Faces of Fame: British Portraits Then and Now

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27 September 2022 - 26 March 2023
Watts Gallery

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Faces of Fame: British Portraits Then and Now
27 September - 26 March 2023

This September, Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village will be exhibiting a selection of photographs from Simon Frederick’s portrait series Black is the New Black alongside paintings from G F Watts’s Hall of Fame. These portraits have been loaned from the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection as part of it’s National Skills Sharing Partnership Programme.

Today, the portraits of ‘greats’ as represented by G F Watts’s Hall of Fame – nearly all of which depict white male writers, politicians, and social reformers – raise significant questions about those who Victorian art and society celebrated. Simon Frederick’s Black is the New Black uses the portrait series format to present an assembly of celebrated contemporary Black Britons.

Featuring twelve portraits from Black is the New Black and seven portraits from Watts’s Hall of Fame, the display will re-examine the representation of celebrity, race, gender, class, power and empire, allowing a critical re-evaluation of Watts and explore what a Hall of Fame might look like today.

This display has been created in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery as part of their transformational Inspiring People project which includes an extensive programme of nationwide activities, funded by The National Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund.

Exhibition included in admission.


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