A portrait is a representation of an individual; in the visual arts, a portrait might be a literal depiction of someone’s body or face or a presentation of symbols that suggest aspects of someone’s personality. But how much can a single image reveal about a person’s true self, and how do artistic decisions affect how the self is communicated? Perhaps a portrait is more accurately a starting point from which to develop a more complex understanding of what makes someone who they are.

Explore portraiture by clicking on the images above and browsing the content below.

Explore collection stories—texts, videos, and creative responses from faculty, students, artists, scholars, and curators to works in the Tang collection.
Professor of History Jordana Dym led students in “LA305: Working with Latin American and Latinx Communities” on a volunteer trip to Guatemala, where they documented their experiences. To prepare, students visited the Tang to look at how photographers have documented people and landscapes in Latin America.
Associate Professor of Art Janet Sorensen’s “AR201: Painting I” class looked at portraits from the Tang collection that include paint as a medium.
Tang Collective Catalogs are short written responses from a multiplicity of voices responding to objects in the Tang Teaching Museum collection.
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