website: Mr. Shelton wrote to TFAO: "I collect miniature portraits, especially American ones.  The overall collection is titled "Artists and Ancestors". There are over 300 American miniature portraits in the American section of the collection and they are illustrated and "published" on my website which has a home page at together with comprehensive research notes. I believe it to be one of the larger private collections of American miniatures in existence." Accessed August, 2015.

Eye on the Collection: Artful Poses, an exhibit held February 1 - March 30, 2014 at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy. Includes illustrated checklist. Accessed January, 2016.

Frank W. Benson: American Impressionist, an exhibit held September 29, 2000 to February 18, 2001 at the Peabody Essex Museum. Includes interactive website. Accessed April, 2015.

Human Connections: Figural Art from the Bruce Museum Collection, an exhibit held February 12, 2011 - June 5, 2011 at the Bruce Museum. From the Bruce Museum. Accessed May, 2014

Langdon Kihn: An American Story, an exhibit held March 22 - May 11, 2014 at the Foosaner Art Museum. Information includes curator essay by Dr. Clifford R. Bragdon, FASA, biography and images. Accessed February, 2016.

Prominent Figures of the West from The T.B. Walker Collection of Portraits by Henry H. Cross, an exhibit held November 18, 2012 - March 31, 2013 at the Gilcrease Museum. Includes images of selected works in the exhibit. Accessed August, 2015.

This Kind of Bird Flies Backward: Paintings by Joan Brown, an exhibit held October 14, 2011 - March 11, 2012 at the San Jose Museum of Art. Includes essay by Jodi Throckmorton, Associate Curator, San Jose Museum of Art, and videos. Accessed March, 2015.

Viola Frey, an exhibit held March 4 - July 26, 2015 at the di Rosa Preserve. Includes exhibit brochure. Accessed December, 2015.

BBC presents Master Photographers: Andre Kertesz (1983) BBC series; part 1 9:54; part 2 10:20; part 3 7:32; part 4 3:52 Accessed May, 2015.

BBC News offers Diane Arbus exhibition opens at V&A The Victoria and Albert Museum is holding a major exhibition of the work of New York photographer Diane Arbus. Martin Barnes, curator of photography at the V&A Museum, described her contribution to the art of photography. Accessed May, 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. Old South Meeting House partnered with the WGBH Forum Network for Deaf Artist: The World of John Brewster, Jr.,(32 minutes) a lecture by Harlan Lane, psychologist, historian and distinguished professor at Northeastern University, examines this extraordinary American portrait artist and how his memberships within multiple worlds (Puritan, Federalist elite, Deaf and Art) converged to leave an enduring legacy. [September 23, 2004] Accessed May, 2015.

The San Diego Museum of Art produced a video titled Portrait of Mrs. Robert Henri, available online through ArtBabble. According to ArtBabble, "Robert Henri studied at both the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Though Thomas Eakins was no longer teaching at the Academy when Henri arrived, Eakins was immensely influential for Henri, who regarded him as the superior portrait painter in the United States and followed Eakins's bluntly realist style. Accessed June, 2015.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art presents a one hour 15 min. video from the Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art titled Looking at John Singer Sargent, September 15, 2010, by Erica Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Accessed August, 2015.


DVD/VHS videos:

Seth Eastman: Painting the Dakota showcases the unique body of work of one of the most significant American artists to the nineteenth century. This hour-long documentary takes viewers back vividly to the period and explore Eastman's complex relationship with his subjects.

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format.


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

Return to Topics in American Representational Art

TFAO catalogues:

Individual pages in each catalogue are continuously amended as TFAO adds content, corrects errors and reorganizes sections for improved readability. Refreshing or reloading pages enables readers to view the latest updates.

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

Search Resource Library

Copyright 2016 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.