Sheldon Museum of Art Main Content

Neel, John

John and Joey Priestly1968Oil on canvas36 × 24N-339.1975Nebraska Art Association, Nelle Cochrane Woods Memorial Alice NeelAlice Neel had the innate ability to pull a sitter’s interior life into a painted portrait. The artist never used photographs to complete her paintings. Instead, she talked with her subjects, got a sense of their personality, and then had them pose for her until she had captured what she determined to be their essence. In John and Joey Priestly, the older brother looks anxious and jittery, ready to exit the room as soon as he is able. In contrast, his younger sibling appears more relaxed, with slumped shoulders, a rounded back, and bright blue eyes curious about the world. American 19001984New York, NYMerion Square, PA