The National Academy Museum

and School of Fine Arts

Formerly National Academy of Design


Faces of Time: 75 Years of Time Magazine Cover Portraits


On view at the National Academy beginning September 9 through January 3, 1998 Faces of Time= 75 Years of Time Magazine Cover Portraits features over seventy paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and photographs commissioned from distinguished artists for the covers of TIME Magazine. TIME is the most widely circulated weekly newsmagazine in the world. Since its first issue in 1923, its red-bordered cover has become an American emblem. Throughout its history, TIME has commissioned leading artists, including many members of the National Academy, to portray the people and events that have shaped our times.

The exhibition presents a rare opportunity to trace the evolution of modern myth-making via the commissioning process, and to explore how the artist's eye and choice of media serve together as exceptional chroniclers of place and time. According to Dr. David Dearinger, chief curator and coordinator of the exhibition at the National Academy, "it's very fitting for the National Academy to be a key venue for this informative exhibition, because we are an institution with a strong tradition of portraiture.

Faces of T/ME has been curated by Frederick Voss, curator and historian at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of TIME Magazine, is touring to five cities, and is sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Inc.The seventy-five original works that comprise Faces of TIME were created full-scale and represent a surprising variety of media and artistic vision -- from a George Platt Lynes ·1933 photograph of Gertrude Stein, to a bronze sculpture of John Wayne by Harry Jackson (NA); from a portrait in miniature of Mikhail Gorbachev on a papier-mache box by Nikolai Soloninkin, to a lithograph of Robert Kennedy, the only portrait ever rendered by Roy Lichtenstein.

Among the other artists included in the exhibition are Richard Avedon, Romare Beardon, Jim Dine, Audrey Flack, Alex Katz (NA Elect), Marisol (NA Elect), Alice Neel (NA), Philip Pearlstein (NA), Larry Rivers (NA Elect), George Segal, Ben Shahn, Andy Warhol, and Andrew Wyeth (NA). (NA denotes National Academician).

Since many of the artists featured in the exhibition have rarely accepted commissions, their responses to the assignment from TIME offer a fascinating insight into each artist's very personal creative process. Their portraits capture newsmakers whose leadership transformed the worlds of politics and religion, as well as the fields of art, literature, and entertainment -- luminaries such as Winston Churchill, Robert F. Kennedy, Michael Jackson, Vladimir Horowitz, Henry Kissinger, Charles Lindburgh, Kate Millet, Jeanne Moreau, Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, Anwar Sadat, and John Updike.

In addition to well-respected contemporary artists, the exhibition includes works by inspired illustrators--such as Boris Artzybasheff, Boris Chaliapin, and Ernest Hamlin Baker - whose imaginative, meticulous renderings best exemplify the early TIME Magazine covers.

Each work of art will be accompanied by explanatory wall text along with a reproduction of the cover as it appeared. To complement the original art, there will be a number of cases featuring documents and auxiliary materials to shed additional light on the commissioning and selection process. For example, one case will feature two proofs of Marilyn Monroe covers - one which ran and the other which was deemed too sexy for publication.
Moreover, Time Online will offer an interactive kiosk featuring the events of the week in which each issue on view appeared, along with information on each participating artist.

An exhibition catalogue will accompany Faces of TIME with an introduction by Jay Leno and an essay by exhibition curator Frederick S. Voss. The hardcover book features seventy-five color images of outstanding, original cover commissions for the magazine.

Above from left to right: Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, 1984, oil on canvas, 76.1 x 66.1 cm; Marisol, NA Elect, Bob Hope, 1967, polychromed wood, 48.2 x 38 x 40.6 cm; Romare Bearden, NA, John Lindsay, 1968, photo collage, 35.6 x 25.4 cm; Robert Rauschenberg, NA, Deng Xiaopeng, 1986, photo collage, 49.5 x 35.5 cm




For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 11/26/10

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