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MGHG AGM and Inaugural Annual Lecture

  • Institute for Historical Research Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU United Kingdom (map)

4-4.30pm—MGHG Annual General Meeting


5pm-6pm—MGHG Annual Lecture

Professor Ludmilla Jordanova (Durham University) Museums, Galleries and the Powers of Portraits

Portraits, whether originals or reproductions, are common in museums, while galleries devoted to them are currently enjoying considerable popularity.  Indeed, portraits have long been displayed to diverse audiences—museums and galleries are important but not the only places where they may be seen.  As a result we have a chance to reflect on how museums and galleries use portraits in the wider context of publications, digital culture and venues where public access is limited. Professor Jordanova will explore the diverse ways in which portraits are put on show and are assumed to offer insights into past times, often through the idioms of heroism and villainy. So portraits are at once ubiquitous, unremarkable, taken for granted, and endowed with the power to evoke specific human beings and prompt a myriad of reactions. What kinds of powers do portraits have? Do these aid historical understanding? And what can usefully be said about the roles they play in museums and galleries?

Free to MGHG members, £9 for non-members and £5 for student non-members

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