HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A new student-curated exhibit will open later this week at the Hope College Kruizenga Art Museum.
“Portrait Stories” was curated by five Hope College students who were in a seminar class taught by Charles Mason, director and curator of the Kruizenga Art Museum, last semester.
“I’ve been thinking for a while that it would be interesting to do an exhibition about portraiture because we’re surrounded by portraits all the time. We carry them in our pockets on our phones, they’re on our currency, on the walls of our houses, so we see portraits all the time but we don’t think about them all the time,” Mason said.
During the class, students researched the genre and selected works from the museum’s almost 250-portrait collection to showcase in the exhibition.
From Jan. 13 through May 13, the public is invited to view the selected 49 portraits that represent a wide range of cultures, time periods and media.
“The earliest paintings are probably from the 17th century right up to portraits that are a few years old,” Mason said.
Following the theme, the portraits on display tell different stories: who the subject is, the artist, a time period or historical context.
“In the exhibition, there’s a photograph of an African American first World War soldier standing proudly in his uniform, and it’s in a custom frame that has the words ‘USA’ and the American flag logo on it… even though we don’t know who that soldier is, we don’t know who took that photograph, it represents that pride that person, that family felt in their military service and the importance of that military service in American history,” Mason explained.
Other items include portraits by famous historical artists like Rembrandt van Rijn, James Tissot, Kathe Kollwitz and Salvador Dali and contemporary artists like Rashid Johnson, John Valadez and Zachary Drucker.
The museum, located at 271 Columbia Ave., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.