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Member Lecture: Ellsworth Kelly—Portrait Drawings

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  • Free, registration required


Ralph Coburn, 1949

Ellsworth Kelly. Collection of the Ellsworth Kelly Studio and Jack Shear ©️ Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.

While Ellsworth Kelly (American, 1923–2015) is remembered today for his enduring influence on post-war abstract painting, sculpture, and printmaking, the artist was also a dedicated and prolific portraitist, who drew likenesses of himself and his friends throughout his long life.

In this discussion of Ellsworth Kelly: Portrait Drawings, chair and curator of Prints and Drawings Kevin Salatino considers these little-known portraits—brought together as a coherent body of work for the first time in this exhibition—within the context of Kelly’s 70-year career. Join Salatino to discover the complex relationships between these experimental, self-exploratory drawings and Kelly’s more public-facing work.

Please note that this is an in-person event that takes place at the museum.

In accordance with state and City of Chicago guidelines, visitors to the museum are no longer required to wear masks or provide proof of vaccination. Anyone who would like to continue to wear a mask is welcome to do so. Learn more about our visiting policies and what to expect.

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Closed captioning will be available for this program. For questions related to accessibility accommodations, please email


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