History Revealed: Nicholas R. Brewer
January 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Ramsey County Historical Society Presents
Julie L’Enfant, The Celebrity Portraits of Nicholas R. Brewer
History Revealed Series
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Free and open to all. No reservations needed.
Join RCHS for History Revealed, our program series featuring presentations and tours from the best of local historians, authors and archaeologists, with a wide range of topics drawn from the heritage and traditions of Ramsey County.
Nicholas R. Brewer (1857-1949) is a Minnesota artist best known today for his landscapes, but in his own lifetime his wide reputation rested mainly on his portraits. He painted many prominent Minnesotans. His circuit exhibitions in the 1920s and 1930s also featured portraits of some of the most famous men and women of his day. This presentation will focus on portraits of Joseph Jefferson, the comic actor who played Rip Van Winkle in theaters across the world; Ignace Paderewski, the Polish pianist and politician; and the girl who starred in a sensational movie about the Armenian Massacres of World War One, Aurora Mardiganian. These paintings, little known today, show Brewer’s intimate engagement with his era’s cultural and political events.
Julie L’Enfant is the author of seven books, including The Gag Family: German-Bohemian Artists in America (2002), Pioneer Modernists: Minnesota’s First Generation of Women Artists (2011), both of which won Minnesota Book Awards; Other Realities: The Art of Paul S. Kramer (2013); and, with co-author Jaden Hansen, Persistence of Vision: The Art of Bettye Olson (2017).
A new softcover edition of Julie’s latest book, Nicholas R. Brewer: His Art and Family (Afton Press, 2019), will be available for purchase and signing.
Image credit: Nicholas Brewer with his portrait of actress Margaret Anglin as her character in the play In the Wilderness. Mary Ann Walton collection.