Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Press Release

Moving Images: British Royal Portraiture and the Circulation of Ideas opens February 28, 2019

Collection generously on loan from Jodi and John Eastberg

By - Jan 24th, 2019 03:26 pm
Queen Elizabeth II  Dorothy Wilding (1893—1976), 1945 Collection of Jodi and John Eastberg

Queen Elizabeth II  Dorothy Wilding (1893—1976), 1945 Collection of Jodi and John Eastberg

Milwaukee, WI – January 24, 2019 – The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum opens Moving Images: British Royal Portraiture and the Circulation of Ideas on February 282019. The exhibition will be on view through June 2, 2019. The exhibition features ceremonial and family photographic portraits of the British royal family from the Victorian Age to the present. These photographs show how images can reflect and energize major cultural shifts.

The royal portraits included in the exhibition are symbolic of the lasting cultural effects of Britain’s move to large-scale production of goods, the growth of the middle class, and related shifting gender roles. Generously on loan from the collection of Jodi and John Eastberg, the exhibition includes works by royal photographers Dorothy WildingCecil Beaton and Marcus Adams.

Using photographic portraits, British monarchs sought to popularize their role as symbols of national vitality and stability. Though the form and aesthetic of royal portraiture beginning with Queen Victoria has changed in the last 150 years, many of the ideas that the images convey remain the same.

This exhibition is curated by Lynne Harper. “What I found striking about the collection,” says Harper, “was that it is almost entirely made up of commemorative photographs, distributed by the royal sitters and bearing their signatures – a common practice with the advent of photography for celebrities and royals alike. Asking the question, ‘Why did monarchs do this?’ led to further questions about how we relate to mementos, the nature of relations created by them and the power those relationships might have over our worldview.”

This exhibition is generously supported by the Friends of the Villa Terrace

Exhibition Events

Opening Party | Collector’s Talk
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Members Preview 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Talk with collector Jodi Eastberg and curator Lynne Harper at 7:00 p.m.
Museum members free | General admission $5 suggested donation

Photography Lessons: A Talk With Dr. Sarah Anne Carter

April 4, 2019 | 6:30 p.m. | Doors open at 6:00 p.m. | Wine and Light Refreshments Available | $15
Dr. Sarah Anne Carter, author of Object Lessons: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Learned to Make Sense of the Material World and Curator of and Director of Research at the Chipstone Foundation, will give a talk about the history of photography as it relates to object lessons and the ways images convey ideas.

Building a Collection: A Talk With John Eastberg
April 10, 2019 | 6:30 p.m. | Doors open at 6:00 p.m. | Wine and Light Refreshments Available | $15
John Eastberg, Executive Director of the Pabst Mansion, will give a talk about the process of building a collection and provide insights regarding the collection of royal portraits currently on view.

Curatorial Walk-Throughs
Walk through the exhibition with a curator!
Wednesdays, March 13 and May 8
Tours start at 1:00 p.m.
Free with general admission to the museum

About Lynne Harper
Lynne Harper is an independent curator and writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has a BA in Art History from UW-Madison and MA in Art History from the Sainsbury Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Her research focuses on the nature of our relationship to art, material culture and collective memory.

About the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Overlooking Lake Michigan, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is an Italian Renaissance-style villa designed and built by architect David Adler in 1923 as the residence of Lloyd Smith of the A.O. Smith Corporation, his wife Agnes and their family. The villa’s courtyards, terraces, and Renaissance garden flowing down to the lake make it unique to Milwaukee. The permanent collection features fine and decorative arts from the 15th through the 18th centuries and the Cyril Colnik collection and archives, with many excellent examples of Colnik’s wrought-iron masterpieces. Curated exhibitions are mounted several times each year along with a variety of arts programming.

General Museum Information           

Hours: Wednesday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Thursday 1:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Admission: $10/adult, $7/student & senior (62+), free for museum members, children 12 & under and active militaryGroup tours are available for ten or more people.

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