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In this vertical portrait, an elderly woman with brown skin, wearing a blouse, apron, and skirt is painted with a limited palette of grays, browns, black, and whites. Her head, torso, and lap nearly fill the composition. She is shown straight-backed against a neutral gray background, facing and looking at us with her hands resting in her lap. Her wavy, iron-gray hair is parted in the center and pulled back from her face. Her eyebrows are slightly raised and her face is deeply lined down her cheeks and around her mouth. She wears a heart-shaped brooch with a red stone at its center at her neck and a gold band on her left ring finger. The light coming from our left casts a shadow against the wall to our right. The artist signed and dated the painting in the lower right corner: “A.J. MOTLEY. JR. 1922.”

Archibald John Motley Jr., Portrait of My Grandmother, 1922, oil on canvas, Patrons' Permanent Fund, Avalon Fund, and Motley Fund, 2018.2.1

The Art of Looking

Archibald John Motley Jr., Portrait of My Grandmother

  • Friday, February 26, 2021
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Registration Required
  • Virtual Program

By sharing observations, interpretations, questions, and ideas, participants build on their own first impressions and broaden their understanding of Archibald John Motley Jr.'s Portrait of My Grandmother in honor of Black History Month. This session lasts one hour and is completely interactive. Gallery educators will facilitate the conversation to create an environment for shared learning. These conversations will encourage you to engage deeply with art, with others, and with the world around you as you hone skills in visual literacy and perspective-taking.

This program is free and open to the public and is designed for anyone interested in talking about art. No art or art history background is required. Ages 18 and over.

Due to the interactive nature of this program, sessions are not recorded.

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Live Captions

Live captions (CART) are available in some breakout rooms for this program. Please contact [email protected] to request access or for more information.

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