Beyond the Face

GBP £29.95



ISBN: 978-1-911282-20-4

344 Pages

260 x 235 mm (9 ¼ x 10 ¼ in)

132 colour illustrations

In association with the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

September 2018


Is there more to portraiture than eyes meeting eyes? New book challenges our traditional assumptions about portraiture

“An important contribution to the study of portraiture”—Roberto C. Ferrari, ARLIS/NA

“Equips readers with fresh approaches to see beyond the face”—Library Journal

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Beyond the Face: New Perspectives on Portraiture presents sixteen essays which explore the subtle means by which artists—and subjects—convey a sense of identity and reveal historical context. Written by some of today’s very best scholars in the field, these ground-breaking essays range from an exploration of iconoclasm in the eighteenth century, to an analysis of contemporary artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons’s emotional and affecting performance pieces.

Examining a wide range of topics, from early caricature and political vandalism of portraits to contemporary selfies and performance art, Beyond the Face probes the diversity and complexity of portrayal. This fully illustrated new volume fills a gap in current scholarship and offers a resource for teaching art history, subjectivity, and the construction of identity. We expect the book to engage both general and scholarly audiences who are interested in gaining a better understanding of the ever-changing and challenging genre of portraiture.

Author biographies

Christopher Allison is Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities, Affiliate Faculty Member, in the Departments of History and Art History, University of Chicago.

Ross Barrett is Associate Professor of American Art at Boston University.

Taína Caragol is Curator of Painting and Sculpture and Latino Art and History at the National Portrait Gallery.

Anne Collins Goodyear is a Co-Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Nikki A. Greene is Assistant Professor of Art History at Wellesley College.

Kate Clarke Lemay is a historian at the National Portrait Gallery.

Lauren Lessing is Mirken Director of Academic and Public Programs at Colby College Museum of Art.

Amy M. Mooney is Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Columbia College, Chicago.

Erin Pauwels is Assistant Professor of Art History at Temple University.

Akela Reason is Associate Professor of History at the University of Georgia.

Wendy Wick Reaves is Curator Emerita of Prints, Drawings, and Media Arts, National Portrait Gallery.

Nina Roth-Wells is a paintings conservator.

Terri Sabatos is Associate Professor of Art History at Longwood University.

Richard H. Saunders is Director of Middlebury College Museum of Art, and Professor of History of Art and Architecture.

Juanita Solano Roa is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Allison M. Stagg is the Terra Foundation Visiting Professor in American Art at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin.

Jennifer Van Horn is Assistant Professor of Art History and History at the University of Delaware.

Jonathan Frederick Walz is Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of American Art, at the Columbus Museum, Georgia.

ShiPu Wang is Professor of Art History and Founding Faculty of the Global Arts Studies Program at the University of California, Merced.

Table of contents

  1. Director’s Foreword by Kim Sajet
  2. INTRODUCTION by Wendy Wick Reaves
  3. Body Politics: Copley’s Portraits as Political Effigies during the American Revolution by Lauren Lessing, Nina Roth-Wells, Terri Sabatos
  4. Prince Demah and the Profession of Portrait Painting by Jennifer Van Horn
  5. “Capital Likenesses”: George Washington, the Federal City, and Economic Selfhood in American Portraiture by Ross Barrett
  6. Caricature Portraits and Early American Identity by Allison M. Stagg
  7. Reconstruction Reconsidered: The Gordon Collection of the National Portrait Gallery by Kate Clarke Lemay
  8. Cloud of Witnesses: Painting History through Combinative Portraiture by Christopher Allison
  9. “Let Me Take Your Head”: Photographic Portraiture and the Gilded Age Celebrity Image by Erin Pauwels
  10. Soul-Searching: The Portrait in Gilded Age America by Akela Reason
  11. Playing Against Type: Frank Matsura’s Photographic Performances by ShiPu Wang
  12. The Other’s Other: Portrait Photography in Latin America, 1890–1930 by Juanita Solano Roa
  13. Photos of Style and Diginity: Woodard’s Studios and the Delivery of Black Modern Subjectivity by Amy M. Mooney
  14. Side Eye: Early-Twentieth-Century American Portraiture on the Periphery by Jonathan Frederick Walz
  15. “Call It A Little Game Between ‘I’ and‘Me’”: Mar/Cel Duchamp in the Wilson-Lincoln System by Anne Collins Goodyear
  16. Making Sense of our Selfie Nation by Richard H. Saunders
  17. Habla Lamadre: María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Carrie Mae Weems, and Black Feminist Performance by Nikki A Greene
  18. Meaningful (Dis)Placements: The Portrait of Luis Muñoz Marín by Francisco Rodón at the National Portrait Gallery by Taína Caragol
  19. Further Reading by Wendy Wick Reaves
  20. Contributors
  21. Image Credits
  22. Index