A Quick Tour of Bowdoin’s Presidential Portrait Gallery

Today the new portrait of former Bowdoin president Barry Mills will be revealed on the second floor of Hubbard Hall. In anticipation of this event, Co-director of the Bowdoin Museum of Art Anne Goodyear recently offered a brief tour of the gallery where Mills’ portrait will be added.

In her examination of the portraits, Goodyear spoke about what the paintings reveal personally about the presidents and the way they chose to be remembered, as well as what the paintings suggest about their times. One obvious shift is that earlier portraits depict the presidents in their clerical attire. Later the presidents pose in academic robes, and eventually they allow their business suits to peek through their academic regalia.

This video offers just a flavor of the history contained in the portrait gallery. Goodyear promises in the future to give a more thorough talk about the portrait gallery, perhaps in conjunction with a college historian.

You can learn more about the presidential portraits at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

thumb:Jacqueline Francis, associate professor and chair of the graduate program in visual and critical studies at the California College of the Arts.