Art Travels

Portrait Conference – Part 4

As a female artist, I do recognize there are hurdles that female artists encounter that our male counterparts do not. Many of those hurdles revolve around the need to divide our attention between painting and the responsibilities of children and home. To respond to this the Portrait Society of America formed the Cecilia Beaux Forum of which I am a member. This group’s mission is “to strengthen the role of women artists by providing programs and resources to enhance the quality of, as well as, the public’s knowledge and appreciation of their work.”

At this year’s Portrait society of America Conference a very interesting opportunity was orchestrated by the Cecilia Beaux Forum. Sam Knecht, Professor of Art at Hillsdale College, unveiled a portrait painted by the Forum’s namesake, Cecilia Beaux, that has not been seen for eighty years. He shared glimpses into the story of the painting’s revisions and how it has come to be framed as it will be displayed at Hillsdale College. The story is quite interesting. You can read about it here. The image below shows the original version (which was not in black and white) with an overlay showing the placement of the surviving fragments of the painting.

Ernesta, by Cecilia Beaux

The painting went through three revisions before being cut apart as it is now. Below shows how it was unveiled at the Portrait Society of America Conference, and how I was told it will likely end up hanging at Hillsdale College.

Ernesta fragments

I’ll end here and leave you with these closeups, because you really should be painting!!

Ernesta detail of head


Ernesta detail of shoes


Ernesta detail of hand

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