National Portrait Gallery Announces Current and Upcoming Exhibitions and Events

National Portrait Gallery Announces Current and Upcoming Exhibitions and Events

Portrait Story Days: Jackie Robinson

Saturday, July 27, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 28, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

First floor, education center, room E151

Young visitors and their families may drop in to listen to a story about baseball player Jackie Robinson. This program is sponsored in part by the Reinsch Family Education Endowment.

National Portrait Gallery Pop Quiz: Bon Appétrivia: Figures in Food

July 31, 6:30 p.m.

Kogod Courtyard

Join us for a "farm to table" trivia night featuring portraits of chefs, farmers and tastemakers form the Portrait Gallery's collection. The team with the highest score receives a prize. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase in the Courtyard Café.

Portraits Alive! Teen Ambassador Program - Session 2

Aug. 7-9, noon and 2:00 p.m.

Meet in the F Street lobby

Teens selected from DC, Virginia and Maryland lead a theatrical tour that brings the Portrait Gallery's collection to life through an original, student-written play. In its seventh year, this memorable program takes visitors on a tour of the museum. At each stop on the tour, students perform biographical portrayals of the person or people represented in a portrait.

Nationals Baseball Family Day

Saturday, Aug. 10, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard

The Washington Nationals baseball club teams up with the Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum to pay tribute to America's favorite pastime. Enjoy crafts activities and music for the whole family. Bring your camera for photo-ops with some major league guests.

March on Washington 50th Anniversary Family Day

Saturday, Aug. 24, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard

Join the Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of African American History and Culture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, D.C. Tour the exhibition "One Life: Martin Luther King Jr." to learn more about the civil rights leader and his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Enjoy vocal performances by Kim & Reggie Harris, hands-on activities and fun for the whole family. This program is sponsored in part by the Reinsch Family Education Endowment.

National Portrait Gallery Pop Quiz: Bravo!-Entertainers of the Portrait Gallery

Aug. 29, 6:30 p.m.

Robtert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard

Put your Hollywood history knowledge to the test with trivia inspired by the singers, dancers, actors and stars found in the Portrait Gallery's collection. The team with the highest score receives a prize. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase in the Courtyard Café.

CineConcert: Andrew E. Simpson and Wings

Saturday, Aug. 31, 3:00 p.m.

Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium

Acclaimed composer and pianist Andrew E. Simpson performs the world premiere of his original score for William Wellman's riveting story of love and tragedy, Wings (1927). Two friends fall in love with the same woman, but must leave her behind when they enlist as combat pilots during World War I. Wings stars Clara Bow alongside Richard Arlen and Charles "Buddy" Rogers, with special appearance by Gary Cooper. The film, which received the very first Academy Award for Best Picture, is jointly presented with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Free tickets available in the G Street lobby at 2:30 p.m.; limit two per person (144 minutes).

National Portrait Gallery walk-in tours

Walk-in tours begin in the F Street lobby.

Highlights of the National Portrait Gallery tours

Weekdays, 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Saturdays and Sundays, 11:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Docent's Choice tours

Weekdays, 1:00 and 3:30 p.m.

Saturdays and Sundays, 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Behind the Scenes

An Introduction to the Lunder Conservation Center

Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m.

At the Lunder Conservation Center, learn how museum conservators use science, art history and skilled hands to preserve objects in the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum collections. Group size is limited; please register at the Luce Foundation Center information desk before 3:00 p.m. on the day of the program.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Dancing the Dream
Oct. 4 through July 13, 2014

Press preview: Oct. 1; 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
From the late 19th century to today, dance has captured this nation's culture in motion. "Dancing the Dream" will showcase generations of performers, choreographers and impresarios. The show will include images of performers like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Michael Jackson, Savion Glover, George Balanchine, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Beyoncé, Isadora Duncan, Agnes De Mille and Lady Gaga. Dance has drawn from the boundless commotion of cultures to represent the rhythm and beat of American life. This exhibition will explore the relationship between the art of dance and the evolution of a modern American identity.

The curator of this exhibition is National Portrait Gallery historian Amy Henderson.

Current Exhibitions

As of July 1

The Meade Brothers: Pioneers in American Photography

Through June 1, 2014

This show explores the lives and careers of brothers Charles R. and Henry W. M. Meade, who, along with their contemporaries such as Mathew Brady and Southworth and Hawes, are recognized as leading members of the first generation of American studio photographers. The National Portrait Gallery's substantial collection of Meade Brothers daguerreotypes serves as the core of the exhibition. In addition, loans of Meade Brothers objects from public institutions and private collections-including a large-format daguerreotype of Sam Houston and two daguerreotypes of Louis Daguerre-are featured. This exhibition is thought to be the first dedicated solely to the work of these 19th-century American photographers.

One Life: Martin Luther King Jr.

Through June 1, 2014

Under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., nonviolent protest became the defining feature of the modern civil rights movement in America. A brilliant strategist, King first demonstrated the power of passive resistance in 1955 while helping to lead the prolonged bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, that succeeded in the dismantling bus segregation laws. Fresh from the victory that brought him national recognition, the charismatic King co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and took the lead in directing its civil rights initiatives. In a carefully orchestrated campaign of peaceful protest to expose and defeat racial injustice, King awakened the nation's conscience and galvanized support for the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s. King's words were as powerful as his deeds, and the moving and eloquent addresses that gave hope to millions continue to inspire people throughout the world.

This exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and King's stirring "I Have a Dream" speech. Through historic photographs, prints, paintings and memorabilia-chosen principally from the Portrait Gallery's extensive collection-this one-room exhibition will trace the trajectory of King's career, from his rise to prominence as the leader of the national civil rights movement to his subsequent work as an antiwar activist and advocate for those living in poverty. The curator of this exhibition is National Portrait Gallery's senior curator of photographs, Ann Shumard. The sole media partner for "One Life: Martin Luther King Jr." is The Atlantic. In 1963, just months before the March on Washington, The Atlantic published what would come to be known as King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," a handwritten draft he wrote behind bars and sent to the magazine.

Mr. Time: Portraits by Boris Chaliapin

Through Jan. 5, 2014

Boris Chaliapin was the portrait artist Time magazine's editors turned to first when they needed a cover in a hurry. As Time's most prolific artist, he created 413 covers for the publication during his 28-year career, between 1942 and 1970. He could execute excellent likenesses in as little as 12 hours. Week after week, millions of faithful readers recognized Chaliapin's familiar signature on the cover, and his co-workers nicknamed him "Mr. Time." The exhibition features 26 of the 300 works by Chaliapin in the Portrait Gallery's collection. Portrait Gallery historian James Barber is the curator of this exhibition.

Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

Through Feb. 23, 2014

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition invited artists from across the country to investigate the contemporary art of the portrait and submit their work. This, the third competition and resulting exhibition, showcases excellence and innovation with a strong focus on the variety of portrait media used by artists today. The dazzling variety of media and diverse approaches to the exploration of "self" and "other" challenges preconceived notions of portraiture and expands the limits of visitors' imagination. The competition is named for Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920-2005), a former Portrait Gallery volunteer whose generous gift has endowed this program. The juried competition resulted in an exhibition of 48 finalists. The winner received a grand prize of $25,000 and an opportunity to create a portrait for the Portrait Gallery's Permanent Collection. A separate People's Choice Award will be announced Sept. 22. A fully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition. Dorothy Moss, assistant curator of painting and sculpture, is the competition director and curator of the exhibition.

Portraiture Now: Drawing on The Edge

Through Aug. 18

This exhibition, the seventh installation of the Portrait Gallery's dynamic "Portraiture Now" series, explores the work of Mequitta Ahuja, Mary Borgman, Adam Chapman, Ben Durham, Till Freiwald and Rob Matthews. These artists expand the narrow boundaries that once defined drawing and portraiture. Probing the intersection between drawing and photography, painting, video, textual writing and computer technology, all six artists show a commitment to direct, immediate highly personal artwork. Each of them employs a painstaking technique; their meticulous, repetitive actions result in a contemplative, almost meditative, engagement with process that adds a psychological depth to their work.

The "Portraiture Now: Drawing on The Edge" exhibition curators are Wendy Wick Reaves, senior curator of prints and drawings; Brandon Brame Fortune, chief curator; Anne Collins Goodyear, former curator of prints and drawings; Frank H. Goodyear III, former curator of photographs; Lauren Johnson, former curatorial assistant; Dorothy Moss, assistant curator of painting and sculpture; and David C. Ward, historian. Lead support for the exhibition and related programs is provided by the Rebecca Houser Westcott Fund for "Portraiture Now." Additional support provided by the Abraham and Virginia Weiss Charitable Trust, Amy and Marc Meadows, and the Paul M. and Christine G. Wick Fund.

A Will of Their Own: Judith Sargent Murray and Women of Achievement in the Early Republic

Through Sept. 2

Centered around the 18-month loan of the Terra Foundation for American Art's painting of Judith Sargent Murray by John Singleton Copley, this exhibition brings together an additional seven portraits of prominent American women from the late eighteenth century. Through the exhibition and accompanying educational programming, the Portrait Gallery focuses attention on a remarkable group of women and adds to the understanding about the contested nature of gender during this period. This exhibition has been organized by the National Portrait Gallery, in partnership with the Terra Foundation for American Art. This exhibition and all related publications and programs are sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Exhibition curators are Wendy Wick Reaves, curator of prints and drawings, and Frank H. Goodyear III, former curator of photographs.

Recent Acquisitions

Through Oct. 27

The exhibition highlights works of art recently acquired by the Portrait Gallery. New additions include paintings of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Adolph Ochs, a bronze of Ethel Waters, photographs of Mary Pickford and Muhammad Ali and prints of George Washington and Samuel Adams.

"Bound for Freedom's Light": African Americans and the Civil War

Through March 2, 2014

This is the third installment in our series of exhibitions marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Drawing on images in the National Portrait Gallery's collection and loans from private collections, this exhibition explores the roles that individual African Americans played during the war. Among the featured stories are those of Frederick Douglass, Martin Delaney, Sojourner Truth and Gordon, who escaped from enslavement on Louisiana plantation to join a black regiment and fight for the Union cause. Senior Curator of Photographs Ann Shumard serves as curator.

Mathew Brady's Photographs of Union Generals

Through May 31, 2015

"Mathew Brady's Photographs of Union Generals" is an installation in NPG's series of exhibitions marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Although Brady may be best known for his photographic documentation of the Civil War, his New York and Washington, D.C., galleries also did a brisk business throughout the conflict by producing studio portraits of the ever-changing roster of Union army generals. Featuring modern prints made from Brady's original glass-plate negatives in the museum's Frederick Hill Meserve Collection, this installation includes portraits of many of the North's military leaders, from George McClellan and AmbRose Burnside to William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses Grant. The exhibition curator is Senior Curator of Photographs Ann Shumard.

Permanent Collection Exhibitions

America's Presidents

This exhibition lies at the very heart of the Portrait Gallery's mission to tell the American story through individuals who have shaped the country. "America's Presidents" showcases an enhanced and extended display of multiple images of the past 43 presidents of the United States starting with Gilbert Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of George Washington and continuing to George W. Bush. Five presidents are given expanded attention because of their significant impact on the office: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The Struggle for Justice

"The Struggle for Justice" showcases major cultural and political figures-from key 19th-century historical figures to contemporary leaders-who struggled to achieve civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups. The exhibition, featuring photographs, paintings, posters, buttons and sculptures, includes portraits of civil rights leaders W.E.B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr.; women's-rights advocates Kate Millet and Betty Friedan; Native American activist Plenty Coups; cultural icon and singer Marian Anderson; United Farm Workers organizer César Chávez; AIDS activist Tony Kushner; Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver; and Christopher Reeve, who fought for the rights of people living with disabilities. The exhibition includes a video created exclusively for the exhibition narrated by Soledad O'Brien.

American Origins, 1600-1900

"American Origins" is a conversation about America that begins with the first days of contact between Native Americans and European explorers, through the struggles of independence, to the Gilded Age. The exhibition is presented in a series of 17 galleries and alcoves that are chronologically arranged and include major figures such as Samuel Adams, Henry Clay, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Jo Davidson: Biographer in Bronze

Fourteen portraits in bronze and terra-cotta made by renowned American sculptor Jo Davidson between 1908 and 1946 include depictions of Gertrude Stein, Franklin D. Roosevelt, artist John Marin and reforming journalist Lincoln Steffens.

Twentieth-Century Americans

Four galleries off of the museum's magnificent third-floor Great Hall showcase the major cultural and political hallmarks of the 20th century. Paintings, sculpture, photographs and prints portray those who were at the center of these moments. People from a wide range of backgrounds-Jane Addams, Douglas MacArthur, Robert F. Kennedy, Toni Morrison and Michael Jackson, among others-tell the story of America's 20th century.

Bravo! and Champions

Two additional exhibitions feature particular themes in American life. "Bravo!" showcases individuals who have brought the performing arts to life, beginning with P. T. Barnum, who raised the curtain on modern entertainment in the late 19th century, and continuing through the present. "Champions" salutes the dynamic American sports figures whose impact extends beyond the athletic realm and makes them a part of the larger story of the nation. A lively combination of portraits, artifacts, memorabilia and videos enhances both exhibitions.

The National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery was established by an Act of Congress in 1962 and opened to the public in 1968. It is the only museum of its kind in the United States to combine the aspects of American history, biography and art. The National Portrait Gallery is a part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets, N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000; web site: