National Portrait Gallery

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🏛️  OUR LATEST EXHIBITION, "ONE LIFE: WILL ROGERS," OPENS ONLINE TODAY 🏛️ A prolific political commentator whose comedic...
06/25/2021

🏛️ OUR LATEST EXHIBITION, "ONE LIFE: WILL ROGERS," OPENS ONLINE TODAY 🏛️

A prolific political commentator whose comedic wit crossed social divides, Will Rogers' career spanned vaudeville, silent films, “talkies,” radio, and newspaper. He lifted the nation’s spirits during some of its most trying times—World War I, the recession that followed, and the Great Depression.

Throughout his evolving career, Rogers remained plainspoken, honest, and humorous. This genuine personality helped him forge a vast social network, which included presidents and foreign dignitaries. The precursor to Mickey Rooney, or today’s Stephen Colbert, Rogers voiced a perspective with broad appeal to the masses in the first half of the twentieth century.

You can visit the online-only exhibition here: https://s.si.edu/2Sq4q8A

This exhibition has been funded by the Guenther and Siewchin Yong Sommer Endowment Fund and a grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

🏛️ OUR LATEST EXHIBITION, "ONE LIFE: WILL ROGERS," OPENS ONLINE TODAY 🏛️

A prolific political commentator whose comedic wit crossed social divides, Will Rogers' career spanned vaudeville, silent films, “talkies,” radio, and newspaper. He lifted the nation’s spirits during some of its most trying times—World War I, the recession that followed, and the Great Depression.

Throughout his evolving career, Rogers remained plainspoken, honest, and humorous. This genuine personality helped him forge a vast social network, which included presidents and foreign dignitaries. The precursor to Mickey Rooney, or today’s Stephen Colbert, Rogers voiced a perspective with broad appeal to the masses in the first half of the twentieth century.

You can visit the online-only exhibition here: https://s.si.edu/2Sq4q8A

This exhibition has been funded by the Guenther and Siewchin Yong Sommer Endowment Fund and a grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

Do you know the story of #Juneteenth? Learn more and join in the celebration with @NMAAHC: https://s.si.edu/3zyK6mi
06/19/2021

Do you know the story of #Juneteenth? Learn more and join in the celebration with @NMAAHC: https://s.si.edu/3zyK6mi

Do you know the story of #Juneteenth? Learn more and join in the celebration with @NMAAHC: https://s.si.edu/3zyK6mi

🎧  "Portraits" Season 3, Episode 6 is now available!Phillis Wheatley was a literary superstar around the time of the Ame...
06/08/2021

🎧 "Portraits" Season 3, Episode 6 is now available!

Phillis Wheatley was a literary superstar around the time of the American Revolutionary War— a distinction she notched up while writing in bondage. But she never wrote an account of her own experiences, and there are gaps in her story. The Portrait Gallery’s Ashleigh Coren and writer Honorée Jeffers ask us to re-imagine her life, drawn in poetry, in this week's episode of our podcast.

LISTEN NOW: https://s.si.edu/3gmKRWE

✏️ : "Phillis Wheatley" by an unidentified artist, engraving on paper, c. 1753-1784.

Born in Washington, D.C., Helen Hayes won international esteem for a career that spanned eight decades on stage and in f...
06/04/2021

Born in Washington, D.C., Helen Hayes won international esteem for a career that spanned eight decades on stage and in films, radio, and television. She won an Academy Award for best actress for her first film, The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931), and went on to appear in such major pictures as A Farewell to Arms (1932) and Anastasia (1956). Yet she always considered the stage her real home: after debuting on Broadway at the age of nine in Old Dutch (1909), she starred in hit productions of Caesar and Cleopatra (1925) and Mary of Scotland (1933). Victoria Regina (1935), which ran for 969 performances, was probably her most famous role. The Sunday Herald Tribune published this likeness of Hayes by Eric Pape when she appeared in the Irish drama Mr. Gilhooley (1930). The Helen Hayes Award for theater in Washington, D.C., is named in her honor.

Image Credit: Eric Pape, 1930. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Born in Washington, D.C., Helen Hayes won international esteem for a career that spanned eight decades on stage and in films, radio, and television. She won an Academy Award for best actress for her first film, The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931), and went on to appear in such major pictures as A Farewell to Arms (1932) and Anastasia (1956). Yet she always considered the stage her real home: after debuting on Broadway at the age of nine in Old Dutch (1909), she starred in hit productions of Caesar and Cleopatra (1925) and Mary of Scotland (1933). Victoria Regina (1935), which ran for 969 performances, was probably her most famous role. The Sunday Herald Tribune published this likeness of Hayes by Eric Pape when she appeared in the Irish drama Mr. Gilhooley (1930). The Helen Hayes Award for theater in Washington, D.C., is named in her honor.

Image Credit: Eric Pape, 1930. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

World War II hero Leonard Roy Harmon was the first African American after whom a U.S. Navy ship was named. In June 1939 ...
05/31/2021

World War II hero Leonard Roy Harmon was the first African American after whom a U.S. Navy ship was named. In June 1939 Harmon enlisted in the Navy and, following basic training in Norfolk, Virginia, was assigned to the cruiser USS San Francisco, where he advanced in rank to mess attendant first class.

The Navy, like all armed forces, was segregated, limiting Harmon’s options and advancement. During the Battle of Guadalcanal in November 1942, Harmon was killed on the San Francisco’s deck while helping to evacuate a wounded shipmate. For “extraordinary heroism,” he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. On July 25, 1943, the Navy launched a new destroyer, the USS Harmon, named in his honor. Like Dorie Miller, another African American sailor who died a hero a year later, Harmon was remembered on recruiting posters during World War II.

Image Credit: U.S. Printing Office, 1943. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

World War II hero Leonard Roy Harmon was the first African American after whom a U.S. Navy ship was named. In June 1939 Harmon enlisted in the Navy and, following basic training in Norfolk, Virginia, was assigned to the cruiser USS San Francisco, where he advanced in rank to mess attendant first class.

The Navy, like all armed forces, was segregated, limiting Harmon’s options and advancement. During the Battle of Guadalcanal in November 1942, Harmon was killed on the San Francisco’s deck while helping to evacuate a wounded shipmate. For “extraordinary heroism,” he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. On July 25, 1943, the Navy launched a new destroyer, the USS Harmon, named in his honor. Like Dorie Miller, another African American sailor who died a hero a year later, Harmon was remembered on recruiting posters during World War II.

Image Credit: U.S. Printing Office, 1943. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Born Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, Chief Joseph was the son of Chief Joseph the Elder, who in 1855 had helped draw the bound...
05/28/2021

Born Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, Chief Joseph was the son of Chief Joseph the Elder, who in 1855 had helped draw the boundaries of the Nez Perce reservation, which encompassed parts of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. But with a gold rush in 1863, the U.S. government unilaterally reduced the reservation lands by almost ninety percent. The Nez Perce resisted for a decade.

In 1873, Chief Joseph’s refusal to move his people out of the Wallowa Valley angered U.S. authorities. When they called in troops to speed the removal of the Nez Perce in 1877, Chief Joseph and eight hundred of his followers began a strategic retreat toward Canada. Only thirty miles from the border, a command led by Brigadier General Nelson Miles intercepted Chief Joseph’s band and forced him to surrender. For the next eight years, he was imprisoned at several sites, including Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where Cyrenius Hall created this portrait.

Image Credit: Cyrenius Hall, 1878. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Born Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, Chief Joseph was the son of Chief Joseph the Elder, who in 1855 had helped draw the boundaries of the Nez Perce reservation, which encompassed parts of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. But with a gold rush in 1863, the U.S. government unilaterally reduced the reservation lands by almost ninety percent. The Nez Perce resisted for a decade.

In 1873, Chief Joseph’s refusal to move his people out of the Wallowa Valley angered U.S. authorities. When they called in troops to speed the removal of the Nez Perce in 1877, Chief Joseph and eight hundred of his followers began a strategic retreat toward Canada. Only thirty miles from the border, a command led by Brigadier General Nelson Miles intercepted Chief Joseph’s band and forced him to surrender. For the next eight years, he was imprisoned at several sites, including Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where Cyrenius Hall created this portrait.

Image Credit: Cyrenius Hall, 1878. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, a self-educated frontier lawyer from Illinois, faced one of the greatest challenge...
05/27/2021

Sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, a self-educated frontier lawyer from Illinois, faced one of the greatest challenges as president: preserving the Union. He initially framed the Civil War as a Constitutional crisis over secession, but as fighting intensified, his aims evolved to include reunification based on the abolition of slavery. In 1865, when the war ended, he proposed a program of Southern reconstruction that would require African American civil rights, but before he could implement it, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. George Peter Alexander Healy painted a life portrait of Lincoln in 1860, but he had to rely on other portraits to make this image, one of four he created after Lincoln’s death. All are derived from Healy’s 1869 group portrait The Peacemakers, which features the president, Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant, and Admiral David D. Porter as they discuss strategy near the end of the Civil War.

Image Credit: George Peter Alexander Healy, 1887. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, 1942.

Sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, a self-educated frontier lawyer from Illinois, faced one of the greatest challenges as president: preserving the Union. He initially framed the Civil War as a Constitutional crisis over secession, but as fighting intensified, his aims evolved to include reunification based on the abolition of slavery. In 1865, when the war ended, he proposed a program of Southern reconstruction that would require African American civil rights, but before he could implement it, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. George Peter Alexander Healy painted a life portrait of Lincoln in 1860, but he had to rely on other portraits to make this image, one of four he created after Lincoln’s death. All are derived from Healy’s 1869 group portrait The Peacemakers, which features the president, Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant, and Admiral David D. Porter as they discuss strategy near the end of the Civil War.

Image Credit: George Peter Alexander Healy, 1887. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, 1942.

The American impressionist Mary Cassatt spent her career in Europe, settling in Paris. Stifled by tradition, she regarde...
05/26/2021

The American impressionist Mary Cassatt spent her career in Europe, settling in Paris. Stifled by tradition, she regarded her exposure to the work of Edgar Degas in 1874 as a “turning point in my artistic life.” She later wrote that “Degas’s art is for the very few,” recognizing a critical sophistication required to appreciate his innovations. After her rejection by the Paris Salon of 1877, Cassatt welcomed Degas’s invitation to exhibit with the impressionists in 1879. Cassatt and Degas engaged in lively dialogues about the depiction of modern life, and their vibrant artistic exchange is evident in her willingness to model for him on several occasions. They also collected each other’s work. Degas captures the collaborative nature of their friendship in this portrait, where Cassatt is shown in what may be a photography studio holding photographs, possibly reproductions of works of art, seated, as if in the midst of conversation.

Image Credit: Edgar Degas, c. 1880-1884. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and the Regents' Major Acquisitions Fund, Smithsonian Institution.

The American impressionist Mary Cassatt spent her career in Europe, settling in Paris. Stifled by tradition, she regarded her exposure to the work of Edgar Degas in 1874 as a “turning point in my artistic life.” She later wrote that “Degas’s art is for the very few,” recognizing a critical sophistication required to appreciate his innovations. After her rejection by the Paris Salon of 1877, Cassatt welcomed Degas’s invitation to exhibit with the impressionists in 1879. Cassatt and Degas engaged in lively dialogues about the depiction of modern life, and their vibrant artistic exchange is evident in her willingness to model for him on several occasions. They also collected each other’s work. Degas captures the collaborative nature of their friendship in this portrait, where Cassatt is shown in what may be a photography studio holding photographs, possibly reproductions of works of art, seated, as if in the midst of conversation.

Image Credit: Edgar Degas, c. 1880-1884. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and the Regents' Major Acquisitions Fund, Smithsonian Institution.

Since the late 1970s Frida Kahlo has emerged as one of the foremost twentieth-century practitioners of the art of portra...
05/25/2021

Since the late 1970s Frida Kahlo has emerged as one of the foremost twentieth-century practitioners of the art of portraiture. Mexican artist Diego Rivera was an early supporter of her work, and the couple married in 1929. While Rivera worked on large-scale history murals, Kahlo’s work was both intimate in scale and subject matter. These qualities stemmed partly from her lifelong health challenges after a streetcar accident that occurred when she was eighteen. Through her self-portraits she expressed her physical and emotional pain, as well as her fluid identity as a politically engaged, modern, cosmopolitan woman.

Image Credit: Magda Pach, 1933. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Since the late 1970s Frida Kahlo has emerged as one of the foremost twentieth-century practitioners of the art of portraiture. Mexican artist Diego Rivera was an early supporter of her work, and the couple married in 1929. While Rivera worked on large-scale history murals, Kahlo’s work was both intimate in scale and subject matter. These qualities stemmed partly from her lifelong health challenges after a streetcar accident that occurred when she was eighteen. Through her self-portraits she expressed her physical and emotional pain, as well as her fluid identity as a politically engaged, modern, cosmopolitan woman.

Image Credit: Magda Pach, 1933. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

In the 1920s Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was a vaudeville headliner billed as “The World’s Greatest Tap Dancer.” His style...
05/24/2021

In the 1920s Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was a vaudeville headliner billed as “The World’s Greatest Tap Dancer.” His style of tap was up on its toes—dancing crossover steps on the balls of his feet—rather than the earlier flat-footed shuffling style.

Robinson beamed into the national spotlight when he appeared in a film alongside Shirley Temple, becoming the first African American man on film dancing with a white girl.

His style influenced such important dancers in his day as Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell.

Image Credit: George Hurrell, 1935. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © The Estate of George Hurrell.

In the 1920s Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was a vaudeville headliner billed as “The World’s Greatest Tap Dancer.” His style of tap was up on its toes—dancing crossover steps on the balls of his feet—rather than the earlier flat-footed shuffling style.

Robinson beamed into the national spotlight when he appeared in a film alongside Shirley Temple, becoming the first African American man on film dancing with a white girl.

His style influenced such important dancers in his day as Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell.

Image Credit: George Hurrell, 1935. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © The Estate of George Hurrell.

As a young insurance cashier, Henry Baldwin Hyde perceived many shortcomings in his industry. He saw the need to promote...
05/24/2021

As a young insurance cashier, Henry Baldwin Hyde perceived many shortcomings in his industry. He saw the need to promote life insurance as a moral good, as the "protector of widows and orphans," to counter attacks by the clergy that it denied faith in divine protection.

In 1859 Hyde launched Equitable Life Assurance. He gave policyholders the benefit of the doubt in disputes. Equitable was soon a leading insurance company and helped make life insurance an essential part of American life.

Image Credit: John Quincy Adams Ward, 1901. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Equitable Life Assurance Society.

As a young insurance cashier, Henry Baldwin Hyde perceived many shortcomings in his industry. He saw the need to promote life insurance as a moral good, as the "protector of widows and orphans," to counter attacks by the clergy that it denied faith in divine protection.

In 1859 Hyde launched Equitable Life Assurance. He gave policyholders the benefit of the doubt in disputes. Equitable was soon a leading insurance company and helped make life insurance an essential part of American life.

Image Credit: John Quincy Adams Ward, 1901. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Equitable Life Assurance Society.

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I photographed 12 death row inmates in Texas - They are the definition of modern American Portraiture.
Works of faith, hope and love, www.faopal.hu 16million year-old wood, lamps crosses mode of opal, wood opal.
EQUIPOISE, pen & ink drawing by Steven E. Counsell, Black Swan Editions located in Santa Fe NM. https://blackswaneditions.com/product/equipoise-by-steven-e-counsell/
I am extremely dismayed that you are now displaying a picture of ex-president Trump. This man deserves no respect in any fashion and your display attempts to normalize his treachery against the nation. He attempted to destroy our democracy by encouraging and help plan an insurrection on the capitol, and is still pushing his big lie about Biden's win. And, due to his incompetence, hubris, and lack of morality, he caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans from Covid-19. These are only two of the many transgressions he instigated against our nation. PLEASE, REMOVE HIS PICTURE!
Kim Sajet -- Here is another Unknown Abraham Lincoln image for you - show it to Ann, so she'll know what he looks like ! This makes my second unknown Lincoln !
Could you help me and my cousin identify this person. My cousin owns this portrait. We know this portrait was painted by Charles T. Webber in 1870 and that this women is from Ohio.
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In searching Family history, read an article about Bartholomew Gosnold, realizing you have him at the Smithsonian. They said, they believe it's him, needed DNA to comfirm. My maternal side, is related to him, he's my first cousin 13 times removed. Sir Robert Gosnold III. is my 12th Great Grandfather. Can my DNA confirm if it's him? Thank you all, for all the work you've done, to find him. Looking forward, in hearing from you. Virginia
How wonderful to be back in your space for a visit today. Everything is being handled perfectly for a safe museum visit. We had a wonderful time and will be back soon.
May we never forget! "The World Keeps Spinning Round!" Fred Barreto and I wrote this song after 911 and, given our current state, it resonates even more strongly today.
I have a little a book published in l851 which shows a engraving of George Washington when he reviewing the Continental Army on Boston Common in 1776. Who could put a value of this for me.
At this precise moment in American history, we are finding ourselves cleansing any and all names associated with racism directed at African Americans from the public arena. One of these names resides at The National Portrait Gallery; the name, and bust, of one Margaret Sanger. In this time of self-cleansing, will this Institution take the lead, and remove this bust from public display; the bust of the likeness of the person that said " We don't want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population "? We Americans would expect the Smithsonian Institute to not only participate in this quest, but be a lead voice. We are expecting this Organization to do the right thing.