About This Exhibition

Ink pressed through silkscreens, clicking camera shutters, and licks of a paintbrush–these are a few of the ways that portraitists in Artists on Artists pictured themselves and their colleagues in the visual arts, dance, and music. Several artists represented people they knew well. Others used their portrait as a means of paying tribute and connecting to a predecessor who impacted them. A few artists modeled for themselves, contemplating their self-image and how they would be remembered.

The portraits in the exhibition share a curiosity about the people who make art. As each printmaker, photographer, and painter studied their subject, they raised questions about how an artist’s appearance might evoke something about their expressive spirit, interests, and impact on U.S. culture. Are those qualities visible, and what do they look like? What is the most fitting artistic style for picturing an artist? And how do images shape the way that we view and remember people?

Interior view of dance studio; in center foreground, woman in yellow/orange dress with arms above head; 4 other female dancers to left & behind her; piano at right

Paul R. Meltsner, Martha Graham Dance Class, about 1939. Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 1/8 inches. Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Virginia and George Ablah Fund