Hamilton and Friends: Portraiture in Early New York
Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 pm

Alexander Hamilton was a man of many faces: politician, economist, revolutionary — and rumored philanderer. After he was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804, Hamilton’s widow, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, worked tirelessly to defend her husband’s reputation. Today we are familiar with likenesses of Alexander Hamilton — including one that is on the ten dollar bill. This panel will explore how portraiture served in the decades after the American Revolution as a critical tool in shaping and canonizing the public image of leaders and notables. Join us for a conversation about how the Hamiltons and other members of the colonial New York elite commissioned portraits to use both as status symbols and a means to craft their public image. This program delves into the themes of our exhibition Picturing Prestige: New York Portraits, 1700-1860.

William H. Gerdts, Professor Emeritus of Art History, CUNY Graduate Center
David Jaffee, Professor and Head of New Media Research, Bard Graduate Center
Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Brett Palfreyman, Assistant Professor, History Department, Wagner College
Bruce Weber (moderator), Museum's Curator of Picturing Prestige: New York Portraits, 1700-1860


Free for Museum members; $16 general public; $12 for students/seniors.

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This event is co-sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Society - Columbia University, the American Artists Professional League, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, National Park Service as well as the Barnard Art History Department Barnard Urban Studies Department, the Columbia Art History & Archaeology Department, the Fordham University Art History Department, the Morris-Jumel Mansion, the Museum of American Finance, the New-York Historical Society, the Salmagundi Club, and Untapped Cities.

Image credit: Alexander Hamilton ca. 1804-1808. Oil on canvas by John Trumbull