Glass House Presents

Charles Ethan Porter’s Aesthetic Enterprise

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Connecticut-based, New York- and Paris-trained Charles Ethan Porter (1847-1923) is one of the first African American artists to exhibit his work nationally and the only late 19th-century painter of color to focus largely on the still-life genre. Join curator Sylvia Yount, who has prioritized Porter’s late 19th-century art as a curator at The Met, for a virtual discussion of his experimental approach to natural subjects over a prolific three-decade career. This talk coincides with artist David Hartt’s project A Colored Garden, which features an installation of Porter’s paintings at The Glass House.

Sylvia Yount is the Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she is responsible for the administrative and curatorial oversight of the department of historical works by African American, Euro American, Latin American, and Native American makers, from the colonial period to the early-twentieth century. Before moving to the Met, she served as Chief Curator and the Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art and department head at the High Museum of Art. She began her curatorial career at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, America’s oldest art school and museum. In addition to completing pivotal collection reinstallations at her former institutions, Yount has organized major exhibitions, with accompanying catalogues, on Winslow Homer, Jacob Lawrence, historical Native American art, Cecilia Beaux, Maxfield Parrish, and American modernism, among other topics focused on women and artists of color in regional and national contexts. She is currently working on an exhibition of late nineteenth-century New York art worlds and their intersecting artist circles, opening at The Met in December 2022. She continues to lecture and publish widely on American art and culture as well as on issues of curatorial responsibility and museum practice.

Glass House Presents is an ongoing series of talks and other live events that extend the site’s historic role as a gathering place for artists, architects, and other creative minds. This event is co-hosted by New Canaan Library and supported in part by the New Canaan Community Foundation.