The seminar or
conference study format, involving large numbers of participants
now widely emulated was created and pioneered
by The Portrait Institute, beginning in 1979 with its
National Portrait Seminar.
Originally an annual five-day study conference on professional
portrait painting featuring demonstrations, panel discussions
and special topic seminars. Presented first in a New York theatre
and then at various hotel and resort venues across the country.
1979-1993. Attendance annually: 350 - 700.
Three years of private one-to-one mentoring, painting demonstrations,
career workshops, lectures, competitions and national exhibitions,
at the former J. Crroll Beckwith residence in the Renaissance
Studios building. New York. 1996-1998.
Presented in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, these presentations
included the showing of recent portraits by leading artists,
open question-and-answer sessions, and special tributes to prominent
New York artists. 1994-1995.
Presented nine times, this competition invited entries from
all portrait artists, distributing over $40,000 in cash awards
plus, in later years, a New York exhibition of the principal
For years the Portrait Institute offered one-to-one in-person,
one-to-one critiques and instruction in studio sessions, painting
from the live model. These sessions took place at the Renaissance
Studios, the Carnegie Hall Studios, and at 225 West Fifty-Seventh
John and Elizabeth Sanden presented their popular one-day seminars
in major cities across the country. Regular locales included
Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Orlando, New Orleans, Dallas, St.
Louis, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco. 1980-1984.
More than five hundred artists studied through the Portrait
Institute Course, in which participating artists worked in their
private studios, guided by audio instructional tapes and recorded
critiques by John and Elizabeth Sanden and associated artists.
The Portrait Institute has produced seven instructional videos
and is actively producing additional titles. 1983 to present.
A lecture-demonstration series, presented at the Portrait Institute
studios in New York, focused on the life and art of John Singer
John and Elizabeth Sanden have authored four books on portraiture:
Painting the Head in Oil (Watson-Guptill Publications,
1976), Successful Portrait Painting (Watson-Guptill,
1981), Portraits From Life (North Light Books, 1999),
and The Portraits of John Howard Sanden (Madison Square
Press, 2000). The two earliest books are now out of print. Portraits
From Life is available from The Portrait Institute or your
local bookseller. The Portraits of John Howard Sanden
will be available only from The Portrait Institute. Please
use our Ordering page to obtain a
copy of this book.