The Changing Art of Portraiture on Display at Zimmerli Art Museum

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On Saturday, January 25, the Zimmerli Art Museum hosted an official celebration for the Museum’s latest gallery exhibition.

Entitled “Striking Resemblance: the Changing Art of Portraiture,” the exhibit focuses on artistic portraits throughout various cultures, mediums, and styles.

The exhibit is on display at the Voorhees Gallery section of the Museum, and the program also marks the first gallery opening of the year.  The exhibit runs through July 13.

Inviting local residents to celebrate the new project, the Zimmerli held a cocktail reception for opening night. Despite a modest downpour of snow and rain throughout the evening, more than 225 guests celebrated the Rutgers-affiliated museum’s opening event.

Guests were welcome to view the newly-installed exhibit, as well as converse with fellow visitors over catering hosted by the Z Café, located in the same building.

Among the event’s attendees included many Graduate students from the Rutgers Department of Art History, whom worked alongside the Museum in order to create the gallery exhibit.

According to the Zimmerli Art Museum’s Director, Suzanne Delehanty, the exhibition reflects a 10-year goal to invigorate the Museum’s role as a teaching museum and a laboratory for learning.

It showcases the strengths of the Zimmerli’s collection in American, European and Russian art, while loans from museums and private collectors allow the museum to present exhibitions such as “Striking Resemblance,” that explore a variety of cultures, artists, and themes.

The “Striking Resemblance” exhibit represents the Museum’s long-term direction within the present, by drawing on the nature of portraiture and discussing its dynamic alteration over time.

The gallery accomplishes this by drawing on a variety of single, double, and group portraits from the past 200 years- including several original pieces, which have never been seen before.

According to the reception’s introductory pamphlet, the exhibit includes “more than 130 works of art in all media,” which capture “the changing nature of portraiture from 1800 to the present.”

Approximately 50 of these pieces are part of the Museum’s own collection – drawing on the American, European, and Russian galleries found year-round within the museum.

The exhibit also includes artwork from many popular and critically-acclaimed artists, such as Andy Warhol, Gary Schneider, and Alex Katz.

For visitors interested in the exhibit’s background, the Museum also sells a $40 hardcover book discussing the gallery’s artwork. The publication can be purchased at the Zimmerli Art Museum, or ordered online via writing to [email protected]

Delehanty notes that the book is, “very scholarly… but also a very good read.”

A free eBook version covering the event’s focus and pieces can also be viewed on the Zimmerli website. Entitled "Not About Face: Identity and Representation, Past and Present,” the online publication also marks the first electronic publication by the Museum.

On March 7 and 8, the museum will be hosting a symposium related to the exhibit, including a keynote address from Dr. Eric Kandel.

Originally founded in 1966, the Zimmerli Art Museum is a university-affiliated art museum dedicated to showcasing and displaying artwork from a variety of cultures, viewpoints, and perspectives.

The museum hosts 60,000 artifacts from European, American, and Russian artists. The museum offers free admission for Rutgers University students, as well as a membership program for interested visitors.

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Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.