Silhouettes—originally profiles cut from black paper—were incredibly popular in Europe and the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. Often referred to as “shades” or “shadows,” profiles could be cut from paper or painted by artists and amateurs alike. Although photography would replace the art form as the most practical, instantaneous, and inexpensive mode of capturing likenesses, artists have since returned to the silhouette, effectively redefining the genre and shedding light on its history. Featuring works from Telfair Museums’ permanent collection, In the Shadows explores the origins, evolution, and enduring power of silhouette portraiture.
This exhibition is organized by Telfair Museums and curated by Anne-Solène Bayan, Assistant Curator.