25th Jun, 2022

Herbert Art Gallery exhibits selfies to self-portraits, from Bowie to Lady Diana to King Henry VIII

Correspondent 14th Feb, 2017

VISITORS to a new exhibition at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery can get face-to-face with iconic giants of history including Henry VIII, Princess Diana, David Bowie and Marilyn Monroe.

The latest exhibition explores the historical obsession with the human image, from ‘selfies’ and self-portraits to images of historical figures, which also includes Nelson Mandela.

The ‘Face to Face – Portraits Through Time’ exhibition focuses on the centuries-old fascination of capturing our own image, says the Herbert, with images of historical icons sitting alongside snapshots of ordinary members of the public.

It includes featured works by renowned artists such as Vanley Burke, Mick Rock, Andy Warhol, Sarah Lucas and Thomas Gainsborough.

The collection includes loans from the National Portrait Gallery, the Arts Council Collection, The Courtauld Gallery and local firm The Photo Archive Miners – bring works together in one exhibition for the first time.

Many of the works are not on regular display or have been taken out of storage especially for the exhibition, says the Herbert.

Exhibiting artist Nahem Shoa, a gallery curator and a 10 year old all guide visitors through the gallery with audio descriptions.

The free exbihition is already underway and runs until June 4.

Jo Muskett, director of marketing and communications at Culture Coventry, said: “We are very proud to stage the Face to Face – Portraits Through Time exhibition.

“The exhibition is an intriguing exploration of our historical fascination with self-image, investigating why we make portraits and the hidden messages they are trying to convey, all channelled through paintings, photographs, sculptures and interactive activities.

“It’s a great honour for the Herbert to be playing host to such an amazing array of iconic art works. We are very grateful to the organisations involved for their support with the exhibition, such as the substantial offer of ten loans from the National Portrait Gallery.”

A special audio described tour for those with sight impairment will take place on Wednesday April 5 from 10am -11am, with online bookings for the tour available through visiting http://www.theherbert.org/

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