A More Perfect Union? Power, Sex, and Race in the Representation of Couples


About the Exhibition

A More Perfect Union? Power, Sex and Race in the Representation of Couples illuminates ways in which artists of different generations have explored the meaning of marriage, the nature of human relationships, sexuality, and public versus private expressions of love. Issues raised by the exhibition include the representation of the roles of women and men, social class, race, and same-sex marriage. Artists represented range from early American painters such as Robert Street (1796–1865) and Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827) to contemporary figures like Bill Walton (1931–2010) , Jonathan Lyndon Chase (born 1989), Sarah McEneaney (born 1955), and Alex Kanevsky (born 1963).

Artists showing in the exhibitions:

Constantin Alajálov | Roger Anliker | Kassem Amoudi | Roland Ayers | Bo Bartlett | Cecilia Beaux | Frank Bramblett | Barbara Bullock | Donald E. Camp | Jonathan Lyndon Chase | Sebastian Collett | Bruce Cratsley | James Cremer | Almitra Marino David | Larry Day | Giuseppe Donato | Jessie Drew-Bear | Kaitlyn Dunphy | Edith Emerson | Martha Mayer Erlebacher | Walter Erlebacher | Emlen Pope Etting | John Falter | William Newport Goodell | Eileen Goodman | Richard Guggenheim | Thomas Hovenden | Frederick James| Gilbert Lewis | Arlene Love | Samuel Maitin | Gabriel Martinez | Sarah McEneaney | Mitzi Melnicoff | Anne Minich | John W. Mosley | Edith Neff | Violet Oakley | Peter Paone | Charles Willson Peale | Irving Penn | Salvatore Pinto | Norman Rockwell | Peter Frederick Rothermel | Laurence Salzmann | Dick Sargent | Suzanne Schireson | Sterling Shaw | Christopher Smith | Nora Speyer | Benton Spruance | Robert Street | James Stidun | Thomas Sully | Lucia Thomé | Mickayel Thurin | Ellen Powell Tiberino | Rochelle Toner | Bill Walton | Franklin Watkins

Exhibition Programming

02.11.17 | Lecture: A More Perfect Union? The Evolution of an Exhibition
02.11.17 | Open House: A More Perfect Union
02.16.17 | The Wedding Cake: A Perfect Union of Sugar and Art Gallery Talk
03.25.17 | Laws and Marriage
04.22.17 | Legislation, Adjudication, and Artistic Representation
05.20.17 | Portraits: Duets for A More Perfect Union?

Banner: Bedroom Two, 1985, by Sarah McEneaney (Courtesy of the artist and Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York )


A More Perfect Union? Power, Sex, and Race in the Representation of Couples

This exhibition explores how artists imagine gender, race, class, sexuality, and orientation in depictions of marriage and human relationships.

In the News

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The Reconciliation of the Flesh: Woodmere Museum reviews ‘Our More Perfect Union’

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Couples as art: Tom Hine reviews Woodmere Valentine's show

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Press Releases

A More Perfect Union? Power, Sex, and Race in the Representation of Couples