Henry Clay: Images of “The Great Compromiser”
In the Spring of 2014, University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections
launched an effort to improve its intellectual and physical control over the artworks
in its holdings. The project resulted in the digital accessioning and condition
assessment of nearly 100 items, ranging in subjects from the Breckinridge family to
University of Kentucky history.
A small number of items included in the inventory feature Henry Clay, namely a pen
drawing and a bronze bust. The representation of this prominent Kentucky figure
inspired an investigation into the variety of art media in Special Collections that
feature Clay's likeness. A collection of various examples, from paintings to sculpture
to drawings, can be found in this exhibit.
While many artifacts such as the daguerreotypes and the holograph are well-known
items in Special Collections, others such as the drawing and bronze bust have not
been studied or made publicly viewable for some time. They are organized here in
rough chronological order according to known or attributed dates for the works. The
organization provides an idea of how the pieces reflect important stages of Clay's
Click on the image above to enter the exhibit.