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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : Harvard Art Museums : Room 2710

Harvard Art Museums – Room 2710

Art From Us, Museum Guide #884

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #884 the spotlight is on the Harvard Art Museums’ Room 2710. Showcasing a collection of the North Arcade.

The three works in focus are :

Miss Alice Kurtz, Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins, 1903
Mary Elizabeth Robbins, William Morris Hunt, 1866
Flamma Vestalis, Edward Burne-Jones, 19th century

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #884

Room 2710 at the Harvard Art Museums houses portraits from the 19th to 20th centuries.

Portraiture has always been a reliable means for artists to ensure a steady flow of income. This is especially true of commissioned portraits. Irrespective of the economic conditions, high society patrons especially in Europe and America have historically demanded portraits of themselves and family members. Well painted portraits were considered a symbol of status. Therefore, artists were not typically asked to paint a true likeness of their sitter, Instead, they were expected to make the sitter look good, posh, graceful, elegant etc.

The artist would therefore use her artistic license to add and remove any features she needed to, to make the recreate the best version of the sitter. However, the portrait did have to bear some likeness to the sitter of course.

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