Barbara Jordon -- I Dream a World
“There seems to be a chilling of opportunity rather than an enlivening and enhancing of opportunity. But to me, that should just be the spark that energizes you to get out there and do things.”
— Barbara Jordan
When voters in Texas’s Eighteenth District elected Barbara Jordan to Congress in 1972, she became the first Black congresswoman from the Deep South. With her serious demeanor and magisterial voice, Jordan stood out among first-term colleagues and long-serving members alike. She distinguished herself as a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate scandal and made an eloquent case for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. After three terms in Congress (1973–79), she retired to teach political ethics at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jordan remained a strong advocate for justice. While serving as chair of the Commission on Immigration Reform in 1995, she denounced a proposal to deny birthright citizenship to children born in the United States to undocumented parents.
Doing so, she declared, “would derail this engine of American liberty.” Jordan’s powerful voice was stilled just a year later, when she died at the age of fifty-nine.
See Jordan's portrait, among others, in our exhibition, "I Dream a World: Selections From Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women," on view now: https://s.si.edu/3aKyWDo
Lena Horne -- I Dream a World
“Don’t be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it’s just death.”
— Lena Horne
"I Dream a World: Selections From Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women," on view now.
Serena Williams – Portrait of a Nation Prize
“As a Black tennis player, I looked different. I sounded different. I dressed differently. I served differently. But when I stepped onto the court, I could compete with anyone.”
Tennis champion, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles and entrepreneur Serena Williams' career has spanned way beyond the boundaries of her sport. We're excited to honor her this November with our 2022 #PortraitOfANation award in recognition of her work.
"Resident Alien" -- Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Land
The artist Hung Liu passed away one year ago today.
When our exhibition, "Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Land," was on view, curator Dorothy Moss walked us through some of the artist's most iconic works. "Resident Alien" provides meaningful insight into both Liu's artistic process and wry sense of humor.
Pau Houa Her -- The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today
Get to know Pao Houa Her, the third prize winner of the 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, as she speaks about her commended work, "untitled (man)."
The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today is open now through February 26, 2033.
Tom Jones -- The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today
Meet Tom Jones, second prize winner of the 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.
Jones, who grew up in the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, focuses on Native American present and future while acknowledging how they can coexist with the past. In this multilayered portrait, he introduces us to Elizah Leonard, a champion dancer and recipient of an All-American Scholarship for wrestling.
Jones photographed Leonard wearing a Fancy Dance shawl, made by her mother, and a beaded necklace and earrings, made by her grandfather. He then sewed beads, rhinestones, and shells directly onto the print. Based on Ho-Chunk designs, the white beadwork references a scene the artist experienced during visits to a Sioux medicine man on the Rosebud reservation. Jones remembers being in a darkened room and seeing small lights appear as voices called out for their ancestors. Through the beads and the light that they reflect, Jones surrounds Leonard with an allusion to these spirits and to her intergenerational story.
Juneteenth -- NMAAHC
On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, where he informed enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended & of their freedom. This momentous occasion has been celebrated as #Juneteenth for over 150 years.
Learn more about the history and celebration of Juneteenth via our colleagues at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture: https://s.si.edu/3HzsOd2
Alison Elizabeth Taylor -- The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today
Hear Alison Elizabeth Taylor, first prize winner of the 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, discuss the inspiration and artist process behind her winning work, "Anthony Cuts Under the Williamsburg Bridge, Morning."
Learn more about The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today here: https://s.si.edu/2JpD0rt
2022 Portrait of a Nation: José Andrés
Spanish-born culinary innovator and humanitarian José Andrés immigrated to the United States in 1991 where he and his partners established a group of restaurants that have earned countless fans and won numerous awards.
Andrés established the World Central Kitchen in 2010 as a means of feeding the many. Using culinary training programs, he empowered communities and strengthened economies as well as provided food disaster relief in the wake of emergencies around the globe.
We’re excited to honor José Andrés this November with our 2022 #PortraitOfaNation award in recognition of his work.
The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today presents 42 portraits from artists working across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, illuminating the genre's power to make visible a multitude of life experiences. #Outwin2022
On view now through February 26, 2023
Learn more: portraitcompetition.si.edu
2022 Portrait of a Nation Gala: Clive Davis
Music executive Clive Davis has fostered the careers of musicians for over six decades, guiding many of today’s iconic artists including Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand, and Whitney Houston.
We’re excited to honor him this November with our 2022 #PortraitOfaNation award in recognition of his work.
2022 Portrait of a Nation: Marian Wright Edelman
“Service was as much a part of my upbringing as eating breakfast and going to school. It isn’t something that you do in your spare time. It was clear that it was the very purpose of life.” —Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman is the founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund. She has dedicated much of her life to the rights and well-being of at-risk children.
In 1964, Edelman tackled racial injustice and child welfare issues in Mississippi before moving to Washington, D.C. In D.C., she established the Washington Research Project, a public interest advocacy initiative that gave birth to the Children’s Defense Fund.
In 2000, Edelman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. #WomensHistoryMonth
We’re excited to honor Marian Wright Edelman this November with our 2022 #PortraitOfaNation award in recognition of her work! Learn more about the award here: s.si.edu/3JSruCl
Hung Liu Catalogue
Our Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands exhibition catalogue is a finalist for College Art Association’s Alfred J Barr award! Blending painting and photography, Liu created portraiture in relation to time, memory, and history. 📖 Get the catalogue: s.si.edu/3KpUbHt
"We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.” Speech given at the National Cathedral, March 31, 1968.
Born on this day in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King, Jr. personified the struggle for African American equality and justice in the 1950s and 1960s. King’s synthesis of Christian theology and its message of a supporting and loving God, together with Mahatma Gandhi’s tactics of nonviolent protest, became the defining features of the civil rights movement.
King first demonstrated the efficacy of passive resistance in 1955–56 while helping lead the prolonged bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, that succeeded in dismantling bus segregation laws.
In 1963, King focused the nation’s attention on the African American struggle by leading a massive civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, and helping to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, for which he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech.
King's actions helped pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
DTSBDC - George Takai
"It's no secret George Takei is a personal hero of mine. He's been a true champion with his work in LBGTQ+ advocacy and creating awareness from his very personal experience in Japanese-American Internment Camps as a youth. So imagine my delight when I had the chance to meet up with him in August at the National Portrait Gallery to talk one-one-one with him about the work I wanted to create in his honor." —Dana Tai Soon Burgess, the National Portrait Gallery's Choreographer-in-Residence
Thank you to everyone who came out to our el Día de los Muertos celebration last night! If you missed it, no worries—we’re continuing the commemoration tonight from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Join us on 9th and G Sts., rain or shine, to witness a live digital painting with artwork by artists MasPaz, Guache and Omar García.
Commemorate el Día de los Muertos with a TWO-NIGHT outdoor celebration of music and art at the National Portrait Gallery! Join us in creating a community altar on the museum’s steps while discovering more about the history and mythology behind el Día de los Muertos.
At dusk, witness live digital painting with artwork by artists MasPaz, Guache, and Omar García. This video and sound performance will be projected onto the G Street and 9th Street façades of the museum’s building to honor D.C.’s Latinx community.
RSVP NOW: Día de los Muertos at the National Portrait Gallery
This event is free and open to the public. Presented with the DC Public Library.
Congratulations to the finalists of the 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition! 🏆✨
Our triennial portrait competition celebrates excellence in contemporary portraiture across mediums. This year’s 42 finalists were selected from over 2,700 entries.
An exhibition of finalists’ work, “The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today” will open in April 2022.
FULL LIST OF FINALISTS: https://npg.si.edu/exhibition/outwin-2022-american-portraiture-today
Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States