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Past Exhibitions

Side Eye: Portraits in Profile

June 3 - October 1, 2017

Woodruff Gallery

Long before the “profile pic” and “profiling” gained common currency, artists employed visual representations of specific individuals from the side, rather than head-on or in three-quarter view. Indeed the ancient Greeks believed that relief sculpture originated when a young Corinthian woman traced the silhouette of her lover—departing for battle the next day—on the wall behind him.

The Columbus Museum, like many collecting institutions, contains a number of portraits in profile. This exhibition will highlight this subset of the larger genre. Based in the visual needs of legible authority in the ancient world, the format has remained a vital, if less common, mode for portrait artists up through the present.