John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal

February 28, 2020 - May 31, 2020
bearded man in a coat
Sir William Blake Richmond / John Singer Sargent / c. 1910, Charcoal on paper / Lent by the National Portrait Gallery, London

At the height of his success as a portraitist, John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) astonished the transatlantic art world by suddenly abandoning oil painting in 1907. For the rest of his life, he explored likeness and identity through the medium of charcoal, producing several hundred portraits of individuals recognized for their accomplishments in fields such as art, music, literature and theater. “John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal” will be the first exhibition of Sargent’s portrait drawings in over fifty years. This once-in-a-lifetime assemblage of master drawings—many of them from private collections and rarely exhibited—features compelling depictions of an international network of trailblazing men and women who helped define twentieth-century Anglo-American culture. This exhibition is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Richard Ormond is guest curator of the exhibition. The curator of the exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum is Laurel Peterson, Moore Curatorial Fellow, Department of Drawings and Prints.

The curator of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is Robyn Asleson, Curator of Prints and Drawings.