PMA360: Mourning Portraits

PMA360: Mourning Portraits

Susan Merrill (United States, 1791–1868) Memorial to Mrs. Lydia Emery (1717–1800), 1811, Watercolor on silk, 15 1/8 x 18 9/16 inches. Gift of Helen Harrington Boyd in memory of Susan Merrill Adams Boyd, 1968.4

In the spirit of the Halloween season, we'll explore the spooky side of Model Citizens: Art and Identity in the United States, 1770-1830. The Maine Historical Society and historian Libby Bischof join us for a close look at mourning embroidery and memorial portraits to underscore how 18th and 19th century America used painting and needlework to commemorate loved ones after death, and to offer insight into old funeral customs. Watch a demonstration by silhouette artist Ruth Monsell, who will create a ghostly likeness of you.

Talks will be at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. 
Seating in the gallery is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Libby Bischof is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern Maine where she also directs the Center for Collaboration and Development--the University's teaching, learning and professional development center. She specializes in nineteenth century American cultural history, with a particular emphasis on the history of photography. Her most recent book, Maine Photography: A History, 1840-2015, co-authored with Susan Danly and Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., was published in 2016. She is also co-author, with Susan Danly, of Maine Moderns: Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940 (Yale, 2011), which was also an exhibition at the PMA in 2011.

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