Sophie Ploeg wins BP Travel Award, publishes book, & exhibits at London’s National Portrait Gallery in “BP Portrait Award 2014” Show

UK-based Dutch artist Sophie Ploeg has received many honors during her career but recently she earned her largest and most impressive acclaim. A year ago Sophie won the 2013 BP Travel Award for her proposal to study the depiction of lace in 17th century English and Dutch portraiture which often features grand and dramatic lace collars, ruffs, and drapery. The grant that came with the award allowed Sophie to visit historic lace-making centers, antique lace collections, modern lace makers, and 17th century art collections in Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK. With her research she wrote The Lace Trail, a comprehensive examination of portraiture, fashion, status, and history through lace. The book was published in June and includes reproductions of original portraits by Sophie inspired by the variety of lace garments she saw during her travels.

In addition to being published in the book, Sophie’s new lace portraits are included in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2014 at London’s National Portrait Gallery. The show opened in late June and extends until the end of September. It will then travel to two other venues, including Scotland’s National Portrait Gallery. Her 10 original works pose contemporary women of all ages while wearing antique lace garments. Each garment was carefully chosen for each women based on the lace’s historical significance.

Sophie documented her journey, from research to painting to exhibition on her website and blog. It provides value insight into a unique event— an artist’s long term commitment to a singular idea that is throughly researched and thought out before even a single brushstroke touches the canvas. Read all about Sophie’s amazing achievement on her website: and her blog:

Sophie’s work can also currently be seen in Thomaston during “Celebrating the Portrait as Timeless Art.”