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Gilbert Stuart

March 27 – July 31, 2005
West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 72 through 79

Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (Vaughan portrait), 1795, oil on canvas, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1942.8.27

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 93 paintings by Gilbert Stuart drawn from public and private collections in the United States and Europe were shown in this first exhibition in nearly 4 decades devoted entirely to the work of the American portraitist. Included were 13 portraits of George Washington, representing the 3 portrait types that Stuart created: the Vaughan portrait, the Athenaeum version, and the full-length Lansdowne portrait. Stuart's palette, his snuff box, and a box of drawing tools were also on display. The exhibition was presented at the National Gallery of Art during the renovation of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington.

An audio tour was narrated by National Gallery of Art director Earl A. Powell III and included commentary by exhibition curators Ellen Miles and Carrie Rebora Barratt and by Franklin Kelly, senior curator of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art.

A public symposium, "The Edgar P. Richardson Symposium: Gilbert Stuart," was organized in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery and presented on April 16. A weekend of family events offered craft activities and concerts and films for children. 4 Sunday concerts during April and May were performed in honor of the exhibition and included music for glass armonica and other instruments of Gilbert Stuart's time. On May 10 and 14, "Manners, Morals, and Missives: Readings from Early American Writings," a program of readings from diaries, letters, pamphlets, poetry, and prose of Stuart's time, was held in the East Garden Court.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Portrait Gallery and was presented in Washington in association with the National Gallery of Art. Carrie Rebora Barratt, curator of American paintings and sculpture and manager of the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Ellen G. Miles, chair of the department of painting and sculpture, National Portrait Gallery, were curators of the exhibition.

Sponsor: The exhibition was sponsored by Target. It was made possible by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

Attendance: 132,619

Catalog: Gilbert Stuart, by Carrie Rebora Barratt and Ellen G. Miles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2004.

Brochure: Gilbert Stuart, by Margaret Doyle. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2005.

Gilbert Stuart. NGAkids Inside Scoop. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2005.

Other Venues: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 18, 2004–January 16, 2005