Bow Down Queens in Art

September 12, 2014–January 4, 2015

From intimate visions to official state portraits, what are we seeing when we look at a queen: the person or the crown? Bringing together diverse works by Albrecht Dürer, Marc Chagall and Andy Warhol, Bow Down—a Cunningham Corridor installation of works on paper—aims to capture the viewer’s fascination with female monarchs both historical and imaginative. Tabloids continue to snap endless photographs of British Queen Elizabeth, and young women still swoon over the iconic fashion of Marie Antoinette in movies and more. Still, contradictions rule in the depiction of queens: they may reign over the masses, but their image and their person become, paradoxically, public property.

Image: Jean-Michel le Jeune Moreau. French, 1741—1814. La dame du palais de la reine, from Monument du Costume Physique et Moral de la fin du dix-huitieme siecle ou Tableaux de la vie, 1789. Engraving on paper. Purchased with the gift of Mrs. Charles Lincoln Taylor (Margaret Rand Goldthwait, class of 1921).