The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, May 24, 2018

Princeton University Art Museum explores the formation and evolution of an American business aesthetic
Meeting in the Great Hall, 1966. New York Chamber of Commerce Building, James Barnes Baker, architect, 1902. Photo: New York Chamber of Commerce Archives, Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

PRINCETON, NJ.- The portrait collection of the New York Chamber of Commerce, assembled over a two-hundred-year period beginning in 1772, captured with aesthetic and symbolic power the giants of American business to become one of the most significant examples of institutional portraiture in the nation's history. Picturing Power: Capitalism, Democracy, and American Portraiture, held exclusively at the Princeton University Art Museum from March 9 through June 30, 2013, gathers fifty of the best portraits from the now dispersed collection in a dense, Salon-style installation evoking its original majestic setting in the Great Hall of the Chamber’s ornate Wall Street headquarters. Featuring images of business titans (J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt), military and political leaders (George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant), and great Americans such as Samuel F.B. Morse, the exhibition recreates the most impressive corporate display of portraits in American history while demonstrating the varied and fascinating uses to which portraiture has been put in the service of institutions.

Picturing Power draws attention to a fundamental predicament of American art: namely, how to portray power in a democracy, where the fundamental ideals of equality conflict with the inherently aggrandizing act of commissioning, posing for, and collecting portraits. “Americans’ shifting and ambivalent relationship to commerce situates these portraits at the intersection of enduring and critical contests in American life—between self-interest and the greater good, between equality and the social hierarchies that wealth engenders,” said Karl Kusserow, curator of American art at the Princeton University Art Museum.

As a result of its unusually long history, the Chamber of Commerce portrait collection has produced a singularly rich legacy of uses and meanings. The exhibition offers a rich and stimulating analysis of how the wealthy and powerful leaders of American commerce employed portraiture to fashion an identity that promoted their corporate, civic, and ideological agendas—while reflecting their evolving concerns and those of the wider culture they inhabited.

Picturing Power departs from standard art-historical approaches in considering, for the first time, not only the straightforward growth of a large and important collection, but also the ways that its function and meaning changed over time, as the institution it served and the world around it also changed. Arranged in six parts throughout the Museum’s Sterling Morton Gallery—the Museum’s central gallery and itself a public gathering place, akin to the Chamber’s Great Hall—the installation creates a narrative that charts the evolution of the Chamber from a young and struggling institution to a major civic (and ultimately national) force, as well as its subsequent decline and the portraits’ final revitalization, in a new setting, as iconic sources of power and prestige.

Today's News

March 10, 2013

Exhibition paints a picture of the unconventional and inquisitive Russian tsar Peter the Great

Giant boulder sculpture by Fischli/Weiss unveiled for London's Kensington Gardens

Renowned Spanish architect and artist Santiago Calatrava joins Marlborough Gallery

Origin of Stonehenge was ancient rave spot, new theory by British researchers says

Princeton University Art Museum explores the formation and evolution of an American business aesthetic

Spain museums adapt to survive budget cuts by raising prices and loaning works

Lark Mason celebrates Asia Week with a preview of his Asian, Ancient & Ethnographic Works of Art Sale

"California Scene Paintings from 1930 to 1960" on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

Original paintings and all 323 Saturday Evening Post covers included in new Norman Rockwell exhibition

Palais de Tokyo stages an ambitious exhibition mapping the influence of Raymond Roussel

BachmannEckenstein / JapaneseArt announces participation at Asia Week New York

Handmade: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen exhibition puts the spotlight on crafts

Norman Rockwell Museum presents "Istvan Banyai: Stranger in a Strange Land"

Jade antiques to be auctioned in Vancouver next week

Recent works by Miriam Bajtala in new exhibition at Vienna's Secession

First ever monograph on innovative artist Garth Evans published by Philip Wilson Publishers

Art13 London: Hailed as a global success

Art collectors attend Mana Contemporary's First Annual Collectors Dinner to honor Marina Abramović

Modern Masters in Print: Matisse, Picasso, Dalí and Warhol at Wandsworth Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful