Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 2013: Rare Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I at the Museum of the Albemarle

Contact: Lori Meads, Educator
Release Date:  Immediate
End Date:  October 7, 2013
(252) 335-1453

Rare Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I to be displayed at the Museum of the Albemarle

 The Museum of the Albemarle will exhibit the ca. 1593 portrait of Queen Elizabeth I beginning Friday, October 4, 2013 in the main gallery Our Story.
This depiction of Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) has recently attracted the interest of historians, art collectors, and a reality program regarding its authenticity. Since the portrait’s purchase in the 1950s by Ruth Coltrane Cannon, a founding member and benefactor of The Elizabethan Gardens, the object has been on display at The Elizabethan Gardens without knowledge of its true history.

Recent research and careful analysis of the oil painting yielded extraordinary information regarding the item’s age and its painter.  The materials used for the portrait and frame date back to Elizabethan times. The wood on which the image is painted originates from supplies reserved solely for royal portraits at that time. Research has also revealed that Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (ca. 1561/1562–1636), a well-known portrait artist from the Elizabethan era, may have been the painter.  Similarities between the famous Ditchley portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Gheeraerts at London’s National Portrait Gallery with The Elizabethan Gardens painting exist. Both reveal similar angles of the head, the same jeweled and pearl necklace, and the ostentatious crown, along with other jewelry. However, an exact connection to the artist has yet to be proven definitively.

The Museum of the Albemarle thanks The Elizabethan Gardens for the opportunity to borrow the painting and for their knowledge and foresight in discovering more information about the past. The portrait will be on display through March 2014.

For More Information Call 252-335-1453
Photo credit should read: Courtesy of the Elizabethan Gardens, Ray Matthews; Photographer. Artist unknown--but long attributed to the school of Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (ca. 1561/62-1636). Elizabeth I (1533-1603), oil on oak panels, ca. 1593.  Courtesy of The Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo, North Carolina.

The Museum of the Albemarle is located at 501 S. Water Street, Elizabeth City, NC. (252)335-1453. www.museumofthealbemarle.com. Find us on Facebook!

The Museum of the Albemarle is located at 501 S. Water Street, Elizabeth City, NC. (252)335-1453. www.museumofthealbemarle.com. Find us on Facebook! Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sundays, Mondays and State Holidays. Serving Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties, the Museum is the northeast regional history museum of the North Carolina Division of State History Museums within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.

About The North Carolina Department of Cultural ResourcesThe North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan W. Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission to enrich lives and communities creates opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art; NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and economic stimulus engines for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of State Archives, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state; developing and supporting access to traditional and online collections such as genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.

NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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