Press Release ~ A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley ~ Newport


A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley
November 3, 2016 talk with award-winning Harvard historian Jane Kamensky

Newport, RI – John Singleton Copley’s extraordinary talent earned him the patronage of Boston’s patriot leaders, including Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, as well as Newport residents such as Martin Howard and Ann Fairchild Bowler. Copley did not share the political beliefs of many of his patrons, and painting portraits failed to satisfy his lofty artistic goals. As an ambitious British subject who lamented America’s provincialism, he looked longingly across the Atlantic. When resistance escalated into all-out war, Copley was in London. The magisterial canvases he created there made him one of the towering figures of the British art scene: a painter of America’s revolution as Britain’s American War.

On Thursday November 3, 2016 at 5:30pm, the Newport Historical Society will host award-winning Harvard historian Jane Kamensky to explore the life of one of the greatest artists of the 18th century which is featured in her new biography A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley. She will share details about his connections to Newport and other aspects about the American Revolution as seen through Copley’s eyes.

Jane Kamensky is Professor of History and Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University. She is a historian of early America, the Atlantic world, and the age of revolutions, with particular interests in the histories of family, culture, and everyday life. Kirkus Reviews describes A Revolution in Color as, “Majestic…[Kamensky] beautifully merges biography with history to tell the story of one of America's earliest and finest portrait painters...There may never be a better biography of Copley than this sumptuous, exquisitely told story of a man and his time.”

A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley takes place at the Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI. General admission costs $5 per person, $1 for NHS members as well as active duty and retired military with ID. Reservations requested, please call the Brick Market: Museum & Shop at 401-841-8770. The book will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the lecture. This program is generously sponsored by The Harborside Inn.

About the Newport Historical Society
Since 1854, the Newport Historical Society has collected and preserved the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment, and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present. For more information please visit


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