The Whistler House Museum of Art Announces New Exhibition: Famous Faces: Portraits by Nancy Ellen Craig

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Contact(s): Sara Bogosian

Phone number: (978) 452-7641 

Date: June 6, 2016 

”Famous Faces: 

Portraits by Nancy Ellen Craig

The Whistler House Museum of Art Announces New Exhibition: Famous Faces: Portraits by Nancy Ellen Craig


The Whistler House Museum of Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Famous Faces: Portraits by Nancy Ellen Craig. The show will run from June 29 to August 6, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, July 9, from 2 to 4 PM in the Parker Gallery.

Famous Faces presents a collection of portraits that demonstrate Nancy Ellen Craig’s talent, ambition, and breadth of style. Twenty-six elegant and intimate paintings of the social, intellectual, and political elite of the twentieth century have been selected for display in this important and inspiring exhibition.

Nancy Ellen Craig (1927-2015) was born in New York City and graduated from Bennington College and the Art Students League in New York before beginning her career in portraiture. Commissioned paintings of famous men and women like Frank Lloyd Wright, Lady Jean Campbell, and Anjelica Huston supported both Craig and her husband as they traveled the world. They settled in Truro, Massachusetts, where she painted in the studio located in an antique barn.

Throughout her career, Nancy Ellen Craig’s critics have compared her work to that of Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent. She won numerous awards in both the United States and Europe, including the Audubon Artists Patrons Prize and the $20,000 Pollock-Krasner award. Her work now resides in such collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Baltimore Art Museum, and the John Ringling Museum.  

“We are proud to present this outstanding collection of portraits by Nancy Ellen Craig, whose natural genius and talent in form, color and line transcends the test of time and continues to bring high praise from leading art critics past and present” says President and Executive Director Sara Bogosian. 

Guest Curators Michael and Christine Jones have professionally presented Craig’s unprecedented artistic abilities. An attorney, judge, artist, and professor at University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Michael recently completed a master’s degree in Museum Studies at Harvard University, where he delved deeply into Craig’s life and art. Both his degree and his internship at the WHMA culminate in this exciting exhibition. Christine is an accomplished poet and physical therapist, and was a close friend of the late Nancy Ellen Craig.

The Whistler House Museum of Art, located in Lowell, Massachusetts, is the historic birthplace of the famous American artist, James McNeill Whistler. Established in 1878 as the Lowell Art Association Inc., it is the oldest incorporated art association in the United States. The WHMA is known internationally for its distinguished collection of 19th and  early 20th century New England representational art, including works by Whistler, Gorky, and Sargent. The historic home hosts many exhibits, lectures, concerts, educational and community programs, and an array of social events in the residence, Parker  Gallery, and adjoining Victorian park. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am – 4 pm

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