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Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer

Philip Pearlstein

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Beyond Borders and Boundaries, 20th and 21st Centuries
Best known for his realist nude portraits, Philip Pearlstein created this portrait of feminist curator, critic, and art historian Linda Nochlin and her second husband, Richard Pommer, to commemorate the couple’s wedding. Here, Pearlstein challenged the conventions of traditional wedding portraiture meant to celebrate the joyousness of a new marriage. He places Nochlin in the foreground, rather than next to her husband, and depicts the newlyweds as casual to the point of lethargy, their attention drawn away from the viewer and one another. Pearlstein’s critique of art historical conventions, and his foregrounding of the female member of the wedded couple, was appreciated by Nochlin, whose groundbreaking scholarship reshaped the practice of art history and curating.

Nochlin had a lifelong relationship with the Brooklyn Museum, beginning with childhood visits. Later, she co-curated Women Artists: 1550–1950 (1977), with Ann Sutherland, and Global Feminisms (2007), with Maura Reilly, the first exhibition mounted in the Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. In 2012, Nochlin was awarded a Sackler Center First Award for her long-standing commitment to feminist art historical practice. Following Nochlin’s death, in 2017, her family gifted this painting to the Sackler Center collection.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1968
DIMENSIONS 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm)  (show scale)
ACCESSION NUMBER 2018.20.3
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Estate of Linda Nochlin Pommer
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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CAPTION Philip Pearlstein (American, born 1924). Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer, 1968. Oil on canvas, 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Linda Nochlin Pommer, 2018.20.3. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2018.20.3_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2018.20.3_PS9.jpg., 2018
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Philip Pearlstein (American, born 1924). <em>Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer</em>, 1968. Oil on canvas, 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Linda Nochlin Pommer, 2018.20.3. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2018.20.3_PS9.jpg)