Bue Kee, Self-Portrait, ca. 1930.
Bue Kee (American, 1893 – 1985), Self-Portrait, ca. 1930, oil on canvas, gift of Michael Parsons and Marte Lamb, 2005.114.3

Portraiture from the Collection of Northwest Art

Nov 2, 2019 – Aug 2021

Main Building, Floor 3, Gallery 302, 304, 305, & 306

In the rich tradition of portraiture reflected in Northwest art, there is an exemplary range of individuals and styles of depiction. For this exhibition, the artist Storm Tharp was invited to help select works from the collection through his keen eyes as a fellow portraitist. As he combed through the collection, some themes in portraiture rose to the surface: the self-portrait, artists and friends, family, psychological space, and making present those who have been less recognized. For an artist, capturing a literal likeness is far less important than grasping the essence of a person or the moment in time. How artists in this collection have chosen to do this is remarkably varied, offering an alluring examination in itself. Across the themes and styles in this exhibition, it is evident that portraiture allows for a breadth of expressiveness, a scrutiny of the self, and the occasion to connect with those around us.

Curated by Storm Tharp in collaboration with Grace Kook-Anderson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art.