Forum on Canova and the Presidential Image

photo of Kenneth Lapatin giving talk in front of sculpture of George Washington

June 24, July 11, and July 25, 2018


This summer, Education organized a three-part series examining the presidential image, as framed by the special exhibition Canova’s George Washington. Each after-hours conversation took place in the galleries and was led by a noted scholar with a distinct perspective on the commemoration of public figures.

Kenneth S. Lapatin, Associate Curator of Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum, opened the series, speaking on “The Presidential Image and the Legacy of Antiquity.”

Carrie Rebora Barratt, President, New York Botanical Garden and former Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presented the second session, “Gilbert Stuart and a Presidential Image for a New Nation.”

Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, presented the final session, “Interrogating the Presidential Image in the 21st Century.”

“Thank you so much for providing this valuable experience. It gave us the opportunity to have a close personal connection with the exhibition.”

“Glad I was able to make all three of the presentations. These intimate gatherings are extremely valuable for anyone wishing to know more about your exhibitions. The speakers were all five-star.”

—Forum on Canova and the Presidential Image attendees

Photographs by Cris Sunwoo and George Koelle

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