Portraiture and Representation

  • Dawoud Bey, Deas McNeil, The Barber, from the Harlem portfolio, 1976
  • Dawoud Bey, A Woman Waiting In The Doorway, from the Harlem portfolio, 1976
  • Dennis Stock, Untitled, from James Dean: A Memorial Porfolio, 1955
  • Carrie Mae Weems, untitled #2451, 1990
  • Nicholas Nixon, The Brown Sisters, 1986
  • Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette, 1989
  • Tina Barney, Marina and Peter, 1997
  • Tina Barney, Marina's Room, 1987
  • Diane Arbus, Two Girls in Matching Bathing Suits, Coney Island, NY, 1967

A portrait is a photograph that is composed to convey information about a personʼs appearance, identity, and mood. Studio portraits rely on details such as clothing, hairstyle, facial expressions, and body language to teach us about a subject. Environmental portraits present a person in a context or setting that contains details that add to what we learn from their physical appearance. Choices made by the photographer including use of soft versus hard light or framing and vantage point can also influence our perception of the subject.


Subscribe to our email list for the latest updates!

Museum of Contemporary Photography

at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

(312) 663-5554

Reserve Parking
Nearby Divvy Stations


  • Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The MoCP is CLOSED when Columbia College Chicago is closed, including all major holidays. The MoCP is also closed between exhibitions for installation. Be sure to check our homepage before your visit.

Interior of MoCP

Forget your password?

Provide your email address, and we'll send you a new password.


Schedule a Tour or Print Viewing:

The Snider Prize Application: