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Judith Sargent Murray and Gender Dynamics in the Early Republic

Friday, October 19, 2012, | 2:00 to 7:00 p.m

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announces an upcoming symposium scheduled for Friday, October 19, 2012, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m., in conjunction with the exhibition “A Will of Their Own: Judith Sargent Murray and Women of Achievement in the Early Republic.” This exhibition features John Singleton Copley’s 1769–72 oil painting of Judith Sargent Murray (1751–1820) and seven other portraits of her notable female contemporaries. The loan of the Copley painting and the funds for this symposium are made possible through the generous support of the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Much has been written about the struggle for women’s rights, starting in the mid-nineteenth century. This interdisciplinary symposium will investigate the origins of the movement toward gender equality in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, paying particular attention to the transatlantic exchange of ideas and the visual culture. Five leading historians and art historians will speak at the symposium: Wendy Bellion, associate professor of American art, University of Delaware; Jane Kamensky, Harry S. Truman Professor of American civilization, Brandeis University; Leslie Reinhardt, independent scholar; Sheila Skemp, Clare Leslie Marquette Professor of American history, University of Mississippi; and Rosemarie Zagarri, professor of American history, George Mason University. This event is open to the public and free of charge, although registration is requested. A reception for participants and guests will conclude the day.

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