John Trumbull's 1792 portrait of Alexander Hamilton, which has been on loan to Crystal Bridges since its opening in 2011, has been donated jointly to the museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art by owner investment bank Credit Suisse. The Hamilton painting will travel to the Metropolitan this summer and return to Crystal Bridges next year. Each museum plans to exhibit the painting for two-year periods.
The portrait hangs next to Charles Wilson Peale's portrait of George Washington, a painting that was a gift to Hamilton, Washington's secretary of the treasury, I learned last weekend at the museum from gracious and knowledgeable curator Manuela Well-Off-Man. Both are beautiful, striking larger-than-life portraits (
the image above is quite dark and does not do justice to the painting Crystal Bridges provided the new image above) that will change your mind if you think that old paintings of American statesmen might be a bore. If you've reserved a seat on the Arkansas Times' art bus to Crystal Bridges April 6 or plan to go with the Times in May you'll see what I mean.