Lowell Lecture

Curated Conversations: Becoming a Painter in 18th-Century Boston: Copley and Others

Date & Time

Feb. 17, 2019 at 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.


Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115
Driving Directions


Barbara Martin, Alfond Curator of Education

Presenting Organization

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


The Arts

The MFA’s collection provides an unmatched opportunity to trace, painting by painting, how enterprising young men far from the cities of Europe managed to scrape together some form of artistic training. Portraiture was the name of the game—as John Singleton Copley said with some frustration, “Were it not for preserving the resemblance of particular persons, painting would not be known in the place.” Join Barbara Martin, Alfond Curator of Education, as she traces his development, comparing his works with those of his mentors and contemporaries, and considering how he ultimately achieved portraits so convincing that John Adams said, “You can scarcely help discoursing with them, asking questions and receiving answers.”