Graduate Student Lecture Series: Dr. Dorothy Moss (Nov. 15, 5:30 pm Recitation Hall 101)

The Graduate Student Lecture Series committee in Art History at the University of Delaware welcomes Dr. Dorothy Moss, Curator of Painting and Sculpture, National Portrait Gallery, who will present the lecture “Active Absence, The Obama Portraits, and the National Portrait Gallery.”

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama by Amy Sherald, oil on linen, 2018. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

The unveiling of the Obama portraits in February 2018 transformed the National Portrait Gallery’s attendance numbers leading to a record-breaking 2 million visitors in 2018. Leading up to the unveiling, Portrait Gallery curators and historians were already working on exhibitions and programming that would increase the museum’s relevance in today’s world. Crucial to this work is a focus on expanding the narratives told in museum spaces and opening way for new stories to be told. This paper will discuss the impact of the Obama portraits and will place these two portraits in context of ongoing work to reimagine the National Portrait Gallery in its 50th anniversary year.

Dr. Moss’s presentation is this year’s Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Track Ph.D, Lecture, and it will take place on Thursday, November 15, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. in 101 Recitation Hall