Discover What's New on August: 2 New Exhibitions and more! | National Portrait Gallery
Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands
August 27, 2021–May 30, 2022
Hung Liu is a contemporary Chinese American artist, whose multilayered paintings have established new frameworks for understanding portraiture in relation to time, memory, and history. Often sourcing her subjects from photographs, Liu elevates overlooked individuals by amplifying the stories of those who have historically been invisible or unheard. Having lived through war, political revolution, exile, and displacement, she offers a complex picture of an Asian Pacific American experience. Her portraits speak powerfully to those seeking a better life, in the United States and elsewhere. "Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands" will be the artist’s first major exhibition on the East Coast. This is also the first time that a museum will focus on Liu’s portraiture. The Portrait Gallery’s accompanying exhibition catalogue, published in association with Yale University Press (2021), charts six decades of Liu’s painting, photography, and drawing.
Charles Willson Peale, George Washington, and the Visual Creation of American Identity
Tuesday, Aug. 3, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Charles Willson Peale was the first artist to have portrayed George Washington in uniform from life. His portraits familiarized Americans and Europeans with Washington, presenting the man, the cause, and the republic as one and the same. Peale portrayed Washington as the personification of the American struggle for independence while emphasizing his service and leadership as a republican general. Peale’s wartime portraits of Washington, therefore, represent his most important contribution to the creation of American identity through art.
Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 5:30–7 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Presented by Ricardo A. Herrera, professor of military history at the School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Followed by a Q & A moderated by Kate Clarke Lemay, the Portrait Gallery’s acting senior historian and interim director of PORTAL.This program is a part of the Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture and is hosted by PORTAL, the Portrait Gallery’s Scholarly Center.
In Dialogue: Smithsonian Objects and Social Justice
Tuesday, Aug. 12, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom
How does multiraciality complicate what we understand about representation and race? Together with our co-hosts from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, we will explore this key question in relationship to a drawing of artist and designer Isamu Noguchi from c. 1929 and a movie poster of actor and dancer Nancy Kwan from c. 1960.
Visionary: The Cumming
Family Collection (Part II)
On view through Oct. 31, 2021
On view through Oct. 23, 2022
Her Story: A Century of Women Writers
On view through Jan. 23, 2022
Warranted to Give Satisfaction: Daguerreotypes by Jeremiah Gurney
On view through Feb. 6, 2022
Visit Us at Home
Since we can’t get together in person, let’s meet up remotely! The National Portrait Gallery is now offering docent-led group tours for adults. Tours are available by registration. Reservations must be made three weeks in advance of the desired tour date.
UN-FORGETTING HISTORY WITH HUNG LIU
After having to burn her family pictures during the Cultural Revolution, Chinese American artist Hung Liu treasures old photographs all the more. They’re foundational to her work as an artist. She has described her portraits, which are often based on historical photographs, as memorial sites for people forgotten to history.
Listen to Season 3 on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, PRX, Radio Public, Spotify, Stitcher, and on our website.
Enjoy several online adaptations of National Portrait Gallery exhibitions and collection highlights, including "Picturing John Glenn: Dedicated to Science and Service" and "Where There Is a Woman There Is Magic," through our collaboration with Google Arts & Culture. Teachers and students can also explore our debut online curriculum, "Portraiture and Identity," which investigates how artists and sitters use portraiture to convey individual, cultural, national, and global identities.
Cotton Picker by Hung Liu, 2015. Collection of Sig Anderman. © Hung Liu. George Washington at Princeton (detail) by Charles Willson Peale, oil on canvas, 1779. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Malcom X by an unidentified photographer, 1967. Isamu Noguchi (detail) by Winold Reiss, c.1929. Gift of Joseph and Rosalyn Newman; conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women's Committee. © Estate of Winold Reiss. Al Gore (detail) by Chuck Close, 2009. Gift of Ian M. and Annette P. Cumming. © Chuck Close, courtesy Pace Gallery. Louis Armstrong (detail) by Philippe Halsman, 1966 (printed 1998). Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Gift of Betsy Karel). © Philippe Halsman Archive. Lorraine Hansberry (detail) by David Attie, 1959. © David Attie. Two Girls (detail) by Jeremiah Gurney, quarter-plate daguerreotype with applied color, c. 1852–58. Wm. B. Becker Collection. Docent Tours at the National Portrait Gallery (detail) by an unidentified photographer. PORTRAITS by the National Portrait Gallery, 2019. John Glenn by Henry C. Casselli, Jr., 1998. Gift of Taylor Energy Company LLC. © Henry C. Casselli, Jr..
All images belong to the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, unless otherwise noted.