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A portrait is so much more than a painting of an individual. The artist depicts not only the subject’s image, but also his or her story and personality.
The Missouri History Museum presents The Language of Portraits, a gallery installation designed to unlock the history hidden in a portrait. Ten portraits from the Museum’s collection represent subjects of all ages and from various time periods.
Aspects of each portrait are deconstructed to reveal the subject’s personal history. A young girl’s jewelry is not just decorative; it is mourning jewelry, indicating a recent death. The paper and pen in a young man’s hands are not for a letter; they show that he is an avid writer. The view outside a gentleman’s window is not his garden; it is the cemetery where his grandfather was buried
A descriptive audio tour/guide is available for visitors who are visually impaired.