Children and childhood have served as subjects for artists for many centuries. Images of children frequently reflect societal changes in the ways that childhood has been perceived over time. From images that portray children as “small adults” to those that celebrate youth as a time of happiness and exploration, artists have captured likeness as well as the activities of children.
This exhibition of works from the permanent collection of the Museum will include imagery of children and childhood, beginning with European prints of the seventeenth century, and concluding with modern perceptions of youth. Traditional portraits, many of which mimicked those of their adult counterparts, were intended to portray the social and economic status of children and their families. Later paintings often place more emphasis on the roles of children in the family and the home. Finally, the artists of the twentieth century begin to consider the interior life of children and the psychology of young people as they approach maturity.
Above: Photograph of the 2018 installation of the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
From images that portray children as “small adults” to those that celebrate youth as a time of happiness and exploration, artists have captured the likeness as well as the activities of children over several generations.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Support for this exhibition was provided in part by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.