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March 19–August 23, 2021

A figure overcome with panic. A photographer forcing herself to cry. A Kabuki actor in the guise of a villainous thief. In this installation, explore the ways artists make visible the endless variety of inner emotions, thoughts, and motives of their subjects. How do they bridge the gap between the interior and exterior worlds of human experience? How do they connect their subjects to you, the observer?

Artists have taken advantage of the expressive potential of images in a number of ways. The prints, drawings, and photographs displayed in this installation illustrate a few approaches. Socially conscious artists William E. Smith, Charles White, and Käthe Kollwitz believed emotionally revealing images could elicit empathy and drive social and political change. Rembrandt, Pietro Testa, and Tōjūsai Sharaku studied facial gestures to better represent moments drawn from well-known narratives. And Janice Guy and Lee Miller examined psychological aspects of human expression through the medium of photography.

Main Building


Samuel Ewing, Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography; and Jun P. Nakamura, Suzanne Andrée Curatorial Fellow

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