Alex Katz, Mae, 2005, Lithograph, Graphicstudio Subscription Purchase through the Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2006.20 © Alex Katz

Alex Katz, Mae, 2005, Lithograph, Graphicstudio Subscription Purchase through the Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2006.20 © Alex Katz

Throughout human history, the artist has portrayed the human figure more often than any other subject. What is it about the human form -- face, hands, body -- that has intrigued the creative eye through the centuries and across cultures?

These images delight us, disturb us, and challenge us. We gaze into the determined focus of a weathered “survivor.”  We admire the graceful line of an iconic choreographer. We reflect on the watery silhouettes of an anonymous couple.

In this collection, we witness the dignity and fragility of the human spirit. Although diverse in style and subject matter, these works of art come together to touch the humanity in us all.  They demonstrate the power of the artist to convey our shared experiences in transporting our own “human figures” through this life. 

This exhibition features selections by the Museum's docents of figurative artworks from the  permanent collection.