The Portraits

Staff member working in collections and putting a painting away

Richmond Barthe

Artist
Betsy Graves Reyneau, 1888 - 1964
Sitter
Richmond Barthé, 28 Jan 1901 - 6 Mar 1989
Date
1946
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Frame: 170.5 × 99.4 × 5.4cm (67 1/8 × 39 1/8 × 2 1/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Harmon Foundation
Restrictions & Rights
© Peter Edward Fayard
Object number
NPG.67.77
Culture
Richmond Barthé: American\African American
Exhibition Label
Born Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
The Harmon Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in New York City and active from 1922 to 1967, included this portrait in its exhibition “Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origin.” To demonstrate its goal of social equality and document noteworthy African Americans’ contributions to the country, the foundation had sought portraits from an African American artist, Laura Wheeler Waring, and a Euro-American artist, Betsy Graves Reyneau. The exhibition toured the country for ten years.
By 1946, sculptor Richmond Barthé was very well-known in New York City. Reyneau depicted him in his studio with a figure of Jesus Christ titled Come Unto Me. When he completed the work in 1947, Barthé donated it to St. Jude’s Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Harmon Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in New York City and active from 1922 to 1967 included this portrait in its exhibition “Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origin,” which documented noteworthy African Americans’ contributions to the country. Modeling their goal of social equality, the foundation sought portraits from an African American artist, Laura Wheeler Waring, and a Euro-American artist, Betsy Graves Reyneau. The two painters followed the conventional codes of academic portraiture, seeking to convey their sitters' extraordinary accomplishments. This painting, along with a variety of educational materials, toured nationwide for ten years serving as a visual rebuttal to racism.
Nacido en Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
La Harmon Foundation, entidad filantrópica activa entre 1922 y 1967 con sede en New York, incluyó este retrato en su exposición “Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origin”. A tono con sus aspiraciones de igualdad social y de documentar las vidas de afroamericanos notables, la fundación había encargado los retratos a una artista afroamericana, Laura Wheeler Waring, y a otra euroamericana, Betsy Graves Reyneau. La exposición viajó por la nación a lo largo de diez años.
En 1946, el escultor Richmond Barthé era muy conocido en la ciudad de New York. Reyneau lo pintó en su estudio, junto a una imagen de Cristo titulada Come Unto Me (Venid a Mí). Cuando terminó la escultura en 1947, Barthé la donó a la iglesia St. Jude en Montgomery, Alabama.
Provenance
Harmon Foundation; gift 1967 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
20th Century Americans: 1930-1960
On View
NPG, South Gallery 321