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Smithsonian National Portrait Galler, Great Hall, February 4, 2016. Full photo gallery here.
J.J. McCracken performs “The Mouth of the Scold,” a conceptual portrait of Anne Newport Royall of Capitol Hill, one of America’s first female journalists. Arrested in 1829 for arguing in public, Royall’s subsequent trial is part of a broader history of silencing, particularly of women. “The Mouth of the Scold” honors Marion B. Dunlevy and the long lineage of American women who were convicted as “common scolds.” This archaic charge targeted “troublesome and angry women” who disturbed the peace by habitually arguing in public.
IDENTIFY is the Portrait Gallery’s first-ever performance art series.