Talking Art with Dr. Brandon Brame Fortune

Feb 22, 2021

Recently retired Chief Curator Emerita Dr. Brandon Brame Fortune, of the National Portrait Gallery, will give a virtual talk entitled American Artists’ Self-Portraits Then and Now on February 25, 2021 from 5-6PM.  This is a free event in conjunction with the Figge Art Museum’s exhibition For America:  200 Years of Painting from the National Academy of Design.

Register on-line here and a Zoom link will be emailed to you two hours prior to the program.

Portraiture plays an important role within the National Academy of Design.  Until 1994, artists nominated to the rank of Associate National Academician were required to present a portrait of themselves to the Academy and thus, the viewer will encounter numerous portraits in the For America exhibition.

The National Portrait Gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institution, uses portraits in a variety of mediums to tell “the story of America by portraying the people who shape the nation’s history, development, and culture.” Dr. Fortune worked there from 1987 until her recent retirement.

Listen to our conversation here with Dr. Brandon Brame Fortune about why portraits – and self-portraits in particular - continue to fascinate us; how she feels about the ubiquitous selfie as a means of modern era self-portrayal; and several of the portraits within the For America exhibition that she finds particularly intriguing.

The Figge Art Museum has compiled a long list of additional programming – both virtual and in person. They follow meticulous COVID-19 health practices to ensure that the masterpieces included in this exhibition can be viewed safely.