George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796; acquired as a gift to the nation through the generosity of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting Recent Acquisitions, thru November 3, 2019The gallery is showing historic and contemporary works newly-acquired. Subjects include Celia Cruz, Edwin Hubble, Helen Keller, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Louie Pérez, Maurice Sendak, George Walker, and Oprah Winfrey. The exhibition presents work by artists including Imogen Cunningham, Harry Gamboa Jr., Brigitte Lacombe, Charles Willson Peale, Shahzia Sikander, and Andy Warhol.
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today, which was organized by the museum’s Chief Curator Brandon Brame Fortune, thru August 18, 2019. The exhibition “presents a sampling of how artists have approached the exploration of representation and self-depiction through portraiture. Drawing primarily from the museum’s vast collection, Eye to I examines how artists in the U.S. have chosen to portray themselves since the beginning of the last century. Eye to I features more than 75 artworks in a variety of styles and media ranging from tiny caricatures to wall-sized photographs, from colorful pastels and watercolors to dramatic paintings and time-based media. Self-portraits displayed include those of Richard Avedon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Thomas Hart Benton, Louise Bourgeois, Patricia Cronin, Imogen Cunningham, Elaine de Kooning, Joan Jonas, Jacob Lawrence, Louise Nevelson, Diego Rivera, and Andy Warhol.
Image below: The Silver Goblet by Lucy May Stanton - Watercolor on ivory - 1912 - National Portrait Gallery - Gift of Mrs. Edward C. Loughlin
The National Portrait Gallery will exhibit Portraits of the World: Korea, December 14 - November 17, 2019.A wood assemblage by contemporary feminist artist Yun Suknam will be the centerpiece of this exhibition, which will include portraits of American artists, such as Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, Marisol, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero. The exhibition will focus on shared themes and artistic approaches that have activated women artists from different parts of the globe. Robyn Asleson, the National Portrait Gallery’s associate curator of prints, drawings and media arts, is the curator of this exhibition. Image below: Mother III by Yun Suknam, acrylic on wood, 1993 (2018 version). Courtesy Hakgojae Gallery, Seoul. Photo by Yun Suknam
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now, thru March 24, 2019.The exhibition “explores the art form of cut-paper profiles in terms of their rich historical roots and powerful contemporary presence.” The exhibition, which primarily features works on paper, also brings together sculptures, prints, media art and mixed-media installations. Ranging in scale from 3 inches to nearly 40 feet, the exhibition features art from 1796 to today, including some 50 unique objects, organized into four large, gallery-sized installations.
Artwork by leading contemporary women artists takes the silhouette form to new heights. The exhibition was curated by Asma Naeem, the Portrait Gallery’s curator of prints.He commented that “With both historical and contemporary explorations into the form of silhouette, the exhibition reveals new pathways between past and present, particularly with regard to how we can reassess notions of race, power, individualism and, even, the digital self.”
Image below:Thomas Sully by Auguste Edouart - Ink, chalk & cut paper on paper.
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting Daguerreotypes: Five Decades of Collecting, thru June 2, 2019.The 2018 installation of the Daguerreian Gallery celebrates the National Portrait Gallery’s golden anniversary by highlighting fifty years of daguerreotype collecting by the museum. The exhibition includes portraits of such iconic figures as activist and reformer Dorothea Dix, entrepreneur and showman P. T. Barnum with Tom Thumb, Seneca Chief Governor Blacksnake, U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry, and artist Alfred Waud. The exhibition is curated by Portrait Gallery Senior Curator of Photographs, Ann Shumard.
Image below: P.T. Barnum and General Tom Thumb / Attribution: Samuel Root (1819 - 1889) / Attribution: Marcus Aurelius Root (1808 - 1888) / c. 1850, Half-plate daguerreotype
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey, thru May 19, 2019. It was a pivotal year when many stunning national and world events took place. It was also the year that the National Portrait Gallery opened. Some thirty portraits mark the year when the Vietnam War reached a turning point, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, and television sets displayed everything from the Olympic Games to the first manned orbit of the moon. The exhibition features representations of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon, along with portraits of cultural figures such as Peggy Fleming, Arthur Ashe, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Other significant personalities pictured include the Apollo 8 astronauts. The exhibition is curated by Portrait Gallery Historian James Barber.
Image below: Lyndon B. Johnson by Guy Rowe, Acrylic on plaster - Credit National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
The National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, thru January 6, 2019. The two leading contemporary artists focus on the under-representation and mis-representation of certain minorities in portraiture and American history. The artists illuminate the contributions and sacrifices people of color made during the country’s founding. The Portrait Gallery curators for the exhibition are Curator of Painting and Sculpture and Latino Art and History,Taína Caragol, and Curator of Prints, Drawings and Media Arts Asma Naeem.
Images below: 13 Plasters (Row 3) by Ken Gonzales-Day / 2014 (printed 2017), Chromogenic print / Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus, Los Angeles