Royals, Courtiers, and Confidants: Early English Portrait Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections

Jul. 28, 2012
Huntington Art Gallery, Works on Paper Room

As the culmination of a semester course on English cultural history, students from Claremont McKenna College contributed to this exhibition on 16th- and 17th-century portrait drawings. Each student was responsible for studying a single portrait—examining how it was made and how the portrait’s subject was represented, and conducting research on the portrait’s historical context. Their research forms the basis of the exhibition’s object labels. The 19 works on view include miniature graphite drawings, pastel sketches, and pen and ink drawings by artists such as Peter Lely, William Faithorne, Peter Oliver, and David Loggan. Collectively, these objects—and the students’ research—tell a story of how members of English society chose to portray themselves and how these works are seen by viewers today. “Royals, Courtiers, and Confidants: Early English Portrait Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections” is, co-organized by Melinda McCurdy, associate curator of British art at The Huntington, and Victoria Sancho Lobis, visiting assistant professor at Claremont McKenna College and curator of the print collection and fine art galleries at the University of San Diego.