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Joanna de Silva by William Wood: An Anglo-Indian Portrait at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

November 29, 2023 at 5:30pm7:00pm EST

Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (Room 114)

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Featuring Dr. Adam Eaker, Associate Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In his lecture titled “An “Effaced Itinerary”: Joanna de Silva by William Wood,” Dr. Adam Eaker will explore a major recent acquisition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, William Wood’s 1792 portrait of Joanna de Silva, an Indo-Portuguese ayah, or nursemaid. Tracing the painting from the circumstances of its creation to its acquisition by The Met and subsequent archival discoveries, Dr. Eaker will also situate the portrait within the context of the museum’s newly reconceived galleries for European painting.

Dr. Adam Eaker studied art history at Yale University and Columbia University, where he received his PhD in 2016. A specialist in Northern European and British painting of the sixteenth through the eighteenth century, he was previously a visiting scholar at the Rubenianum Research Institute for Flemish Art in Antwerp. Before joining the staff of The Met, he served as an Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow and subsequently guest curator at the Frick Collection, where he co-curated the exhibition Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture (2016) At The Met, He curated the exhibition In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at the Met, as well as a future exhibition about art at the Tudor courts.

For more information about Dr. Eaker’s lecture, please contact Professor Romita Ray Special Accommodations requests should be emailed to her by 12.00 PM, November 20, 2023. This event is generously co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University Humanities Center, Global Premodern Studies, and the Renée Crown University Honors Program.

[Photo caption: William Wood, Joanna de Silva, oil on canvas, 1792, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Bequest of Mary Jane Dastich, in memory of her husband, General Frank Dastich, by exchange and Charles B. Curtis Fund, 2020]

This event was first published on August 31, 2023 and last updated on November 6, 2023.

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