26 May- 8 October

Irish Museum of Modern Art
Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin

Opening Hours
Tue 10am-5:30pm
Wed 11:30am-5:30pm
Thu-Sat 10am-5:30pm
Sun 12-5:30pm


Influence and Identity:
Twentieth Century Portrait Photography from the Bank of America Collection

Edward Steichen, Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky), Alvin Langdon Coburn, Yousuf Karsh, Richard Avedon, Brassaï (Gyula Halász), Arnold Newman, Pepe Diniz, Philippe Halsman, Lee Friedlander, Arnold Newman, Josef Breitenbach, Shigeo Anzaï, Berenice Abbott, Antony Armstrong-Jones, First Earl of Snowdon, Carolyn DeMeritt, Marc PoKempner, Ernest C. Withers, Arnold Crane, André Kertész, Imogen Cunningham, Peter Hujar, Gertrude Käsebier, Gisèle Freund, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Inge Morath, Robert H. Cumming, Garry Winogrand, Barbara Bloom and Judith Golden.

Influence and Identity comprises 83 artworks by master portraitists such as Antony Armstrong-Jones, Richard Avedon, Yousuf Karsh and Gisèle Freund, as well as renowned photographers Berenice Abbott, Imogen Cunningham, Garry Winogrand and Brassaï. This exhibition has been loaned through the Bank of America Art in our Communities programme.

Using photography, a medium born of the modern era, these artists produced images that capture the commanding personalities of celebrated figures in popular culture, politics and the arts. Throughout history, the intent of portraiture has been to capture an individual’s likeness and personality. An important tool for social documentation, portraiture is a form of historical record, marking a person’s image and significance in a specific time and place, as well as the unique viewpoint of the artist who created it.

The many motivations in capturing the likeness of another person may include official state purposes, the remembrance of a loved one or religious veneration, or simply a commission by the influential and powerful to mark their status. Similarly, styles of portraiture and the messages contained within have evolved over time in every manner imaginable. A portrait exists far beyond the moment it was created, often beyond the lifetime of the sitter, allowing the subject to engage with viewers for generations to come. The photographic portraits featured in this exhibition reveal a wide variety of styles, viewpoints and themes, each photographer bringing his or her subjective interpretation to each image. Influence and Identity is a reflection of the photographers and their noteworthy subjects that have come to define the photographic portraiture of a recent era. Many of the subjects included in the exhibition are notable figures from culture and politics, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Miles Davis, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook, Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon.

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