In the decades encompassing the American Revolution and its aftermath, portraiture was a privilege reserved for the few. Although technology has democratized portrait-making today, essential questions of identity that shaped portraiture in America’s earliest years are just as relevant to its citizens now.

Courtney McNeil is chief curator of collections and exhibitions for Telfair Museums in Savannah, the oldest public art museum in the South. She has served in Telfair’s curatorial department since 2006. McNeil specializes in American art and has curated exhibitions ranging from historical to contemporary in a wide variety of media. She is active as a lecturer and writer and has served as judge for numerous art exhibitions and competitions. Before coming to Telfair, McNeil was employed at Childs Gallery in her hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.