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Face America

May 24, 2017 - November 29, 2017

American artists have created a range of portraits as diverse as America itself. A prominent genre since before the country’s founding, portraits serve public and private functions. Portraits can be personal, capturing the relationship between artist and sitter, but they can also be public, shaping the sitter’s outward-facing identity.

Face America features 29 portraits from the museum’s permanent collection. Through images from Benjamin West’s Saint Thomas à Becket, made in 1797, to Sedrick Huckaby’s The 99%—Highland Hills: “D” Nabors, drawn in 2012, this exhibition will provide opportunities to face, confront, and contemplate an ever-changing America. Taken together, these portraits offer a glimpse of how this genre has evolved in the hands of American artists over more than two hundred years.

About Gallery 214 in the American Galleries
The American art collection features more than 600 works on paper. Small exhibitions in this gallery change every six months to highlight the variety of work in the collection and protect the art from overexposure to damaging light.

Bust of Abraham Lincoln
Paul Manship, American (1885-1966). Head of Abe Lincoln, the Hoosier Youth, ca. 1932. Bronze, 31 x 18 x 18 inches. Gift of the Patriots and Pioneers Association, 46-7. Top image: Helen King Boyer, American, born 1919. Self-Portrait in a Frosted Window. Drypoint, 3/50.Plate: 8 3/8 x 10 5/16 inches. Gift of Helen King Boyer in memory of her mother Louise M. Boyer, 77-58/5.


May 24, 2017
November 29, 2017
Event Category:


Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art


Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street
Kansas City, MO 64111 United States
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