OUT OF THE BACKGROUND: CECILIA BEAUX AND THE ART OF PORTRAITURE
By Tara Leigh Tappert
About the author
Tara Leigh Tappert is an independent scholar and an archives and American arts consultant. She holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from the George Washington University (1990), an M.S.L.S. in Library and Archives Administration from Wayne State University (1976), and a B.A. in History from Hope College (1973). Her dissertation on American portrait painter, Cecilia Beaux, was funded by graduate fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Winterthur Museum, and the George Washington University. As guest curator for the Beaux exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery she revised and expanded her dissertation into a full study of the artist's life and work. Unfortunately, due to funding shortfalls the museum published a souvenir catalogue instead.
Since 1990, her company, Tappert & Associates, Archives and American Art Consultants, has offered heirloom research and collections management services to arts and cultural organizations, to legal and financial institutions, to film makers, and to private individuals and families. During the course of her career Tappert has lectured at the Smithsonian, at Sotheby's, at the Columbus Museum of Art, and at many other institutions. In addition to serving as a guest curator at the National Portrait Gallery, she has also served as a researcher for exhibitions and collections related projects at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan; the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia; the Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover, Delaware; the Washington County Museum of Art, Hagerstown, Maryland; the Taubman Museum of American Art, Roanoke, Virginia; and Olin Gallery, Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia. Her collections management projects have included the organization of archival papers, the creation of finding aids, the development of holding lists and bibliographies, and the cataloging of collections for Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland; Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana; the American Trust for the British Library, London, England; the National Press Club, Washington, DC; Historic Rugby, Inc., Rugby, Tennessee; and Rising Phoenix Retreat Center, Flintstone, Maryland. Tappert has also been adjunct faculty for the Masters Program in the History of Decorative Arts offered through the Smithsonian Associates and the Corcoran College of Arts + Design, and Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon.
Additionally, Tappert has contributed essays on various American art topics for the publications of such institutions as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Williams College, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her writings can also be found in American National Biography, Dictionary of Women Artists, Style 1900 American Craft, American Art Review, Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, and Victoria Magazine. She also contributed an essay, "William Sartain and Cecilia Beaux - Influences of a Teacher," to the award-winning publication, Philadelphia's Cultural Landscape: The Sartain Family Legacy (Temple University Press, 2000).
Resource Library editor's
The above text was published, without illustrations, in Resource Library on September 25, 2009, with permission of the author, which was granted to TFAO on June 7, 2009. The author is the copyright owner of contents from the Title page through the Bibliography.
This book manuscript is a revision and expansion of the author's Ph.D. dissertation, prepared to accompany a Cecilia Beaux exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. The manuscript has not been previously published in book format. The author wrote an article on Beaux, based on the dissertation, that was published in the October - November 1995 issue of American Art Review.
Resource Library wishes to extend appreciation to Shana Herb Johannessen for her help concerning permissions for publishing this text.
For biographical information on artists referenced in the
above text please see America's Distinguished
Artists, a national registry of historic artists
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