Worthy & Virtuous Portraits

May 6, 2020

Join R. Tripp Evans, History of Art Professor at Wheaton College and former Athenæum Board President, for a look at one of the earliest and most visible contributions to the Athenæum’s art collection: James Phalen’s 1840 gift of ten “well executed busts of illustrious persons, ancient and modern.” Examining who made the cut and why, this talk will consider the busts’ original role within the library’s collection and the expansion of this portrait gallery since the Phalen gift.


R. Tripp Evans is a Professor of Art History at Wheaton College in Norton, MA, where he specializes in the art and architecture of the Americas. He received his B.A. in Architectural History from the University of Virginia and his M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University. He is the author of two books, Romancing the Maya: Mexican Antiquity in the American Imagination, 1820-1915 (University of Texas Press: 2004) and Grant Wood: A Life (Alfred A. Knopf: 2010), the latter of which won the 2010 National Award for Arts Writing. He lives with his husband, Ed Cabral, on Providence’s West Side.

This season was generously supported by the following friends and partners:

Categories: Athenæum, History, Local Interest