05222017Headline:

National Portrait Gallery 2016 Exhibition Calendar

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Upcoming Special Exhibitions

 

Jan. 16                                               IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture – James Luna

Feb. 4                                                 IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture – J.J. McCracken

March 12—Jan. 8, 2017                  The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today

April 1—Oct. 2                                 Hollywood and Time: Celebrity Covers

May 14                                              IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture – María Magdalena Campos-Pons and Neil Leonard

June 17—June 4, 2017                    Double Take: Daguerreotypes

June 24—May 21, 2017                   One Life: Babe Ruth

Aug. 19—Feb. 20, 2017                   In the Groove: Jazz Portraits by Herman Leonard

Nov. 18—May 7, 2017                      Bill Viola and the Moving Portrait

 

Current Special Exhibitions

Through Jan 10                                  Elaine de Kooning: Portraits

Through March 13                             Dark Fields of the Republic: Alexander Gardner Photographs 1859-1872

Through May 15                                 One Life: Dolores Huerta

Through July 10                                  Eye Pop:  The Celebrity Gaze

Through Oct. 30                                  Recent Acquisitions

 

Ongoing Permanent Collection Exhibitions

America’s Presidents
The Struggle for Justice

American Origins, 1600–1900

Jo Davidson: Biographer in Bronze

Twentieth-Century Americans
Bravo! and Champions

The museum is conveniently located at Eighth and F Streets NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

 

Upcoming Special Exhibitions

 

IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture
James Luna
: Saturday, Jan. 16
Identify pulls back the curtain of time to acknowledge those who are missing from the museum’s historical collections. Wealth, class, race, and gender often determined who could have a portrait made in the 18th and 19th centuries – this performance art series strives to make visible the invisible.  Each artist selected critiques American portraiture and institutional history by making visible a body or bodies that historically have been forgotten. Dorothy Moss, associate curator of painting and sculpture, is the curator of Identify.

 

IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture
J.J. McCracken
: Thursday, Feb. 4
Identify pulls back the curtain of time to acknowledge those who are missing from the museum’s historical collections. Wealth, class, race, and gender often determined who could have a portrait made in the 18th and 19th centuries – this performance art series strives to make visible the invisible.  Each artist selected critiques American portraiture and institutional history by making visible a body or bodies that historically have been forgotten. Dorothy Moss, associate curator of painting and sculpture, is the curator of Identify.

 

The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today

March 12—Jan. 8, 2017

outwinThe Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today, an exhibition resulting from the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, features 43 pieces including sculptures, mixed-media pieces, photographs, paintings and drawings.  The jurors considered this exhibition a synopsis of historical and cultural events that have unfolded in the past three rounds, particularly in terms of race, sexual identity, gender and concerns about protecting childhood in an age of technology and gun violence. This year’s competition received more than 2,500 entries in a variety of visual-arts media.

Held every three years, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition was made possible by volunteer and benefactor Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920–2005). The competition invites artists all over America to investigate the art of contemporary portraiture. The resulting exhibition celebrates excellence and innovation, with a strong focus on the variety of portrait media used by artists today.

 

Hollywood and Time: Celebrity Covershollywood

April 1—Oct. 2

Hollywood personalities who once graced theater marquees across America are featured in original cover art commissioned by Time magazine. Included are vintage portraits of stars like Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep, as well as Oscar-winning directors Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen. The show focuses on thirty-two celebrities whose vision and talents carried us to different eras and exotic places. Historian James Barber is the curator of the Time collection and this show.

 

Lincoln’s Contemporaries

May 13–May 12, 2019

Who were Abraham Lincoln’s contemporaries? They included many fascinating people beyond the politicians and military leaders of the Civil War. This exhibition features Mathew Brady’s portraits of twenty celebrities—from showman P.T. Barnum and inventor Samuel Morse to musician Teresa Carreño and clergyman Henry Ward Beecher—who reflect the diversity of American intellectual and cultural life during Lincoln’s presidency.

 

IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture
María Magdalena Campos-Pons
: Saturday, May 14
Identify pulls back the curtain of time to acknowledge those who are missing from the museum’s historical collections. Wealth, class, race, and gender often determined who could have a portrait made in the 18th and 19th centuries – this performance art series strives to make visible the invisible.  Each artist selected critiques American portraiture and institutional history by making visible a body or bodies that historically have been forgotten. Dorothy Moss, associate curator of painting and sculpture, is the curator of Identify.

 

Double Take: Daguerreian Portrait Pairs

June 17–June 4, 2017

Often we associate one image with a person from history especially in a museum setting. This show highlights the depth of the National Portrait Gallery’s early photography collection, featuring fourteen historic daguerreotypes—two portraits each of famous mid-19th century figures, including Frederick Douglass, Jenny Lind, Zachary Taylor and Jefferson Davis.

 

One Life: Babe Ruth

June 24—May 21, 2017

This American baseball legend was an icon and media sensation. Before the commercialization of sports superstars became commonplace, Ruth’s name and image fueled a marketing frenzy. His memorable persona will be highlighted in a selection of historic prints, photographs and personal paraphernalia representing “the Babe” both as a Yankee slugger and a national celebrity. Historian James Barber is the curator of the show.
In the Groove: Jazz Portraits by Herman Leonard

Aug. 19—Feb. 20, 2017

Enthralled by the music and those who made it, Herman Leonard (1923–2010) began haunting the New York’s jazz clubs after opening his first studio in Greenwich Village in 1948. Armed with his Speed Graphic camera, Leonard made images that captured the very essence of a live jazz performance. Soon, his photographs were gracing album covers and appearing in the pages of DownBeat and Metronome. Leonard’s extraordinary photographs are widely regarded as the definitive portraits of many of the 20th century’s greatest jazz artists.

This exhibition from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery features Leonard’s iconic images of jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk and Sarah Vaughan.

 

Bill Viola and the Moving Portrait

Nov. 18 through May 7, 2017

Video-art pioneer Bill Viola believes that cameras are the keepers of souls. From the moment he first picked up a video camera as an art student in 1970, he was captured by the technology. The exhibition “Bill Viola and the Moving Portrait” is the National Portrait Gallery’s first exhibition devoted to media art.

This exhibition reveals Viola’s constant, yet previously unrecognized, thematic interest in portraiture. “Bill Viola and the Moving Portrait” offers a selection of Viola’s works that focus on the face and the body, using his signature metaphors of water, light and spirituality. Unlike the selfies we see on social media each day, Viola’s works connect viewers of all backgrounds by using cutting-edge technology to create moving images that are emotional, searing, and profound. The exhibition includes Viola’s most contemplative portraits, such as his recent dual portrait of old age, Man Searching for Immortality/Woman Searching for Eternity (2013).

Current Special Exhibitions

 

Dark Fields of the Republic: Alexander Gardner Photographs 1859-1872darkfields

Through March 13

Alexander Gardner created dramatic and vivid photographs of battlefields, which included images of the recently dead. These shocking Civil War-era images continue to haunt the national imagination. After the war, Gardner went west, creating unforgettable pictures of western landscape and portraits of American Indians.

Also included in “Dark Fields of the Republic” are Gardner’s portraits of President Abraham Lincoln and other leading figures, both military and civilian. His best-known work, the museum’s “cracked-plate” photograph of Lincoln, on view for this exhibition. The sitting on Feb. 5, 1865, took place mere weeks before Lincoln’s assassination in April. The glass plate cracked, and Gardner created only one print before throwing the plate away.

The show also documents the course of American expansion as settlers moved westward after the war and includes landscapes and portraits of American Indians. Gardner’s landscapes, with their sense of almost limitless horizons, juxtaposed with his detailed portraits of Indian chiefs and tribal delegations, have a haunting specificity and gravity. The exhibition is curated by David C. Ward, Portrait Gallery senior historian, with guest curator Heather Shannon, former photo archivist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and research assistance from Sarah Campbell.

 

Traveling Exhibition: Portraiture Now: Staging the Self

Traveling to: National Hispanic Cultural Center through March 27

“Portraiture Now: Staging the Self” features the work of six contemporary U.S. Latino artists—David Antonio Cruz, Carlee Fernandez, María Martínez-Cañas, Rachelle Mozman, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira, and Michael Vasquez—who present identities theatrically, in order to rid portraiture of its reassuring tradition that fixes a person in space and time.

These artists use their work to focus on personal or family issues, telling stories that they have remembered or imagined from their past, manipulating images of themselves or superimposing portraits of their loved ones on their own. Like actors searching for a character, they are looking both for their unique identity traits and for shared traits. In the process, portraiture loses its feeling of certainty and instead becomes a map for finding oneself and others.

This exhibition team is led by Curator of Latino Art and History Taína Caragol and includes Chief Curator Brandon Fortune, Associate Director of Education Rebecca Kasemeyer, Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture Dorothy Moss and Senior Historian David C. Ward. “Portraiture Now: Staging the Self” is presented by the National Portrait Gallery in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center.

 

One Life:  Dolores Huerta

Through May 15

huerta“One Life: Dolores Huerta” highlights the significant role of this Latina leader in the California farm workers’ movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This eleventh installment in the “One Life” series is the first devoted to a Latina. It illuminates Huerta as the co-founder, with César Chávez, of the United Farm Workers (UFW), and highlights her position as the union’s lobbyist and contract negotiator. Huerta was instrumental in achieving major legal protections and a better standard of living for farm workers, yet she remains largely under-acknowledged in history. The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the September 1965 grape strike that launched the farm workers movement.

 

Eye Pop:  The Celebrity Gaze

Through July 10

eyepopBrad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Peter Dinklage, Eminem, Michelle Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, Eva Longoria, Serena Williams, Kobe Bryant, are some of the people featured in “Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze.” This exhibition features 53 portraits of luminaries who have been at the top of their fields. See them in drawings, paintings, video portraits, photographs, sculpture, and prints. Many of these works of art have never been publicly displayed and all recent additions to the museum’s collection. Taken together, these portraits allow us to question celebrity and peel back its layers.

The National Portrait Gallery Portraiture Now committee of historians and curators has selected objects for this exhibition.

 

Recent Acquisitions

Through Oct. 30

From Frederick Douglass, Bob Hope, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Aretha Franklin to Rita Moreno, Matilde Krim, Hank Aaron, Willie Nelson and Rubén Blades, this annual exhibition features 29 objects that tell the story of America through the art of portraiture and showcase some of the newest additions to the museum’s collection.

 

Ongoing Permanent Collection Exhibitions

America’s Presidents

lincoln

 

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 Justicejustice

“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 Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr.; women’s-rights advocates Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Betty Friedan; Native American activist Leonard Crow Dog; cultural icons Jackie Robinson and singer Marian Anderson; United Farm Workers organizer Cesar Chavez; gay rights leaders; and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. 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

bronze

 

Fourteen portraits in bronze and terra-cotta made by renowned American sculptor Jo Davidson between 1908 and 1946 include depictions of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gertrude Stein among many others.

 

 

 

 

 

Twentieth-Century Americanscontemperaryamericans

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, Sandra Day O’Connor and Michael Jackson, among others—tell the story of America’s 20th century through today.

 

Bravo! and Champions

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.


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