Last Thursday, we let art historian James Fishburne—guest curator of “A History of Whiskers: Facial Hair and Identity in European and American Art, 1750–1920”—run The Huntington’s Instagram account for the day. In a nod to the exhibition, which is on view for just one more week, James spent the day looking at facial hair in our art galleries, touring us through “Shenandoahs,” “chin curtains,” and mustachioed teapots.
Below is a roundup of all of the Instagram posts from last week’s #takeoverTheH event.
Art historian James Fishburne (@kindajimmy) is taking over the Huntington Instagram today! James is the guest curator for “A History of Whiskers: Facial Hair and Identity in European and American Art, 1750-1920,” on view upstairs in the Huntington Art Gallery through March 7. He’ll be posting about facial hair in the art collections today. James received his Ph.D. in art history from UCLA, and he is now a Research Associate at the Getty Research Institute. “A History of Whiskers” developed out of an investigation into the beards of Renaissance popes, which was part of his dissertation. #takeoverTheH #arthistory #beards #beardsofinstagram
Father Time stands on the lawn outside of the Huntington Art Gallery. He holds his hourglass and scythe, warning passersby that time flies, and at any moment they could be cut down—even in the prime of life. His long beard is a sign of his advanced age and another indication of the passage of time. —James Fishburne #takeoverTheH #arthistory #beards #beardsofinstagram — Maker unknown, “Time” (detail), undated, outdoor sculpture, limestone. On view in the North Vista.
Wearing a pink bonnet and sunflower boutonnière, this mustachioed man complicates our conception of traditional, Victorian-era masculinity. Visit the second floor of the Huntington Art Gallery to view the other side of the teapot and see that he is appended to a female companion. — James Fishburne #takeoverTheH #arthistory #beards #beardsofinstagram — “Aesthetic Teapot and Cover,” 1881, manufactured by the Royal Worcester Porcelain Factory (British, est. 1751), porcelain. On view in the Huntington Art Gallery.
Christ is typically portrayed with long hair and beard, as he is in this scene. But many of the earliest known images show him without any facial hair. The beard did not become a standard part of his iconography until the 6th century. —James Fishburne #takeoverTheH #arthistory #beards #beardsofinstagram — David Wilkie, “The Supper at Emmaus” (detail), 1841, oil on board. On view in the Huntington Art Gallery.
Our only clean-shaven artwork of the day! Abraham Lincoln did not grow a beard until just before his inauguration in 1861. This bronze bust was cast in 1880, but it was made from a plaster mask taken directly from Honest Abe’s face on May 18, 1860. —James Fishburne #takeoverTheH #arthistory #beards #beardsofinstagram — Leonard Wells Volk, “Abraham Lincoln”, modeled 1860, cast 1880, bronze. On view in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art.
General Ulysses S. Grant, standing to the left, has a fairly traditional beard. It is the same style that he wore as president, and you can see it today on the $50 bill. President Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton both lack mustaches. Lincoln’s style is referred to as a “chin curtain” while Stanton wears a much longer “Shenandoah.” —James Fishburne #takeoverTheH #arthistory #beards #beardsofinstagram — John Rogers, “Council of War” (detail), 1868, painted plaster. On view in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art.
Henry Huntington had a mustache for his entire adult life. Occasionally it was much shorter than in this 1924 portrait. Look closely and you’ll see that the artist applied thick paint to create the impression of bristling whiskers. —James Fishburne #takeoverTheH #arthistory #beards #beardsofinstagram — Oswald Hornby and Joseph Birley, “Henry Edwards Huntington” (detail), 1924, oil on canvas. On view in the Huntington Art Gallery.
“A History of Whiskers: Facial Hair and Identity in European and American Art, 1750–1920” is on view through March 7, 2017, in the Works on Paper Room in the Huntington Art Gallery.
Kate Lain is the new media developer at The Huntington.