The new Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, which is exhibiting “The Secrets of the Mona Lisa,” a scientific exploration of Leonardo DaVinci's famed painting, opens a companion exhibit Feb. 15: "Mona Lisa's Daughters."
"Daughters" features drawings, oils, charcoals, silkscreens, pastels and ink on paper from the permanent collection of the Arkansas Arts Center. The works span from the 16th century to the 21st; among the 31 artists represented are Milton Avery, Will Barnett, Chuck Close, Naomi Fisher, Norman Rockwell, Byron Browne and Alex Katz.
A press release from the RAM says the exhibit will show how contemporary artists "challenged the old conventions of female portraiture."
Rather than merely being portrayed as an object of desire, newer female portrait subjects meditated, read, listened to music, drew, or expressed emotion. Regardless how far artists have strayed from western portrait traditions, the long and storied history of this genre invests their works with an engaging sense of mystery. The depths of Mona Lisa's gaze have never been fully revealed, nor have the questions posed by her artistic daughters been fully answered.